construction costs vs maintenance costs

Building Costs vs Maintenance Costs of a Building

Team La SIA

In the design phases of modern construction, the assessments made by a private client or by a contracting authority go beyond the realization of the work itself. Starting from the design phase, additional components are considered that influence the design choices, i.e. maintenance, operating costs, and the final residual value of the construction.
Maintainability is one of the design requirements that predominantly enter the design phase as its costs represent a significant share in the expense of managing the real estate assets.
The Life Cycle Cost is an evaluation method that allows you to identify the overall cost of a work, evaluating its integral life cycle. The overall cost of a durable asset consists of the purchase price and all the expenses necessary for its use during its useful life.
If all the costs incurred in its life cycle are observed for a building, we can see that the overall cost is the sum of the following factors: Initial production cost + Usage costs + demolition cost (either positive or negative residual value, that the asset has at the end of its useful life).
This global cost estimate is essential for deciding whether to invest in the construction process by examining all the phases: design, construction, and management of the building.
This approach allows you to optimize construction costs and its use, its use is suggested by DPR 207/2012 and UNI CEI EN 16001 Energy Management Systems (Appendix A).
Today it is possible to estimate the maintenance costs, using the “maintenance plan” that the law envisages as a mandatory draft of the working plan (Articles 33 and 38 of DPR 207/10) for all public and private works.
The definition of maintenance is provided to us by the UNI EN 13306: 2003 standard: “it is the combination of all the technical, administrative and management actions, during the life cycle of an entity, aimed at maintaining it or returning it to a state in which it can perform the requested function “.
According to various illustrious studies on the subject, for every euro spent on the construction of a building, between 5 and 7 are spent on its maintenance, in particular, the English company “Royal Academy of Engineering” has analyzed the typical costs of an office building, over thirty years, and has obtained a ratio of 1: 5: 200 relative to construction costs, maintenance costs and operating costs.
How can construction companies minimize this large cost gap?
LA SIA is facing this challenge using the BIM method, that is, the process of development, growth and analysis of virtual multi-dimensional models generated digitally by means of software.
The BIM method is based on the coordination between the various players involved in the “life” of the work by promoting communication, cooperation, simulation and improvement of processes in all their phases, starting from the design phase, through the realization phase, up to that of use and maintenance.
The digital model, containing all the information necessary for the management of the work, is an extremely effective tool for planning activities related to facility management. In the BIM methodology this activity is called 6D and represents the “smart” use of information allowing to optimize times and costs.

Person Holding Roof Over BIM Text

What Does It Mean to Introduce BIM Standards Into a Company?

Team La SIA

The use of new methodologies for the design and management of a work brings with it a series of advantages for the company that decides to use them, but undoubtedly alongside these advantages there are also initial doubts on how best to use them. One of these revolutionary new techniques is definitely BIM, which is bringing great benefits to companies, which can be amplified through the use of standards and guidelines. Below you can read an interesting study on the topic written by Ernesto Pellegrino, Marika Prete and Eleonora Palladino who are part of the BIM team of La SIA.

The Importance of Bim Standards

The construction sector is experiencing strong changes in terms of methods and processes that regulate complex sector activities. The greater diffusion of these digitalization methodologies, which are identified with the acronym BIM, accelerate these changes more and more. BIM, like any self-respecting “method”, requires, or at least acquires greater value in terms of quality, when it is regulated or based on guidelines and standards. In this regard, there are many publications, available online, of this documentation prepared by various institutional organizations.

Standards are like “foundations of a building” for the production and management of data and are intended to ensure uniformity and consistency of information. In a sense, without them the collaboration between the work teams will be problematic at best and at worst, will lead to the complete failure of the activities. The definition of the guidelines will bring a series of advantages, some of which: • Increase in information quality with consequent increase in process quality and vice versa • Reduction of time for individual operating activities • Better interdisciplinary coordination • Greater security and awareness on how to carry out the various tasks

As mentioned above, to date there are already defined standards from which each company could take advantage of, using them as starting points for the definition of its own guidelines, “tailored” to the needs and business objectives. Certainly, the difficulties in drafting these guidelines are not few since the construction sector is very complex and is characterized by a large number of variables and figures involved. However, before starting to introduce BIM standards within your organization, it may be useful to keep these 3 concepts in mind: 1. There is no universal method 2. The identification of objectives is important for defining methods and processes 3. Software is only a tool, people determine the process

The application of these guidelines will provide, over time, a series of feedback that will allow you to optimize your workflows, always hitting your targets and meeting the needs of the company.

SAIE Bologna - La SIA engineering

La Sia at Saie 2018 – Technologies for Building and Built Environment 4.0

Team La SIA

This year as well we had the opportunity to participate in the SAIE, the famous construction fair held every year in Bologna, and also this year a space was dedicated to the theme of digitization and BIM. In this article we want to tell you about our experience and our impressions of the event. It is now clear that more and more companies, studios, and firms in the construction sector are approaching the issue of digitalization. Some do it because they believe that the implementation of digital methods and processes can actually bring benefits in the coming years, others do it because last January the decree on digitalization was published, which plans to arrive in 2025, with a “cascade” system”, to the obligation of having an organization based on this method, in order to participate in public tenders. Regardless of the reasons, we have been pleased to note that this is the direction being taken, implementing the digital process within one’s business in order to align oneself with market needs.

Among the various interventions to which we had the pleasure of witnessing, we list some that, in our opinion, were among the most interesting:

Augmented reality and artificial intelligence in the design processes
Augmented reality and artificial intelligence in the design processes Speakers: Cesar Escalante – Design Technology Manager, HOK, San Francisco, CA Alberto Tono – AR Deep learning BIM, HOK San Francisco, CA
Computational skills and design
Computational skills and design Speaker: Alain Waha – BIM lead, Buro Happold, London, UK
BIM from the contractor's point of view: the T2 expansion of the Hong Kong airport
BIM from the contractor’s point of view: the T2 expansion of the Hong Kong airport Speaker: Francesco Tizzani – BIM Manager, Leighton Asia, Shenzen City, China
Opportunities and ecosystems in the digitization market
Opportunities and ecosystems in the digitization market Speaker: Claudio Vittori Antisari – Founder, Strategie Digitali, Milano, Italy
BIM methodology for energy requalification projects
BIM methodology for energy requalification projects Speakers: Riccardo Pagani – CEO, React Studio & BIMon, Roma, Italy Veronica Veschi – BIM Coordinator, BIMon, Roma, Italy
Computational Design in HBIM processes
Computational Design in HBIM processes Speakers: Giacomo Bergonzoni – BIM Manager, OpenProject. Bologna, Italy Fabrizio Sampietro – BIM Specialist, OpenProject. Bologna, Italy
Business Intelligence tools for analysis and validation of project data
Business Intelligence tools for analysis and validation of project data Speakers: Manuel Andrè Bottiglieri – Developer e BIM Specialist, Lombardini22. Milano, Italy Viola Cambiè – R&D, Lombardini22. Milano, Italy

Obviously, it was not possible to insert all the BIM-themed interventions, but both the listed and non-listed interventions aroused great interest from companies and professionals in the sector. Among the various stands that were available to visitors this year, we also noticed a great interest in everything related to the world of laser-scanner survey, both using drones from 30cm up to 1.5 meters in size, and with the use of laser scanners equipped with tripod. In fact, in the last 18 months, LA SIA, pursuing the objective of implementing a valid digital process, has included various staff with skills on the subject of BIM and digitization, such as the architect Gianpaolo Stringa, who has dedicated part of his time to the development of workflows on the use of laser scanners for the creation of BIM models starting from point clouds; the architect Ernesto Pellegrino, head of research and development, and the engineer Eleonora Palladino, who dealt with the implementation of the digitalization processes at the service of the various design disciplines; and the engineer Lucia Tirino, who is taking care of the BIM management and coordination of a project involving more than 30 resources. Participation in the Bologna event made us happy to note that our company, LA SIA, has taken a direction in line with what is happening within other companies, which have decided to focus on the digitalization of the design processes, guaranteeing all its customers a high level of information quality and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Double laser scan

Double Scans with Leica RTC360 Laser Scanner

Team La SIA

In these days we are testing the Leica RTC360 scanner in the company. Leaving aside the specifications of the scanner, which can be found on the manufacturer’s website, we wanted to talk about a very useful function that is present in this scanner, or better, the “Double Scan”.

This feature activates a different scanning procedure than it does in the standard mode, that is: “Double Scan” and photo.

Double Scan Function

The “Double Scan” is very useful in all those situations in which in the environment to be detected there are vehicles or people in motion (for example on a construction site or in a street), as it manages to eliminate all the points that, between the two scans, have undergone a “Displacement” (they moved). We have tested this function in an ‘as built’ survey of some components in a construction site that we are following; during the entire survey there were about ten workers at work. The following images are taken from two consecutive clouds performed 3 minutes apart, the first without the “Double Scan” and the second with the “Double Scan” inserted.

Without Double Scan

It can be seen that in the second scan there are no workers’ silhouettes (they were not on lunch break).

With Double Scan

The high scanning speed of this scanner (50 seconds for a complete scan at medium resolution, or 6mm @ 10m) allows you to perform a double survey of points in less than two minutes, plus another minute for photos.
A little less efficient is the algorithm on the photos that populates the construction site with ‘ghosts’, but in terms of the color of the cloud, in reality the “points” are not there.

Edited by:

Architect Gianpaolo Stringa

Designer BIM Division – Research and Development LA SIA

Data-driven decision making in engineering

BIM: Improving decision making through data analysis

Team La SIA

Does data analysis reduce business risk?

In the world of design, and more generally, in the construction sector, these two statements can always be considered true:

  • If a project is perfectly completed, it delivers a profit ranging between 0 and 20 %;
  • If a project goes wrong, losses can potentially be very high;

So perhaps we should spend more time reading and understanding data, to better identify risk factors and improvement opportunities regarding profit margins.

We must abandon the idea that BIM is only just a better way of producing tables and drawings, with a pinch of data related to objects, clash detection and the possibility of delivering 4D, 5D, 6D or 7D projects.

The next goal to hit, and the real advantage offered by adopting this data-driven method when completing a project, will be minimizing as much as possible all risk factors. This is made possible through data mining and analysis applied on data generated by models, operations, resources and tools. All this data, if well interpreted, can lead to great margin and profit opportunities.

For several years now, here at La SIA, we have been working on “BIM oriented” projects and orders, that are evolving on digital management and coordination processes. For this reason, we produce and analyse on a daily basis a considerable amount of data, thanks the high number of resources employed and located in 9 different corporate office locations.

BIM data analysis dashboard for engineering project
La SIA engineering data analysis dashboard

Interpreting data to improve decision-making phases

If we could find a way to effectively link all data related to all the models we produce, in a single macro-database, instead of querying files individually and separately, maybe we could start noticing interesting patterns.

In fact, by querying this macro-database, we could be able to predict how much a project is going to cost and what tools and resources will be necessary to complete it.

Today, this analysis is performed by professionals on the basis of their past experience. However, it is evident that performing this type of analysis with a data-driven approach can deliver conclusions that are much more objective and measurable. Therefore, by combining experience on one hand and substantial data mining on the other, undoubtedly allows us to improve quality of the choices we are called to make during the development of every project.

BIM data analysis dashboard for engineering project
La SIA engineering data analysis dashboard

The implementation test

In the last few years, in La SIA, we started experimenting this data-driven approach allowing us to generate results that are increasibly precise and reliable. One of our most important projects, in terms of duration and resources employed, is the digitization of the entire infrastructure of one of the most important telecommunications companies.

Since the initial development phases of this job, we started collecting a lot of data, like for example start and completion dates of models, resources employed, tools used and tool use frequency as well as other data.

Subsequently we began to analyze this data, trying to identify the patterns mentioned above. Over the weeks, the quantity of data mined has grown considerably and has led us to an improved understanding of operations, to the addition of an extra check-point for model validation and control and to improved management and planning of future activities.

These first results, in addition to improving our team’s workflow, have brought many advantages to our client that can now plan any activity on the basis of reliable and verified data.

LA SIA HEADQUARTERS CONTACTS

Viale Luigi Schiavonetti 286, Roma

+39 06 4544 1972

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