LafargeHolcim embraces the construction industry’s digital revolution with BIM

The construction industry is on the verge of digitalization. In fact, the future is already here, with the increasingly widespread use of Building Information Modelling (BIM). This virtual construction process is a game-changer for designers, construction companies, material suppliers and construction end users. As part of its digital strategy, LafargeHolcim recently joined forces with buildingSMART International, the global authority setting standards for BIM worldwide.


LafargeHolcim joins buildingSMART International

Early 2017, LafargeHolcim joined the Strategic Adisory board of buildingSMART International. "buildingSMART is the global authority for open, interoperable and international BIM standards and provides an excellent base to support the worldwide digitization of the LafargeHolcim product, service and solution portfolio”, says Simon Wiedemann. “With the ability to closely interact with the key players of the digital construction process buildingSMART offers an ideal platform to learn, to collaborate and to further drive digitization in building and infrastructure projects in order to build better".

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As in many other sectors, digital technologies are starting to transform the construction industry. One of the key drivers of the "digital revolution" in construction is Building Information Modelling (BIM).

BIM, a game-changer in construction

BIM is first and foremost about collaboration: it allows all stakeholders of the construction value chain to virtually co-construct building and infrastructure projects. The result is structures that are designed, built and managed more effectively and efficiently.

As material solutions provider, LafargeHolcim can engage in the BIM process by providing machine readable information on a given solution (for example, its geometry, environmental data, material performance, etc.) in the form of "3D BIM objects". Virtual construction based on reliable data makes it possible to test the thermal or structural performance of a solution in a specific project.

Thanks to digital modelling, stakeholders can witness the added value of our solutions in planning and design processes as well as during construction and operation phases. The BIM process also allows all players involved in a construction project to share data while avoiding errors, optimizing schedules and reducing waste.

The future is now for LafargeHolcim!

BIM will change LafargeHolcim’s business. We will be able to work from the design stage with architects and clients to find the optimal solution that matches each project’s requirements and local regulation (cost savings, energy savings & lower emissions, faster delivery, waste reduction, complex designs, etc). BIM will also open opportunities for new services and new business models, creating value for LafargeHolcim’s customers and end users through better building and infrastructure projects.

"BIM is already used by many designers and owners and will be the future of construction when end users further ask for transparent design, construction and operation processes", explains Simon Wiedemann, Head of Building & Affordable Housing at LafargeHolcim. "The UK government, for example, has made it mandatory to use BIM on each new publicly funded construction project."

UK: a building designed using LafargeHolcim BIM objects in Newcastle

Urban design and landscape architecture practice Colour UDL used BIM objects developed by our teams in the UK to design a mixed-use, high profile building along Newcastle’s Quayside within 48 hours! This project won the Open BIM Build Newcastle Live Award.

Therefore, LafargeHolcim has already launched several initiatives to ramp up our expertise and to provide solutions to our customers and end users: BIM objects have been created in France, the UK and Spain and BIM is already regularly applied in precast operations in Germany and Canada. A first building has also been designed using LafargeHolcim BIM objects in the UK (see insert). In addition, the Group R&D teams have developed an e-catalogue of BIM objects and a corporate materials library.

In parallel, the LafargeHolcim Research Center is working on mid-term breakthrough applications, such as the combination of our BIM expertise with 3D printing technologies for precast customers or with big data systems through RFID microchips incorporated in concrete for preventive maintenance.



What our customers think

Architectural aspects like texture, color, form or dimensioning are important for BIM objects and documents. Our dream would be to press a button and compare buildings in wood, steel or concrete

Steffen Riegas, Head of Digital Technologies at Herzog & de Meuron architects

International design companies have dedicated teams to accelerate the use of BIM. The efficiency gains in the design process are apparent for their customers

Ivan Jelic, Construction consultant and expert in large-scale projects

Cooperation between all players along the construction value chain has to be established. BIM will give rise to the next generation of general contractors able to cover the whole chain

Daniel Mondino, CEO CORE architecture