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A perfect sense of collaboration

On January 30, product manufacturers and AECO professionals gathered together in France to exchange ideas and break down all things BIM. Billed as the “Thursday Prescription” meeting, Francesco Ciurleo —a BIM Manager, architect-led the discussion at Abvent Group offices (ARCHICAD’s parent company). The event was hosted by BIMobject and Polantis.

Francesco ran the meeting explaining the “Origine” project (offices)— a large-scale project of 70,000 square meters divided into two buildings (T1 and T2) located near Paris, recognized as the largest wood project in France.  Of course, it’s 100% a BIM project by the way.

BIM Meeting ran by Francesco Ciurleo

Bringing deep experience

Why and how was the project designed in BIM? What was the BIM method applied by the agency and other stakeholders, how was the project managed and the complex points of the project solved?

The client ICADE launched a competition in 2015 and wanted the project to be designed and delivered in BIM. Origine is a pioneer project in BIM because the project was won in 2015. Designing such a big project in BIM, 5 years ago, was a challenge.

The ACQ association (Caubet Architectes and Quadri Fiore) won the project. The two agencies worked together in order to carry out all the studies and build this wonderful project. The responsibilities were divided in a well-thought-out way to keep a unique spirit between the buildings and to have a common language for the project as a whole.

To share his experience, Francesco showcased the models in ARCHICAD.

Origine deploys 70,000 m2 of office space around a vast permeable garden that composes with the city and takes up the technical challenge of renewing "wooden architecture towards contemporary volumes thanks to a mixed structure with 8 floors.

Location of this project

A carefully designed project

- Land surface area-15,000 square meters in Nanterre, near the Defense area.
- Cost of the works- €210 million
- T1 and T2 surface area: 70,000 m square plus 10,000 m2 of housing between the two office buildings. The housing part is not included in the operation.
- R+8 buildings
- Floor space - 8,000 m2
- Photovoltaic panels- 2,000 m2
- bicycle room - 1,000 m2
- 6 labels, certifications
- 2,000 m2 of green space between the loggias, garden floor, ground floor, and terraces.
- Vegetated roof terrace - 2,600 m2 of to give a very lively and warm nature atmosphere
- Lessor TECHNIP

Key dates:
- 2015 - Competition
- 2016 - Building Permits
- January 2018 -  WFD rendering
- April 2018- Market Rendering
- September 2018 to November 2019- Major Work – Construction site  
- End of 2020-completion date

The complexity, the feature of this project is that it is a “mixed structure”: wood, steel, and concrete structure. Wood is the essential element of the structure, concrete is used for the infrastructure, the ground floor, the first floor and for the central cores of the superstructure housing the circulation and services. Other parts of the structure are treated in steel.

The main actors of this large-scale project: 
- Design Office MOE, GO Concrete: BERIM
- Design Office MOE, GO Wood: ELIOTH
- Design Office MOE, HVAC, BIM: EGIS. Laurent Marie, BIM Manager of Egis was in charge of the mission
- Design Office environment: OASIIS
- Landscape agency: VOLGA
- Design Office Major Work: CTE
- Design Office Facade: Metal Yapi, GOYER
- Design Office Wood Construction: ARBONIS
- General contractor: BATEG
- Project management :

  • Maud Caubet Architecte: agency created in 2006, with about twenty collaborators: architects, design, graphic designers. The agency works on interior design projects in heavy renovation or permanent construction.
  • Quadri Fiore Architecture: Since its creation in 1983, Quadri Fiore Architecture has developed a wide range of expertise in a variety of industries and scales. They're known for their work in both new construction and rehabilitation programs, office, housing, hotel, and residential projects. The agency consists of about 40 employees (architects, designers, works managers).
The role of the BIM Manager and how he works with project stakeholders

The result of inspired collaboration.

When we talk about BIM, we're talking about an open format and not software. An “exchange protocol” was created to allow all project stakeholders to dialogue in BIM and to satisfy the client and meet these very specific demands.

Francesco explains that we shouldn't be afraid of this BIM approach, we have to jump into it. The BIM Manager is not a geek... Every architect must understand and use the new tools he has in hand. Usually, the will of Quadri Fiore agency is to involve everyone and give them access to the model. Every architect is trained to work in BIM, is responsible for his intervention on the project.

About 8 people from Maud Caubet and Quadri Fiore agencies worked full time. Each architect knew how to design in BIM with the support of the BIM Manager, myself and the BIM Manager of the Maud Caubet agency. BIM is a new way of working.

ICADE wanted the building to be designed and delivered in BIM. Initially, the BIM approach can be more expensive and requires some investments, but it allows ICADE to save money later on, especially on maintenance/operation during the whole life of the building.

During the Design phase, Laurent Marie from Egis facilitated the understanding of the objectives defined by the client with the architects and exchanged with them to see how they were able to meet the client's requirements.

A BIM convention is dynamic, it moves forward with the project, with everyone's know-how.
If at a given moment, there is something that hasn't been managed, it has to be mentioned. The role of the BIM Manager was to create this “BIM execution convention” and we wrote it in the concept design (APS stage). The BIM convention provides the link between the client and the project manager.

What is a BIM execution convention?
When we talk about a BIM execution convention, we define the role, the responsibility of each one, what are the contributions of each one, what are the platforms, softwares used. Nothing was required, everyone used the software and the version they wanted. The convention defines how things are exported. They do tests to see what works and what doesn't, and if a problem can't be solved, they act on it.

The BIM Manager is led to make an “exchange protocol” to manage the exchange problems that may exist between the different actors. What is an exchange protocol? It's a vademecum on which it is acting which are the steps for an export to be well done and that everything works.

Several softwares have been used on this project. At the Quadri Fiore Architectures agency, we worked with ARCHICAD as did Maud Caubet. The company made the synthesis with Revit, the wood constructor worked with Cadwork, ... But the exchange format shared by all is the IFC.

What working process was used to facilitate exchanges between the two agencies and reduce the weight of the files used?
We worked on version 19 of ARCHICAD for building design and brought it to version 20. The total file weighs 10 gigabytes. We therefore made a distribution between the two buildings T1 and T2 and we created sub-modules such as sanitary blocks, facades, stairwells. This allowed us to gather the whole project on a glueing file which contains the two buildings and the two sub-modules. This glueing file weighs 1.5 gigabytes.

From the mock-up, we send PMKs to a shared PLN layout to get the deliverables (PDF, DWG, and prints).

Adds up to an environment of excellence.

The buildings had to respect the urban permeability required by the city and maintain a public passageway for local residents.

The “Origine” project aims to be exemplary in terms of technicality, creativity and eco-responsibility. One of the challenges during the realization of the building complex was to ensure better comfort for users and a responsible building that met the requirements of these 6 labels: ENERGIE+CARBON- / HQE EXCELLENT / BREEAM EXCELLENT / LEED GOLD / BIODIVERCITY / WELL SILVER

The structure of the project:

It is a mixed structure: steel/concrete/wood. The central cores are made of concrete. To date, it is the largest wood project ever carried out in France. No fixings are visible on the wood and Arbonis was able to deliver an accurate wooden structure. The structure could not be made entirely of wood because some areas that were overloaded would have required wooden joists that were too high. This prevented us from respecting the height under the false ceiling (HSFP) required by the client. So some elements were reworked in steel.

The wood comes from Sweden (very good aesthetic quality, few knots). France could not supply as much wood for this project (not enough wood available and it was of a lower quality than the wood of Sweden).

  • About 7,000 m3 of wood were used for this project.
  • 25,000 m2 of wooden floor
  • 2,000 wooden beams and 1,500 wooden posts.

Architectural details of the buildings:
Origine deploys 70,000 m2 of office space around a vast permeable garden that makes up with the city. The search for well-being applied to workspaces is clearly present in the entrance atrium. It is developed over the entire height of the main body of the building by a set of circular wooden balconies, superimposed and slightly off-center, bathed in abundant zenithal light. User comfort is complemented by a wide range of integrated services including a “concierge” service, auditorium, restaurants and fitness rooms on the garden level of each building.

Francesco detailed the elements of the two buildings, showing ARCHICAD models and photos of the current construction site.

  • The facade: organized in double skin aluminum blades for the comfort of the users or single-skin with metal cassette doors and an anodized aluminum shadow box

  • The mouth of the whale: main entrance dressed in red cedarwood. The structure is made of steel (collaborating trough, steel posts-beams) for beam height issues to replace the wooden beams that would have been too large
  • Atrium: real cathedral on 8 levels. We worked on the fire safety of this atrium to ensure natural smoke extraction. 
Atrium of Building T1 (model) and view of the future atrium
  • Ear: overhang on the garden from where a metal structure. The PRS (welded reconstituted profile) keeps the heights. 

The BIM on the construction site:
BATEG uses screens on the construction site for reading the plans and displaying the completed model. The workers used 3D printing to find out what they will have to build.

The administrative platform used is CGTi4 (EGIS). The control platform for the BIM models is 360 (Autodesk). A quality report of the models is established every three months. The customer's DOE will be available on the Data Soluce platform.

In conclusion, best possible results achieved

ORIGINE is an important and large-scale project for the client ICADE, for architects, for design offices, and for construction companies. They are facing a complex project both for the program, as well as for the dimension, the compliance of standards, the technical and technological challenge. BIM helped them in the approach and the quality control of their project.

Before being built on-site, it was already on the computers, everything was informed, nothing was left to chance. ARCHICAD was essential for architects. Its flexibility, speed of execution and user-friendly interface allowed the teams to evolve, change and take over without ever being a source of delay on the sometimes tight deadlines. Ongoing experimentation that was followed on the construction site with virtual reality, 3D scanning, and 3D printing.

In short, they have much to be proud of!

Few notes 

We are committed to the integration of the products used in their projects. This makes it easier for them to enter data for a project designed and delivered in BIM. It is relevant to get closer and closer to architects to understand our request in a BIM process. Architects don't want to have very detailed and therefore heavy products, but they would like to have light, parametric elements that include the necessary information so that a CCTP can be extracted automatically. This will allow the most reliable CCTPs possible and ensure a market that meets everyone's expectations.

To know more about Quadri Fiore Architectures


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