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All aluminium. All the time.

Within the building systems sector, there’s one company that is committed to creating innovative and durable aluminum solutions designed to inspire contemporary architecture. That company is Technal. They’re a branch of the Hydro group that brings together 2800 employees across 29 countries with an 18% European market share. We caught up with Herni Moisand and Michel Bordes—Software Product Managers within Hydro—to talk about how BIM benefits the Technal brand. 

We’re talking about Technal.

When it comes to a company being fully integrated into the aluminum sector, Hydro is huge. The Norwegian-based conglomerate employees 35,000 people in 40 countries serving more than 30,000 customers. However when you focus in on France, there you’ll find Technal. Created in Toulouse in 1960, the company creates everything from facades and curtain walls to doors, windows, sliding doors, railing and gates. They work in both public and private sectors, new builds or renovations for individual and collective housing or commercial buildings. Whether it’s during the upstream of a project or implementation, architects and designers integrate Technal into proposals. Now that Herni and Michel are driving the BIM approach, they can further facilitate the specifying of Technal’s products. 

Going all in with BIM. 

For Technal, adapting to BIM was initiated by their English subsidiary. BIM was way more established and ahead of its time in the Anglo-Saxon countries. After getting numerous requests from specifiers, France finally converted. 

Henri recognized BIM was a growing phenomenon year after year. He especially saw the demand from specifiers increasing while exhibiting at BATIMAT (a trade show held every two-years for the construction sector in France). Specifiers would come to the Technal booth for inspiration, because BIM was an integral part of the exhibit. Recently, architect Stefan Boeri—a leader in urban ecology and rainforest activist—designed the Technal Pavilion which was revealed last November at the show. The unique booth was entitled “Revealing Nature” and its completely transparent and surrounded by a double envelope filled with a lush green natural environment. 

Technal Pavilion at BATIMAT.

Beyond the beautiful booth, Technal has created their own line of BIM tools and objects to meet the needs of specifiers’ requests. Plus, it’s a bonus for the upstream sales force! Now at project origination specifiers can integrate Technal BIM objects into their proposals. The Technal library of BIM objects has been on the BIMobject platform since 2016 and is available for download free of charge.  

However since a lot of Technal’s applications are tailor-made, they’ve developed their own Tech3D configurator. This customizable BIM object generator is dedicated to the assembly of Technal’s aluminum products. It enables architects to design the solution they want, which helps their concept become more unique then a standard specification. The Tech3D configurator also has an ergonomic and intuitive interface with a robust catalog of ready-to-integrate BIM objects. This enables architects to design projects from a simple window to a complex facade in just a few clicks. The Tech3D is also available for download from the BIMobject platform. 

Even though Technal’s BIM tools and objects were intended for the project upstream phase, but they’re also useful for carpenters and facade customers. During the construction phase, carpenters must provide the BIM objects that’ll be integrated into the model. For the aluminum manufacturer, this means the BIM object becomes a deliverable in its own right, just as the assembly configuration does. 

Today, BIM is revolutionizing the building and construction industry, while it’s also becoming a requirement in some markets. And Technal is an active player in this evolution. They communicate both internally and externally about BIM, the BIMobject platform and their customizable Tech3D configurator. Technal understands the value when buildings are first designed and built in BIM. From the project stakeholders to the maintenance (like changing a window or glazing) over the life cycle of a building, BIM provides outstanding benefits for years to come.  

The platform ready to perform.  

Technal chose to be on the BIMobject platform not only for its brand awareness, but also its international reach—which aligns with their own business model. From the ease of search, ergonomics and quality of objects the choice was a no brainer. Another reason, BIMobject ensures that all of their information is up-to-date. It’s important to provide users with reliable information. Users are actually notified of any product updates on items they’ve downloaded in the past. By providing BIM objects, Technal has increased their brand awareness in France and the world over to get specified easily into projects.

Backed by BIM, let the projects begin.  

Since joining the BIM movement, Technal has participated in several 100% BIM projects including the Promenade de Flandre shopping center in Neuville-en-Ferrain, France. Wilmotte & Architect Associates—the lead designers on the project—were required to work with BIM in the specifications from real estate developers Ceetrus S.A. and Altarea SCA. Thanks to the Tech3D configurator, Technal’s aluminum products built this 2,500 m² complex in record time with tailor-made opening solutions. 

The Promenade de Flandre shopping center.

Though Technal is all about aluminum they did have some closing advice. For those companies considering BIM, it’s best to seek out an effective partner such as BIMobject to guide through the journey of implementation. Truer words were never spoken. 

To check out Technal’s 18 product families, click here

Elise Monot • Feb 25, 2020

Jeanette Nguyen • Feb 19, 2020


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