Meet Maria Lennox, Simplebim’s new head of BIM services
March 10, 2022 by Jarmo Kuusinen
For more than a decade, architect Maria Lennox has been using Simplebim’s BIM management tool to create BIM-related workflows in some of the largest construction companies (NCC and SRV) in the Nordics.
Considered a pioneer in BIM data, she’s been using Simplebim to create company-level operation models for editing, standardising and enriching IFC-models to support multiple tasks in different phases of building projects.
Maria, who has been working in the construction industry since 1990, has recently joined the Simplebim team on a mission to develop a new selection of IFC-data-services and tools for customers in the building industry.
She believes that analysing high quality and structural IFC-data will ultimately improve a company’s competitiveness.
I want to help Simplebim customers on their journey towards BIM-data driven decisions by making it as easy as possible for them to use IFC-data.Maria Lennox, Head of BIM Services, Simplebim
We sat down with Maria to talk about her vision for Simplebim and why she’s such a fan of BIM.
Here’s what she had to say:
What’s your vision for Simplebim?
Maria Lennox: I see Simplebim not just as an innovative IFC-tool but a game changer in IFC-data management and enrichment.
Simplebim enables BIM managers and directors to have full control to both standardise and enrich data inside IFC-models.Maria Lennox, Head of BIM Services, Simplebim
But more importantly, Simplebim allows you to export data from IFC-models and use it as a structured data source linked to other business data.
Using Simplebim in this way will give our customers huge possibilities to use IFC-data in new and innovative ways.
How are you planning to support the Simplebim’s partners in your new role?
ML: My plan is to develop new service packages which will create new market opportunities for resellers and partners. We will co-operate with local teams and train and support them in this process.
I believe that there is no way we could succeed globally without Simplebim’s resellers and their knowledge of local market and culture.
As an early adopter of Simplebim, what first attracted you to the solution?
ML: The Simplebim BIM management tool is one-of-a-kind. That’s the reason why I’ve been using it all these years.
Simplebim is not just a 3D tool, but there’s also big potential in its capability to modify, enrich and organize data in IFC models to make them match the needs of data user.
The processing can be also automated to save manual work. Furthermore, when the model definitions are done smartly and resulting data pushed into database, opportunities for using it are huge.
Here’s few examples of how:
In 3D you can quickly and easily group and colour not just one IFC-model but combine models from different perspectives using the same data structure.
For example, you may want to organize the model and calculate quantities for purchasing, scheduling or cost estimating. Using an enriched model with locations in it is quick and easy to do.
DATA AND ANALYSIS:
Simplebim makes it easy to confirm the quality of model data and make it much more reliable for data analysis purposes, such as quantity analysis.
Using the same data structure enables you to gather and combine data from multiple projects, for example to plan and estimate purchasing on company level.
Standardising information with the same data structure in Simplebim enables you to gather data from all your projects and combine quantities from multiple projects, for example to make better purchasing decisions.Maria Lennox, Head of BIM Services, Simplebim
There are many possibilities for data analysis of the enriched, standardised data from the Simplebim-process. For example, you can check model data quality, but that’s only part of what you can do.
Here are other examples:
Compare and monitor: You can collect and compare data from multiple versions of the same project. It makes it fast and easy to follow as well as to spot changes in design during the project, even without opening 3D.
Combine data from different sources: Enriching and standardising data structures also gives you the possibility to create automated links to other data. That may be, for example, for the duration of the installation, cost estimating, material logistics or CO2 information. This means you will not only see the quantity differences between model versions but the direct impact of the changes to the schedule or cost. This will give you greater control of the project – again without opening 3D.
Combine data from multiple projects: Using the same data structure in multiple projects makes it possible to gather data from all projects which you can analyse to give you the bigger picture. Using data in this way will not only help you to see what has happened but will help you to estimate what will happen in the future.
How can Simplebim be used in a construction project?
ML: There are many ways Simplebim can be used in a construction project.
As we know, there are various construction project models. Regardless of the project type, many decisions that bear major significance for the project are made early on in the project.
Already in this stage, Simplebim can be used to manage and enrich model data of the early architecture models, and use the model data for instance in studying, analysing, and comparing different designs.
Simplebim makes it easy to organise data which means you can quickly follow and spot changes in design during the project which will impact on quantities, cost, logistics etc.Maria Lennox, Head of BIM Services, Simplebim
Further on in a project, structural engineers and other design engineers will give their input to the building models. At this stage, Simplebim can be used for instance to enrich data, manage locations and help data analysis to plan the logistics of the construction site. In addition, Simplebim can be used in cost-estimating and purchasing, before moving on to the actual construction phase.
During the construction phase, Simplebim is used in monitoring and measuring quantities when purchasing ad hoc material. You can also use the model data for monitoring planned and actual installations.
It is good to remember that once the construction has finished and the maintenance starts, that’s only the very beginning of the building’s lifecycle. Simplebim is also useful in managing data and IFC-models to support maintenance operations and even later down the line, renovations.
Simplebim is the perfect tool to prepare the models and IFC-data to support the maintenance tools to be even more useful and versatile.Maria Lennox, Head of BIM Services, Simplebim
How does Simplebim increase efficiency?
ML: Using Simplebim you can streamline processes and reduce overheads.
Take, for example, in my previous role at SRV, we were able to manage BIM data for dozens of projects with a compact team. Using Simplebim, we were not only able to check the basic native IFC files quickly, but we were also able to create totally new data structures for our projects too. There is a lot of automation involved as well, which really saves on time and resource.
It’s also great to see examples of Bylor or NCC, where both report on improved efficiency and clear time savings.
Smarter management of BIM data means less designer time for fixing BIM models, better accuracy of quantities and locations, and better data analytics, to mention just some of the benefits of using Simplebim.Maria Lennox, Head of BIM Services, Simplebim
What are the common challenges Simplebim helps to solve?
ML: It helps to bring fragmented data from multiple sources together in one place.
Simplebim allows you to then take the IFC model and organise and standardise the data in a way that’s much easier for all the project stakeholders to use.
You can enrich the data in Simplebim and tailor it for each stakeholder, which is pretty cool. This means the information inside the IFC model is always presented in a way that’s most relevant to the person’s role.Maria Lennox, Head of BIM Services, Simplebim
For example, structural engineers, designers, purchasers and maintenance personnel can all access the same data but see it from their perspectives.
This enables each stakeholder group of the project to use the information inside the model to make accurate data-driven decisions.
What are your favourite Simplebim features?
ML: There are so many great features in Simplebim, but probably the best thing is the table. It allows you to dynamically handle the information in an IFC model. So, if you compare it to any other tool, it’s very flexible.
When you develop a data environment and tools on a company level it is very important to make it as easy as possible for end users.
You can do wonders with the Simplebim tool. The sky’s the limit with what you can do with the information and data.Maria Lennox, Head of BIM Services, Simplebim
It is impossible to know how different stakeholders would like to group, summarize, filter or calculate model data. It is much better that the tool itself supports a dynamic way of handling data. Everybody can use the model from their perspective and save their own tables as templates for the next project.
I also like how Simplebim works with scripts, as it helps you to skip all the manual parts, by automating it. Simplebim also allows you to delve very deeply inside the IFC-model information.
Want to know how to use Simplebim in your construction project? Speak to one of the experts in our Simplebim team to find out how it can help you.