Paolo Odorizzi, graduated in structural building engineering, is the co-founder of Harpaceas (Harpaceas – More than BIM, n.d.), a company that support, training and consulting on digital tools for the construction sector, including solutions for BIM implementation. In Harpaceas, Odorizzi has been the head of the technical division, and now is the research and innovation general manager. In addition, he is a member of the workgroups of the Italian and European standardization bodies (UNI and CEN) on the topics of BIM and digitalization of the building sector. Odorizzi also leaded some projects about digitalization financed by regional founds, such as SAMBA and 7DeGreen.
How did the use of BIM change the traditional working method of your company? How did the transition take place (e.g. training/recruitment)?
Harpaceas has been supporting the digital transformation of the construction sector and the adoption of BIM (Building Information Modeling) for over 30 years, offering consultancy about innovation processes to the entire supply chain. As specialized system integrator and recognized advisor by major market players, Harpaceas offers its well-established skills and knowledge, relying on a portfolio of IT solutions, selected among the world-leading.
With the contribution to projects developed in partnership with Harpaceas, competitive and innovative positions were achieved by our customers – architectural, structural and systems designers, engineering companies, construction companies, manufacturers, general contractors, real estate owners, facility managers, public administration maintainers, as well as sectors such as oil and gas and EPC. Therefore, Harpaceas can be considered a pioneer in supporting and contributing to the digital transition in the building sector.
Among the activities carried out by your company, could you report an IT research project particularly innovative for the challenge posed and the BIM solution implemented?
I’m in charge of the “Research and Innovation” division which develops activities related to several financed projects. The working group is constantly looking for innovative solutions to consolidate work processes or test new ones, through emerging technologies and by directing efforts towards digital processes, automation, software integrations, etc. In recent years we have participated to and managed interesting Research Projects closely related to BIM-oriented solutions and supporting themes such as energy efficiency, seismic vulnerability, intelligent management of multi-tenants buildings or the application of digital methods for the quantification of sustainability criteria. Among the innovation projects we took part, I can mention SAMBA (Smart Advanced Multitenants Building Automation), AdESA (Adeguamento Energetico Sismico ed Architettonico) e 7DeGreen (Model & Code Checking for Life Cycle Assessment).
In the latter project some specific Model & Code Checking features were developed to facilitate, automate, and digitize the workflow through the connection between BIM models in Solibri® and the Life Cycle Assessment calculation software One Click LCA®. The project addresses the improvement the data exchange with reports containing tabular data, quantitative information, and material data. These reports are necessary not only for the definition of the technical and performance characteristics, but also for the evaluation of sustainability criteria, i.e. the amount of carbon incorporated per functional unit of product, the degree of recyclability and reuse of components, possible transport and logistics, etc. Before the report generation and the subsequent LCA calculation, it is also necessary to optimize and automate the preliminary verifications on the digital models. The outcome the project is a Plug-in, developed in Solibri’s environment, which facilitates the assessment of environmental impact indicators from aggregated multidisciplinary information models in IFC openBIM format. The Plug-in is also able to improve several features related to the BIM model such as:
- the classification of the data according to the type of entity and material,
- the creation of automatic rules for checking for the presence of specific attributes,
- the creation of organized data tables (Information Take-Off) from information models,
- the simultaneous 3D visualization of selections from data table,
- the association of information such as material resources from external databases,
- the generation of reports in case of non-compliance,
- export to One Click LCA of data organized according to the logic of LCA calculation in accordance with international standards (ISO 14040/44 “Life Cycle Assessment” and EN 15978 “Assessment of the environmental performance of buildings – Calculation method”).
How can supply chains be involved in sharing data in a BIM model?
Nowadays it is widely agreed that workflow efficiency and quality results can only be achieved through the digital involvement of the entire construction chain. From our experience, we know how the continuous professional updating as well as the knowledge and the application of the technical standards are fundamental to offer an excellent service to our customers. In this perspective, we are actively involved in the development of technical standards and documents at national level and in the European Committee of Standardization (CEN) working groups. The involvement of the supply chain passes through the experience of professionals, new training and support services, and pilot projects. The manufacturing sector and the design and production supply chains seem the more reluctant to get involved in the digital transition. Thus, most of the efforts made within the standardization working groups have been directed to face this deficiency. In this regard, in recent years there was a spread of key concepts such as Level of Information Need, Data Dictionaries and Data Templates.
What is, in your opinion, the main expectation regarding the role of BIM for energy efficient renovation?
In my opinion buildings, and assets in general, will benefit from the natural evolution/integration of BIM models into digital twins. This issue is extremely current even if it is still not regulated by any standard or law. Recently some working groups in the CEN TC 442 started to deal with this topic, but it is too early to have any feedback, even in terms of definitions and concepts about Digital Twins.
Buildings renovations should integrate the efficiency interventions (in terms of energy, seismic, thermal/lighting comfort, IoT and automation, etc.) with technological applications such as the use of smart living environments, the assessment of Indoor Air Quality, risk simulations and maintenance predictions, also through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms. In this way, we will be able to achieve even better results in terms of environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the asset’s management over time. Thus, in the operational phase the user will be involved in the monitoring and subsequent implementation, improving the overall asset performances.
Building stock is more and more digitalized, what do you think would be the main gain of having a digital model prior to the renovation?
The digitization of the building stock can be an added value and can lead to an increase in the value of the asset. A digital twin can support any building practice, in the context of the ePermit processes that benefit from the Model and Code Checking automation features.
For existing buildings having a digital model facilitates renovation or change of use projects, since the BIM model is ready as starting point for any project work. In addition, it can support maintenance and facility management activities through tools as predictive algorithms, logistics management or data integration on cloud-based system infrastructures or blockchain. In addition, the digital asset can be a key element for the integration of digital procedures for infrastructure management at district, neighbourhood or city level (Smart Cities).