BE Vivien using OpenBIM Catenda Hub solution for Enedis Project in Angouleme

Enhanced BIM and Sustainable Project Management: How BE Vivien uses Catenda Hub for model comparison, issue tracking, and efficient workflow optimization

Since 2022, Catenda has been supporting the Bureau d’Etudes Vivien (BE Vivien) on its various building construction and rehabilitation projects. BE Vivien is an engineering firm specializing in thermal, fluid, and environmental domains, offering project management for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Moreover, the company has expanded its services as an Environmental Project Management Assistant (AMO), overseeing the application and monitoring of environmental labels across various projects, including standards like NF Habitat, BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), BBCA (Low Carbon Label), BFB (Frugal Building of Bordeaux), and BBC (Low Consumption Building).

Catenda recently met with Benjamin Latus, BIM Manager at BE Vivien, to discuss their upcoming project on rue du Fort de Vaux in Angoulême, a renovation of the former ENEDIS premises.

A diverse and innovative project with Catenda Hub: the case of the ENEDIS block in Angoulême

Benjamin Latus, BIM consultant and manager at BE Vivien, reflects on his particularly enriching experience using Catenda Hub in the ENEDIS block project in Angoulême. This project, executed in partnership with Vinci Immobilier, stands out for its diverse nature, combining rehabilitation, new construction, and varied uses.

The project includes three distinct buildings, each with specific functions. The first phase involves converting old offices into 35 housing units, covering approximately 2,600 square meters of floor space. The second building will host a senior living facility, a student residence, and a young professionals’ hostel, providing 130 units for seniors and 51 for students and young workers. Finally, the third building will house a 650 square meter medical center and nearly 500 square meters of commercial space.

photo of angouleme illustrating BE Vivien's case study with Catenda

BE Vivien distinguishes itself through its commitment to executing diverse projects, primarily focused on the residential and tertiary sectors. Its portfolio includes various structures such as schools, offices, and retail spaces, with a moderate presence in the industrial sector, as well.

The integration of Catenda Hub has significantly optimized BE Vivien’s project management for this endeavor. Driven by a project ownership committed to innovation, Benjamin Latus and his team have been able to fully leverage Catenda Hub’s capabilities.

Catenda Hub: technical decryption of an openBIM solution serving renovation

During this project, Benjamin Latus implemented a methodical and functional approach to using Catenda Hub, aiming to:

  • Enhance model management
  • Resolve conflicts effectively.

The project started with the creation of three main models for the buildings, designated as A, B, and C. Concurrently, specific models were developed for each trade involved in each building, such as HVAC, architecture, and structure.

Benjamin Latus explains that the various stakeholders responsible for the models submit their work to the “documents” module of Catenda Hub, where he, as BIM Manager, conducts thorough verifications. His verifications include ensuring accurate georeferencing and proper overlay of models in the overall project. This is followed by a final check before creating specific issues.

Photo illustrating a team working on a BE Vivien openBIM project with Catenda

At this stage, issues are created whenever a conflict, inconsistency, or query arises. If there are a significant number of models, Benjamin switches to using automated control tools such as NavisWorks or Solibri, with the option to add BCF files via Catenda plugins.

Conflict management is organized by building (A, B, C) and then grouped by similar typology, providing each stakeholder easy access to their list of assigned conflicts.

During regular synthesis meetings, Benjamin Latus orchestrates the exchanges between the concerned parties to facilitate conflict resolution and address raised questions. This interactive and visual approach, as described by Benjamin, ensures efficient conflict resolution while allowing precise monitoring of progress through Catenda Hub’s dashboard.

Optimizing the project hierarchy on Catenda Hub: an effective methodology by BE Vivien

In implementing his organizational methodology, Benjamin Latus adopted a systematic approach by grouping the various project members into distinct teams, each associated with a specific company. This structure facilitates access rights management while maintaining clear organization.

“To automatically generate the hierarchy, I use the import of a zip archive containing all the project folders and subdirectories. This saves me time on Catenda Hub, especially since the hierarchy varies with each project. Although the logic is the same, each project owner has their way of doing things.” Benjamin LATUS, BIM Manager at BE Vivien

This method proves to be a significant time-saver, particularly considering the variations in project hierarchy influenced by each project owner’s specifics.

Catenda Hub: an openBIM platform recognized for its fluidity and efficiency

Benjamin Latus highlights several significant advantages of the Catenda Hub solution, emphasizing its smooth user experience and clever features that simplify daily project management, particularly the comparison of two IFC versions. Indeed, this allows for a quick visual analysis without using a clash detection tool.

“Among the features that particularly catch my attention on Catenda Hub, the comparison between two IFC versions stands out. At a glance, one can see if there have been substantial changes with the new index. This avoids browsing the model (more or less randomly) in search of possible modifications. Another highly appreciated option is the ability to synchronize our position in the building with a PDF plan view while navigating the model. This significantly improves orientation when moving through the IFC, which only displays the 3D without the useful annotations found on the plans.” Benjamin LATUS, BIM Manager at BE Vivien

Benjamin insists on the ergonomics and intuitiveness of Catenda Hub, describing the user interface as pleasant and functional. He notes that although it requires a brief adaptation period for new users, the platform is quickly mastered and adopted by a broad audience.

Expressing his satisfaction with the projects managed on Catenda Hub, Benjamin highlights the platform’s continuous user experience enrichment through regular updates. Again emphasizing the accessibility and ergonomics of Catenda Hub, the easy onboarding of the openBIM solution distinctly sets it apart from some alternatives.

“In general, I find that the Hub offers a user-friendly interface, easy to get to grips with. Its ergonomics are well-thought-out, although it obviously requires a minimum adaptation time for new users, which is quickly achieved compared to other platforms. It is rapidly mastered and embraced by a wide audience.” Benjamin LATUS, BIM Manager at BE Vivien

Benjamin underscores the freedom of action it offers, noting that he has never encountered limitations in his endeavors.

Mobile version and point cloud: additional and complementary features of Catenda Hub

In sync with Catenda Hub, the mobile version, Catenda Site, offers features that enhance daily project management for Benjamin Latus. Even without internet connectivity on a construction site, this app allows any BIM Manager to create specific issues smoothly and intuitively. These data are then synchronized as soon as a network connection is established, ensuring effective task management in the field.

Photo of a construction site illustrating BE Vivien's project in Angoulême with Catenda

While some features may be limited on mobile, the adaptable interface and 2D/3D visualization remain ergonomic. The ability to create issues disconnected from the main model provides any BIM Manager with increased flexibility to manage tasks even in the absence of a network connection. These issues can later be linked on the web version, facilitating the addition of photos directly on site and their association with the corresponding issues. These characteristics make Catenda Site an essential complementary tool for optimizing the operational efficiency of BIM Managers.

Another feature offered by Catenda Hub is the point cloud viewer. Supporting e57 and LAS files, the openBIM platform allows for viewing these commonly used industry formats. The file size is limited to 25 gigabytes per point cloud, which can be overlaid on the models. Even with large files exceeding 25 gigabytes, these can be segmented and displayed simultaneously in the viewer.

This flexibility offers an impressive visualization experience to any BIM Manager wishing to compare their modeling to the existing structure.

Catenda Hub: data centralization & workflow optimization

According to Benjamin Latus, importing raw BCF files can generate hundreds of issues (clashes), usually requiring filtering before importation.

Regarding the models, some projects under Benjamin’s supervision feature models that may extend beyond 25 revisions. Over time, the models undergo significant evolution, and Catenda Hub allows for the centralization of these changes, with no loss of crucial information. Each project typically involves between ten and fifteen company-specific models, merged regularly.

This makes Catenda Hub the preferred tool for centralizing IFC models, BCFs, or project documents.

Excellence and foresight: a successful collaboration

To conclude, Benjamin Latus’s experience with Catenda Hub testifies to innovative and effective project management. The key figures shared by the BIM Manager of BE Vivien, such as the number of issues managed, the multiple revisions of models, and the diversity of merged models, underscore the platform’s versatility and functional richness.

His methodical approach, combining visual inspections, preliminary filtering, and regular integration of new data, demonstrates a consistent commitment to excellence in information management on Catenda Hub. The intuitive and ergonomic aspect of the platform adds to this positive experience, making Benjamin Latus a convinced user of Catenda Hub.

“Catenda Hub is a unifying platform.” Benjamin LATUS, BIM Manager at BE Vivien

Beyond the figures, it’s Catenda Hub’s ability to support professionals like Benjamin in their complex missions that makes it an indispensable tool. The technical support is easily accessible and responsive. The ongoing evolutions and adaptability of the platform promise a bright future for those seeking to optimize their openBIM project management. Benjamin Latus embodies the success of a fruitful collaboration between a domain expert and a high-performance platform.