Vinci Immobilier used Catenda Hub (ex-Bimsync) to enhance collaboration and simplify workflows in HORA Project

Vinci Immobilier: A collaborative platform accessible to everyone

Project Brief:

  • Project name: HORA
  • Location: Caluire et Cuire, near Lyon
  • Type of project: Residential project, of 63 housing units for 4000m²
  • Costs : Approximatively 6M euros
  • Project composed of 5 buildings in R+4 and shared parking lot
  • Concrete structure with bricks and interior insulation
Vinci Immobilier used Catenda Hub (ex-Bimsync) to enhance collaboration and simplify workflows in HORA Project

Hora Project

Case study realized with Fabrice Kerlogot, National BIM Referent at VINCI Immobilier

What makes this project unique?

This project is not unique in its complexity or technicality. Conversely, it is perfectly representative of the housing operations that we are used to carrying out. This is precisely what we are interested in: adapting a specific BIM approach to simple operations. In addition, this project is carried out in open BIM with an architect using Archicad and design offices using Revit: we are committed to enabling our service providers to work regardless of their production tools. Finally, it is a unique project by the investment of the Project Owner in the BIM approach: VINCI Immobilier really worked with and for the design team in order to make the collaborative work profitable to all and thus to the project.

HORA is a unique project because VINCI Immobilier’s BIM approach has been rewarded at the end of 2020 by the BIM and DATA silver pyramid prize of the federation of real estate developers of the Lyon region. One year after the launch of this operation, more than 20 operations throughout France have been launched with the same approach and with Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync).

Why did you choose Catenda Hub platform?

We decided to set up a collaborative platform such as Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) on this project because we do not dissociate 3D modeling from the BIM collaborative approach. Catenda Hub is thus one of the bricks of the BIM system that we put at the disposal of the architects and engineers who design our project.

Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) was chosen because the platform is open BIM and is very easy to use. Between 2020 and 2022, our providers and my colleagues will participate in their first BIM operations: it is essential that the main interface with the models and BCFs remains intuitive. Catenda Hub’s interface was found to be easy, including the navigation in the viewer.

VINCI Immobilier staff receives training on BIM integrating about 2H of Catenda Hub handling. When an operation is launched, the functionalities are reminded to the whole team in a kick-off meeting within 15 minutes. That’s enough for most people, who can always get help from the BIM Manager.

Fabrice Kerlogot – National BIM Referent at VINCI Immobilier

The most complicated thing is not to use Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync), but to integrate it into your work habits. For mature collaborative BIM partners, the use of Catenda Hub becomes natural in about 2 weeks.

We made the choice of open BIM because we consider that it is not up to VINCI Immobilier to choose the working software of its providers. Open BIM works, even if it can be complicated to find a BIM Manager competent on 2 or even 3 softwares. Operating in closed BIM may seem easier nowadays, but we don’t want to discourage the diversity of existing solutions. On our projects, a non-negligible part of the architects model with Archicad or Allplan, Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) is then precious for collaborative work.

The use of Catenda Hub within the HORA project

VINCI Immobilier is accompanied by a BIM Manager for all its BIM operations. He administers the platform and coordinates the operational BIM approach. He is integrated into the real estate project management as it is practiced in France, by helping the architect, who is the pilot of the project, and the various external engineers who design models and/or bring their technical expertise.

In order to have a coherence between all our projects, we organize Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) little by little so that it is adapted to the needs of the teams. Notably, the organization of the models by building and discipline, the status and types of BCFs and the libraries for ifcspace.

In the HORA project, the actors who designed the 3D models uploaded the models with a frequency of about 2 weeks from the building permit. The BIM Manager monitored production on a regular basis, including assessing inconsistencies between disciplines. The BCFs resulting from these analyses were reviewed during design meetings with the entire team, including the client. The denser the technical studies phase became, the more the architect, the Fluids and Structure design offices checked the coherence between their models during the upload of their models. They have created more issues. The client also made comments through this vector, as well as the technical controller and the economist. In meetings, the choice to change the status of a subject was made collegially and arbitrated by the BIM manager for database subjects or by the VINCI Immobilier technical manager for technical building subjects.

What were the most used features?

On this project we mainly used the Models, Issues and Documents features.

The viewer is really the client’s tool to consult the 3D models in design meetings, as well as the office. All the basic features have been used (visualization, 2D, cutting, measurement). Usage varies greatly from one operation to another because it takes a long time to get used to that approach. In the HORA project, the program manager and the technical manager were in their second operation: the use of Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) was starting to be natural. However, features such as model comparison, or data extraction were not used: this is the next step.

3D Models in Catenda Hub (ex-Bimsync) to facilitate design meetings

3D Models in Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync)

The Issue management feature has been used for technical subjects, such as inconsistencies between disciplines, clashs or regulatory issues. The BIM manager was the first user, but architects and engineers also used this method to identify problems. 137 issues were opened and closed during the design meeting. All have been reviewed to validate the companies’ consultation file.

Use of BCFs in the Hora Project to improve the quality of the file transmitted for construction

Use of BCFs in the Hora Project

The use of BCFs constitutes a good addition to the other channels of communication (telephone, e-mail, paper notes, plans). The issues are particularly relevant to discuss inconsistencies between models from different disciplines and to take into account a third dimension when a plan or a cut is no longer sufficient.

In fine, there is a consensus within the project management and the client that the BCFs made it possible to improve the quality of the file transmitted for construction.


Fabrice Kerlogot – National BIM Referent at VINCI Immobilier

This thanks to a better follow-up of the problems and a better mutual understanding to arrive at the solution.

The document part has been used at the margin because we have a specific Document Management System at VINCI Immobilier. However, Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) was used to store BIM production. In particular, the BIM execution plan and the BIM Manager analyses were accessible through this channel. We are currently working on the use of libraries to have a simpler reading of surfaces.

What are the advantages of using Catenda Hub?

The use of Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) allowed :

  • To optimize the constructive quality by facilitating the exchanges in meetings and by following the issues by BCF. Ultimately, we hope to limit additional construction costs thanks to the quality of the Tendering documentation.
  • To facilitate mutual understanding: the use of 3D allows to illustrate the speeches of specialists and helps the client to decide.
  • To anticipate the topics in meetings by frequently updating the models (approx. 15 days): this simplifies the coordination between the different disciplines.
  • To better understand the project and make adjustments to benefit future users.
  • To choose with relevance the perspectives used for commercialization.

VINCI Immobilier in a few words

VINCI Immobilier, a subsidiary of the VINCI Group, is one of the main players in real estate development in France. Established across the entire country, VINCI Immobilier is present in two major market sectors: residential real estate (housing and managed residences) and commercial real estate (offices, hotels, shops), targeting investors, both institutional and individual. VINCI Immobilier also provides its customers with its expertise in consulting and property management through its “services” division. Thanks to its multi-product offer and its expertise in carrying out large, complex projects, VINCI Immobilier assists local authorities in carrying out their development operations and thus participates in the development of urban areas. Through its subsidiaries OVELIA, STUDENT FACTORY and BIKUBE, VINCI Immobilier operates and manages senior and student residences as well as coliving residences.

In a few figures:

  • Creation date: 2005
  • 966 employees
  • 23 countries
  • 2019 Revenue: 1,914 million euros (Group share)