Laying the Foundation Stone of a Successful BIM Implementation on the Cloud

Learn how the Cloudalize Cloud Platform can be the foundation stone of your BIM implementation project either for those who want to start or those who want obtain a secure and more advanced cloud solution.

Introduction

The challenges facing the architecture and construction sectors never been so clear. How do you increase collaboration between stakeholders, provide mobility to end users and meet client expectations?  

The answer is Building Information Modelling (BIM) on the Cloud. In the webinar, Cloudalize outlined how to successfully implement BIM on the Cloud. Erik de Boeck, Account Manager and Koenraad Willams, Pre-sales & Technical Engineer, demonstrate live the Cloudalize‘s GPU-powered Cloud Workstations for powerful real-time collaboration for those specifically in the architecture and construction sectors.  

Two partnersACG Architects (United Kingdom) and BEAMS (Belgium) – joined Cloudalize for a 20-minute discussion to share their experiences of BIM implementation and how to maximise the Cloudalize Cloud Platform for BIM.  

The webinar was designed to be informative to those who are experts and novices in BIM and the Cloud. 

Q&A

The questions below are those asked during the webinar. The written answers have been compiled by the following individuals:

  • Ben Arents BIM Consultant and Manager, BEAMS
  • Erik de Boek EU & NA Account Manager, Cloudalize
  • Koenraad Willems Pre-Sales & Technical Engineer, Cloudalize
  • Martin Mc Cormack Marketing, Cloudalize
  • Thomas Hofer Data Protection Officer, Cloudalize

Q: What is the difference between Cloudalize and teamwork in ArchiCAD?

ArchiCAD Teamwork is like Revit WorksharingRevit Server or BIM360 Design. It only fixes part of remote working by putting the model files on the Cloud, and thus enabling remote real-time collaboration. However, uploading the files on the Cloud also makes it subject to the internet speed of the user, (which can be especially convenient when working heavy files).  It does not fix the problem that the end user still needs a heavy-duty machine

Cloudalize’s GPU-powered Cloud Workstations enable real-time and remote collaboration: 

  • By having the project files in a Common Data Environment (CDE), any stakeholder (depending on access rights) can work on the files when and where necessary in the Cloud;
  • By removing the need for a heavy-duty workstation and fixed internet connection to allow remote working from anywhere, on any type of device.

Q: Our IT Department are in the process of exploring how we are going to introduce BIM into our processes. Will this seminar be available on demand later so that I can share with colleagues?

We hope that this page answers this question! For any additional information, you can contact Erik directly. His details are at 57:20 during YouTube video above.  

Q: Does the Cloudalize platform store all the architecture and construction data? Can we download the Cloudalize platform to download we need a licence?

Cloudalize allows you to manage all Cloud Workstations and server data from the easy-to-use UI (Blog Post: New Interface, New Era). This means that all the architecture and construction data is stored and shared with every Cloud Workstation. Furthermoreif you combine Cloudalize with Nextcloud storage, you can share project files and data with third-party individuals or companies. You don’t need a licence for this, only a Cloud Workstation and a shared folder. 

Q: How can I acquire Cloudalize? What is the compatibility benchmark?  

For anyone out there, Cloudalize is simple: you contact us via the form on our website. As we offer a tailored service to cater to an individual need, we offer a service unlike our competitors. For you in particular, Cloudalize will contact you.

Q: Do you have data centres in North America?

Yes, Cloudalize has data centres in North America.  You can find out more about Cloudalize’s data centres on the web page: Cloudalize & Data Security

Q: As COVID-19 recedes – However long that will take – and people start returning to the job site, do you think features like real-time collaboration will be as relevant? Has COVID-19 changed what’s in demand permanently? 

A balance of real-life collaboration on-site and in traditional offices will still be key to exchange information. However, during the second-lockdown period in several European countries, we can see that remote working using video callsetc. becomes more and more accepted and integrated. This is the future of working. The Cloudalize Cloud Platform fully supports BIM in this situation and it can scale easily and just-in-time to adapt an organisation’s peri- and post-COVID requirements 

Q: How does software licences work within your platform environment? Do we use our pre-existing licenses? Does Cloudalize furnish licences? 

Cloudalize does not offer licences from third-party software vendors. But rest assured that you can use your existing software licences on Cloudalize (or licenced server as preferred). 

Q: Can you explain the difference between a BIM Manager and only software Manager?

The BIM manager is essential in the engineering and execution phase of the project design. The BIM manager creates the BIM Protocol and BIM execution plan (BEP) according to the client or project needs and makes sure that all project stakeholders are verified users of the BIM documentation. This is essential to achieve a positive result on a project and results in an output to be used during the facility management phase of the building.

The BIM manager is not responsible for organising software. This is the role of the software manager. However, the software manager will work closely with the BIM manager to provide advice and will describe how to use it in the BIM execution plan.

Q: Could you expand on how you would approach a data breach if it were to happen? What policies are in place to ensure this is handled quickly/professionally

Cloudalize has established protocols and policies in place where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies. The Data Breach Response Team (DBRT) – ex officio CEO, CTO, IT specialist plus other personal if required – will compile a report of the incident and its scope; data compromised, date of breach and proposed remedies.

As required by law, Cloudalize will report to the Data Protection Authority (DPA) of Belgium within 72 hours if any sensitive data has been compromised.  The work of the DBRT and reporting to the DPA are supervised by Cloudalize’s certified Data Protection Officer (DPO).  

Cloudalize strictly adheres to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 [GDPR] as adopted by the Law of 30 July 2018. This legislation applies to the processing of personal data in the context of the activities of an establishment of a controller or processor on the Belgian territory, regardless of whether the processing takes place on the Belgian territory or not. More information on data production legislation can be found here: Cloudalize & GDPR

Q: Does this potentially allow multiple disciplines to work on one model (allowing for individual professional indemnity considerations).  I mean rather than having lots of models which must be federated to see a full view of the project. 

The beauty of the Cloudalize platform is that it supports both Little BIM and Big BIMIn additionOpen BIM and Closed BIM are fully supported. This means that all disciplines and project stakeholders can work together in a single Revit (Worksharing including Worksets) file. 

It also means that you can use the Cloudalize Cloud platform without the need of additional BIM 360 Design for each user. The Cloudalize platform provides the ability to use the out of the box Worksharing functionality from Revit. 

But, due to legal framing between the stakeholders, you can also decide to store or share the separate aspect models on the project specific cloud drive to make sure all stakeholders have access to the same information and use it as a reference in their BIM software.

More information can be found on BIM terminology in Cloudalize’s BIM Phrase Book

Q: Which other files [types] does Cloudalize support for extension?

Any, the files are stored on a file server. So the file types used, will be dependent on the applications that the customer installs or uses on the Cloudalize Cloud Workstation.

Q: Which other files [types] does Cloudalize support for extension?

Any files which are compatible on Microsoft Windows and are stored on the file server can be accessible via a Cloud Workstation.

Q: On which BIM projects either in UK or Europe has the Cloudalize platform been used? 

Cloudalize cannot reveal specific projects from customers where Cloudalize has been utilised. However, one of the most interesting in recent times was Ferrous Metals SA. This is the project mentioned during the webinar and involved a lot of different project engineers from many companies.

Q: What is the average downtime of Cloudalize 

Cloudalize’s service-level agreement (SLA) guarantees a 99.9 % uptime. 

Q: Can you use Cloudalize with any kind of CAD tool? What if you want to add DMS, inspection tools – is this also possible? 

Cloudalize can run any kind of computer-aided design (CAD) software just as it would on any other laptop or desktop. All Cloudalize Cloud Workstations are Windows-based and powered by Cloudalize’s proprietary graphical-processing unit (GPU) technology .  

Our clients have over 70 different software programs from a variety of different vendors installed on theiCloud Workstations in Europe and North America. 

Q: Do you offer design calculations services like for Autodesk robot or Midas designs? These software packages crash on my computer a lot. 

If the question is if these applications run on our Cloud Workstations, then the answer is yes. If the question is if Cloudalize offer services to help with the use of these applications, then the answer is no. 

Q: Could you expand on the implementation process e.g., what support is offered to ensure implementation is properly done and tailored to individual needs?

The implementation process is a very simple for up to 5 end users.  You chose the blueprint and server type depending on requirements, the installation of software, making a blueprint and deploying it to all end users. All these steps can take up to a few hours, depending on the speed you want to move forward and the amount of data which needs to be migrated. To actually launch a Cloud Workstation when everything is set up is straightforward: You can see it here in Cloudalize’s Quick-start Guide.

Q: Which features would you like to see or are planning to bring in the future? Is there anything that people have said is missing from the platform which would be beneficial to end users?

That’s the EUR-1 million question! Of course, we cannot reveal everything from Cloudalize’s CTO secret basement laboratory. However, here are a few features: Cloud orchestration hibernation support, optimising the One-click sharing feature and perfecting Kubernetes GPU Cloud for Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Cloudalize’s Partners: BEAMS

A special note of thanks to Cloudalize’s partners, BEAMS which helped to prepare this blog post and answer the questions provided. BEAMS is a strategic partner which can help to implement BIM, find BIM-specific talent for your project or organisation as well as train your personal in the latest BIM methods and skills. It is currently developing IT tools for BIM too. This includes a specific app for Autodesk Revit users – a BIM solution for manufacturers but also a large application like a ERP link with BIM models.

Below you will find the form to contact the BEAMS team. The website is in Dutch but the team speaks fluent French and English. 

We are also developing IT tools for BIM. This can be a specific app for Revit users, a BIM solution for manufacturers, but also a large application like a ERP link with BIM models.

So, we are not only a BIM partner, we are a BIM and IT partner.

BEAMS: Contact Form

Editor’s Note: All questions above were those received from the attendees of the webinar on 18 November 2020. They have been edited for spelling and grammatical errors. Any other modifications were done only to increase clarity and understanding.

M. Mc Cormack 25 November 2020.