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TeamworX Transforms Structural Design with BIM for Better Integration

Structural Engineering Department

23 Jan 2024

TeamworX structural engineering manager Eko Herry Pranoto says he always enjoyed the

process of learning new technologies and tackling various challenges.

This passion for innovation has driven the 49-year-old engineer to lead the integration of

Building Information Modeling (BIM) into TeamworX's workflow since 2013, transforming the

way the company approaches construction projects.

“TeamworX is quite a pioneer in this technology. It's one of the early adopters, and in our

day-to-day, we use and explore almost all of its technologies extensively,” said Eko.

In simple terms, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital technology that helps users

create detailed 3D models of buildings, making it easier to plan and construct structures

accurately. It is important because it reduces errors, speeds up construction, and allows for

better coordination among different parts of a project.

Before BIM’s adoption, TeamworX, like many in the industry, relied on traditional 2D design

processes. It posed significant limitations in visualizing and coordinating complex structures.

“During our parents' time, we used pencils on paper to draw lines. The generation started

going digital, so we began to work digitally, but it was still in two dimensions so, we couldn't

see the full shape in three dimensions. Only people with high imagination could visualize it

accurately,” Eko said.

Given these limitations, structural designs then shifted towards 3-dimensional (3D) models,

helping engineers and designers to better visualize their designs. However, the initial 3D

models only showed shapes without any comprehensive information, such as what objects

are inside those shapes or what materials are being used for the structure.

As a result, construction errors are only known on construction day. “When we combine our

drawings, we may find a column whose position is in the middle of this bathroom, or there is

a pipe penetrating this glass,” Eko recalled.

BIM helps prevent these incidents by embedding detailed information into every aspect of

the model, enabling engineers to coordinate various elements more accurately. “So, during

construction, we minimize this problem, and we reduce the cost of variation orders for our

clients. So, all of this is sorted out beforehand,” Eko explained.

BIM has numerous other benefits. For instance, it allows Teamworx to build structures with

unconventional shapes. BIM also enables companies to market ongoing constructions

through virtual reality. With it, potential clients can get a realistic feel of the space and

surroundings, even to the extent of simulating views from different heights using drones.

However, integrating BIM was not without its challenges. The initial investment in the

technology was substantial, and finding skilled personnel familiar with BIM was another

hurdle. The device used to operate BIM also needs to have high specifications to

accommodate the high-level software. BIM software vendors are also still limited.

In the long run, however, organizations can be more cost-effective using BIM by reducing

unforeseen costs during construction. A study by J.C. Cannistraro of 408 projects found that

BIM saves money as the team gets more collaborative.

Going forward, Eko envisions a construction industry heavily reliant on digital technology. As

such he stresses the importance of continuous learning and adaptation, especially in an

industry that is rapidly embracing digital transformation.

“The challenge ahead is preparing our team for these developments. In my division, I'm

starting the introduction now. We need to tell the younger generation about this upcoming

technology. I may not see it, being a senior, but they will. We need to educate them, as they

will face it in their time,” said Eko with a voice of conviction. 

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