Digitalization to Support the Data Acquisition Phase: BIM4Ren Delivers its 2nd Webinar!

In a context where digital and remote exchanges are becoming increasingly important, the European BIM4Ren project has launched a series of webinars on the topic of BIM in energy renovation works. This post is a continuation of this effort and is part of a series to make easily available the discussions, knowledge, and tools produced during these webinars if you couldn’t join us live!

You can now read and watch the first part of this webinar series here.

On the 27th of November, Green Building Council Italia virtually hosted the second event of the BIM4REN webinar series, entitled BIM4REN tools: insights on Data Acquisition, Enhancement, and Simulation. Three guests from the consortium of the BIM4REN project were invited to speak: Antoine Dugué, Head of R&D at NOBATEK/INEF4 and Coordinator of the BIM4Ren project; Bruno Fiès, Senior Research Engineer at CSTB who is currently working on Information Technologies related to the construction sector and is an expert on BIM and semantic technologies; and Frédéric Suard, CTO and co-founder of WiseBIM, a French start-up created in April 2017 that proposes an innovative service that exploits Artificial Intelligence to quickly and automatically generate a 2d plan into a BIM model.

This second webinar kicked off the presentation of the different digital tools that will be developed by the project consortium within the BIM4REN project to support the construction professionals involved in the development of a complete building renovation process.


Antoine Dugué introduced the BIM4REN concept and explained how the project contributes to the necessary digital transition of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and craftsmen of the construction industry, to increase their productivity by facilitating a collaborative design and construction process.

He explained that the tools presented in this webinar contribute to the development of the initial phases of the renovation work process, specifically the data-gathering steps and the transfer of this information to a BIM model. This model is further enriched with data on material specifications and construction product’s performances.

Tools for onsite geometry acquisition

Bruno Fiès, from CSTB, showed how three tools for onsite geometry acquisition were tested on the first French Pilot of BIM4REN project: a multifamily building in the Paris suburbs. The AR2Build solution by Bimeo is a software that can now run on an IpadPro (equipped with LIDAR technology) with an application available on the AppStore. The demo showed that in less than 30 minutes the tool captured the full geometry of an 80 m3flat and translated it to an IFC file. The Matterport technology is a stationary scanner with a camera, born to facilitate virtual visits for the retail sector. It collects both images and points clouds and reconstructs a model that allows to virtually visit the building. Finally, the Navis 6 trolley was used to walk around the building and acquire the geometry of the facades. It is equipped with 4 lidars (laser-based technologies) with SLAM technology and 5 digital cameras. It was also tested indoors.

Figure 1: Rueil visit while testing different onsite acquisition tools (view of the building, of AR2Buil, Navvis and Matterport

A tool to generate a BIM model from a 2D plan

Frédéric Suard, from WiseBIM, touched upon the potentiality of offsite geometry acquisition and presented the Plans2BIM tool, an automatized solution that, thanks to artificial intelligence, can rapidly generate a BIM model from 2D plan layouts in PDF, PNG or DWG format. The tool can recognize architectural elements on the drawings and automatically assemble and design a building as an IFC3 or IFC4 file. The user will also be able to edit and transform the resulting model and use it for simulation with other tools. Two case studies were presented: a model generated from paper files, and a model generated by the measures recorded by on-site scanning to produce a 2D file.

Figure 2: Plans2BIM service summary

A tool to easily view and update a BIM model

The last tool presented during this webinar was the LODLifter by CSTB: a digital tool that allows to easily view a BIM model, and update the BIM model with information retrieved in external catalogs of BIM object. The step by step process is the following:

  • The visualization of an IFC file.
  • The automatic allocation of some property values based on exploitation of external data bases (year of construction, number of floors, cadastral footprint, typical material of the walls…).
  • The manual replacement of selected products (doors, windows) by new ones selected from vendor’s catalogues (implementing the ISO 23386).
Figure 3: LOD Lifter process summary

All the tools presented by the BIM4Ren partners fit the specific purpose of simplifying the data acquisition phase of renovation, which has been proved crucial and too often mostly excluded from other digital processes due to the increased difficulty of gathering the data of a building once constructed. These tools open up opportunities to make the renovation process faster and more accurate while accessible, increasing the chances of growing the renovation rate of the built environment in Europe, to help implement the Renovation Wave initiative of the European Green Deal.

If you find this summary interesting, you can now see the full recording of the webinar below!