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adesso drives digitalisation in the construction industry with project SWARM

IT service provider adesso has helped launch a campaign to modernise the construction sector, with the SWARM collaborative project. The goal is to develop the open BIMSWARM platform. The project aims to establish it as a future standard, and thereby support digital cooperation in the construction industry. The project is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Major construction projects are complex and involve numerous actors. Digital models created using building information modelling methods, also known as BIM, are often created to simplify cooperation between developers, architects, structural engineers and project managers, as well as construction companies and service providers. That involves those parties using various IT applications, services and catalogues. However, because such systems are often incompatible and cannot be used throughout processes, managing media discontinuities, manual rework and handling out-of-date plans are everyday tasks in the construction sector – and that can delay projects.

Project SWARM’s goal is to solve the problem of time-consuming inconsistencies in construction planning and project development. The BIMSWARM platform will offer software applications, services and data that are based on open standards. Users will be able to assume that the applications presented on the marketplace have been tested, meaning they are BIM certified, and that they are suitable for inter-company cooperation.

That means they don’t need to constantly ask themselves: Which quality criteria do I have to consider when buying new applications and tools? Which programs can I use to process a particular file? Which IT products are compatible? The BIMSWARM platform will offer the industry an overview of the market, and provide information about standards and certification processes. It will also support combinations of software products from different manufacturers – whether in the planning office, on the building site, or in facility management after construction is complete.

Uwe Lutter is responsible for the project at adesso and identifies the weaknesses of the construction industry. “The level of digitalisation in the sector is generally not very high. There are some significant differences between companies in terms of elements such as the software they use. Often they cannot interact at all, and have few interfaces. Our BIMSWARM marketplace is a first for the German market.”

Uwe Lutter manages the SWARM project at adesso

The platform also saves players in the construction market considerable time, which they might otherwise spend researching suitable IT products for a project. Cooperation between project partners is supported by enabling the possibility of BIM-based processing in distributed projects.

An initial test version of the BIMSWARM platform recently went live, allowing selected IT providers to test it as part of a pilot phase. Uwe Lutter comments: “To ensure broad acceptance in the industry, it is important that we give the companies that make construction applications early access to the platform, and continually develop it based on their feedback.”

Project SWARM will run until March 2021. The SWARM research consortium is led by the planen-bauen 4.0 initiative, and includes six further partners alongside adesso: Ruhr-Universität Bochum, RIB Information Technologies, think project!, Fraunhofer IGD, eTASK Immobilien Software and TH Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences.

For more information, visit the project website:

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