Bouygues Bâtiment introduces digital construction layout processes on a prestigious project in Paris

Case study

Author: Ilona Bihlmayer

Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction in the region of Paris, France, specialises in the construction of buildings, both commercial and residential, as well as rehabilitation and new construction.

Bouygues is involved in the project to build the “Grand Equipment Documentary” (GED), a large documentary facility. This 23,000 sqm platform will store more than one million books on social research and human sciences. The architect of this building, which will be located in the heart of the Condorcet campus area of Aubervilliers, is Elizabeth De Portzamparc, who won the competition to design the GED.

“There is a strong architectural requirement on the different lots that must be observed in terms of finishing but also in terms of structural work. Publicly visible facades require exactly positioned walls, pillars, and beams. Another characteristic of this site is an all-reinforced concrete staircase made of curved sails, and inside of this staircase, there will be a room with circular reinforced concrete railings, so something quite monumental,” explains Philippe Richard, Productivity and Ergonomy R&D Director at Bouygues.

Innovative buildings demand innovative construction

GED’s complex structures throughout the entire building and a tight timeframe were the main challenges Bouygues had to face. To be able to take up these challenges, a layout workflow that guarantees accuracy and efficiency was needed.

Up to that point, the layout process was a time-consuming manual process with many repetitive steps, often leading to errors. Bouygues needed a digital solution to get their layout jobs done faster, with maximum accuracy and efficiency.

To meet the high expectations of the GED project manager and the architect, Bouygues Bâtiment, introduced the “BIM to Field” process internally. According to Richard, this process facilitates and improves the layout workflows on site.

“By introducing BIM processes onto Bouygues’ construction sites and training our employees on digital construction layout techniques, we were able to layout 3-4 times faster as well as to increase accuracy,” said Richard

Bouygues made a comparative study between different suppliers of robotic total stations; the study showed that Leica Geosystems’ solution could meet the project’s needs. The solution comprises a robotic total station, the Leica iCON iCR70 with Leica iCON build construction software running on the Leica iCON CC80 tablet computer.

Support of fully rendered 3D models in IFC format

One of the main reasons that led Bouygues to trust the Leica iCON solution is the support of IFC data in Leica iCON build. With this, Bouygues can upload the architects' design data directly into the software. Having the fully rendered 3D models digitally available onsite helps the layout specialists to keep track of their work.

The integrated IFC viewer simplifies the view of the layout data of a complex multi-story building. By showing or hiding certain elements and navigate within the complete model, the complex data turns into an easy-to-read graphical interface. Levels or object families of the building can be hidden or displayed in iCON build to keep track of the operators' work allowing for a simple, fluid, and fast visualization of the entire building.

BIM has arrived on site

Mr. Philippe Richard says that “Thanks to this new solution, our layout specialists can layout faster and therefore have more time to ask questions and be more confident about what they are doing. This has helped to increase the efficiency within the team as they can complete their tasks quicker and with less stress,” explains Richard. “Thanks to the “BIM to Field”, we are taking the first step to a digital construction site. It is BIM that will push digitalisation on site. We have reached a first major milestone, which is the acceptance of BIM and digitalisation on our construction projects.”

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