Customer Story EDF ⚡ [2022]: A global vision of my buildings thanks to BIM dashboards 

Written by Julian
Customer stories
March 21, 2022

Home » Customer stories » Customer Story EDF ⚡ [2022]: A global vision of my buildings thanks to BIM dashboards 

How can we ensure that EDF benefits from its BIM approach quickly, simply and from the start?

Insights from Benjamin Rousseaux, Project Manager at EDF Lab R&D

EDF means “Électricité de France”, you can see more on their website

EDF’s R&D department is, among other things, in charge of analyzing internal business needs in order to examine the most suitable solutions and propose a global and efficient BIM design process to EDF’s businesses.

This approach includes testing and the implementation of BIM software tools.

The objective is of course to get the maximum benefit from the BIM approach, which is not always easy to set up within an organization.

In this context, SeveUp naturally proposed to accompany EDF’s R&D. Together we focused on the following major issue:

How to benefit quickly, seamlessly, and from the start from the advantages of a BIM approach?

Focusing on the end user(s) and their needs

The result of the BIM process must benefit the end-user.

By providing simple, quick and contextualized access to data

main source of value of the building information modeling approach.

Some EDF departments and subsidiaries have already launched a BIM workflow and have several digital models built with a BIM charter. This charter defines, in addition to the main rules of good modeling, all the business data to be implemented in the various BIM models.

As a reminder, the BIM digital mockup is a component of the BIM collaborating process that has the capacity to store and order all the desired data to be subsequently used and processed.

Even if these data are associated with objects, following a technical and spatial graphical logic, it is necessary to implement treatments to have synthetic decisional information.

The objective of our mission is to allow EDF to exploit the potential of the data contained in an openBIM model. In this context, we have implemented the various management tools and support necessary to achieve this goal.

How to transform the data of EDF’s BIM models into information? (the I of BIM)

By applying the principles of Business Intelligence.

In order to transform data into building information, we proposed to EDF R&D to apply the principles of Business Intelligence (BI) on the data of BIM models.

Some practical definitions!

RAW data: These are uninterpreted data, without any real context, and which cannot be directly exploited.

Information: Information is data that has been transformed according to a defined analysis and process. Information has logical meanings, is relevant to specific uses, and is useful in decision making.

In order to transform the raw data contained in the BIM digital models into information to give them value, we have implemented the principles of Business Intelligences (BI) on BIM data by creating dashboards, real decision-making tools, thanks to the BIM model data.

By creating BIM dashboards

BIM dashboards (built with data from BIM models) are real decision support tools.

They have interactive elements to filter and combine different information. They highlight measures and indicators that allow a direct analysis of information. They also integrate a 3D visualization of the digital BIM models concerned. This visual is the result of the selections and filters given by the different interactive elements of the dashboard.

A BIM dashboard is defined and built according to one or more specific uses by addressing different profiles (users) according to their needs, scheduling and their business.

Why did we support EDF R&D by implementing the principles of Business Intelligence?

To make their BIM data accessible

to all actors (without training, management software or specific BIM skills).

By a smart view through filters following the spatial tree structure, and then filtering again by object typology. The objects and object types are counted following this logic.

  • Storey-Level filter = Level 4
  • Spaces filter = Office 5P
  • Assets filter = Furnishing Element

By a smart view dedicated to a specific business (in our case, the security business). Indeed, the objective is to display only useful information according to the user (his department, his specific job within the construction project) of the dashboard.

To analyze the different rooms / spaces of their buildings

In the form of relevant indicators in order to have the right information related to the typologies of the building spaces.

By sorting and isolating the different rooms according to the materials of each room (nature of the ceilings, floors, walls) to analyze the different quantities and to have a precise knowledge of the patrimony allowing to improve the quality of the calls for tender for maintenance or renovation.

To analyze the different facades of their buildings

By isolating the objects considered as external (the elements of facades), in order to analyze the various quantities via sorting by materials.

As part of the project, we created a dashboard that addresses different users, in addition to the need for accessibility and analysis of BIM data detailed above. A preliminary and complementary need was raised: to check and trace the evolution of BIM data over time.
We have defined this need as follows:

To control their BIM 3d models

in relation to their data requirements

Are the data requested by EDF (in the BIM charter) present and compliant with the BIM model?

By checking the presence of the parameters requested in the BIM charter in the BIM models.

By checking the filling of the present parameters.

To track the evolution of their BIM data

according to the life cycle of the models. Highlight the right metrics to track the progress of a model over the whole life of the building.

How did we define the several BIM dashboards to be created for EDF?

We have associated our expertise with our partner IM-PACT in order to conduct meetings to discuss and collect needs in order to create BIM dashboards focused on customer uses and customer businesses.

This phase took place in 5 steps:

  • Recovery of input data: the BIM specifications and the BIM models.
  • First needs assessment meeting to answer the following questions :
    • What uses cases will we cover ?
    • What kind of data will we transform ?
    • What indicators will we monitor ?
    • What different dashboards to create ?
  • Recovery of input data: the BIM specifications and the BIM models.
  • First needs assessment meeting to answer the following questions :
    • What uses cases will we cover ?
    • What kind of data will we transform ?
    • What indicators will we monitor ?
    • What different dashboards to create ?
  • Creation of version 1 of the different dashboards.
  • Exchange meeting around the different dashboards and recovery of the various feedback from EDF by SeveUp for integration.
  • Finalization of dashboards

This first phase of analysis allows us to focus on the final uses and to clearly define the essential data to be rigorously implemented in the BIM model and, above all, to separate ourselves from the non-essential data, as they are not directly linked to a final need.

This selective sorting of data seems trivial, but will greatly facilitate the implementation of data throughout the BIM process.

How will EDF use the dashboards with all their BIM models?

Once the dashboard templates have been imported via Power BI Desktop during the analysis phase, EDF will have to :

  • Create a new project on SeveUp App.
  • Load BIM models into the mobile app.
  • Select and download one of the pre-built intuitive dashboard templates.
  • Open the dashboard(s) in Power BI and simply click on “Refresh Data.”

What benefits does EDF R&D see in this approach?

Have a global vision of a group of buildings (multi-site management) via synthetic reports without having to open different models via business specialists.
This global vision allows you to quickly identify and define the different actions to be taken on the building design in the real estate portfolio. And, for example, prioritize the buildings to be renovated.

Ensure the correct evolution and compliance of BIM models in the context of building maintenance contracts.
Indeed, the BIM model of a building must be updated according to the maintenance actions carried out on the building over its lifecycle to be able to claim a correct use.

What tools did we use to move from BIM to BI?

Tools used :

SeveUp App for :

  • Convert BIM models into relational databases.
  • Load the Power BI models defined previously in the analysis phase.
  • Set up Power BI models according to the BIM models chosen by the user.

Microsoft Power BI Desktop for :

  • Create user-friendly, customizable dashboard templates in the analysis phase.
  • Used as a dashboard player once they have been set up in SeveUp App

SeveUp builds your BIM dashboards based on your challenges

Our BIM specialists are at your listening to advise you in the exploitation of your BIM data