I’m glad to share here the interview I had on a French Autodesk blog with Emmanuel Di Giacomo: http://abcdblog.typepad.com/abcd/2016/02/interview-bim-managers-episode-5-julien-benoit-bim-manager-legendre-construction.html
Here’s a GT version (disclaimer: some edition when it was really crappy but not so much…..just remember it is Google Translate 😉 )
Interview BIM Managers – Episode #5 Julien Benoit, BIM Manager – Legendre Construction
Our saga interviews BIM Managers resumed in early this year 2016. And with prestige it starts with the interview of one of the great names of BIM that radiates the France international, Julien Benoit, BIM Manager for the Legendre Group Construction and regular at international seminars since known for its highly specialized skills in the field.
BIM Manager – Responsable du pôle Préconstruction
Groupe Legendre Construction
It is a pleasure and an honor to receive you this week on Blog ABCD as part of this series of interviews BIM Managers who gets in this new year.
Could you first tell us briefly about your academic and professional briefly and tell us how you arrived at Legendre Construction?
I got a Civil Engineering degree in 1996. Then I started my career in the Bouygues group for a period of several years work as foreman.
This was followed by an experience in SMEs in site management at Vinci, before returning at Bouygues for engineering methods. I “met” Revit on this occasion. After a few years I changed jobs and developed the use of Revit. On the occasion of Rennes Metro project, and to restart my career, I joined in 2014 group Legendre.
You’re a figure of BIM in France, especially after going Bouygues and after hosting your blog. Could you tell us when you first heard of BIM and how you got proper process?
I started discovering a software, Revit. But in the projects in which I participated, I gradually discovered the advantages there would be for stakeholders to work more collaboratively, with a unifying technology such as digital model. I participated in events like the RTC conferences and exchanges with other countries, other actors, made me understand the importance of BIM for our industry. I firmly believe the AEC industry should become a leading industry. I decided that BIM would be my main business for the rest of my career.
Siège de Legendre – Maquette BIM
You are the cornerstone of BIM in construction Legendre. Have you built the Company to deploy this process at home? If so, what strategy have you put in place?
I actually joined the Legendre group for the referrer and the promoter of the implementation of BIM in the various entities. These are our projects that push us forward, but not in a wait strategy, where a customer request will force us to act, but having the desire to have constantly a step ahead. We must be proactive on this issue for our customers.
Our projects of Design&Build and Real Estate development are conducted in digital model, with a full BIM process.
Saussure – L-BA Architectes
How many people do you have under your direction and how do you move to BIM? Is long and difficult as is usually said?
My team consists currently of 7 people. We cover the BIM management, construction engineering and technical coordination.
The transition to BIM is done gradually, by setting up new processes to measurement of conducted experiments.
The solutions adopted for the control of a BIM process is then transmitted by a method of in house training, patient Zero concept.
Long and difficult? It’s a matter of perspective. It is necessary to lead an effort yes, and we must show determination after choices. I am the guarantor of the determination, and my goal is to minimize the effort required for my team.
Bureau de Julien Benoit…en BIM
What do you think the pillars of a successful outcome of BIM in business?
It must be a business project, not a single initiative. And do not believe that the acquisition of a technology means mastering the BIM process.
I think we need to be humble, and that nothing is written.
There is currently no method for the establishment of a BIM process in an entity, especially there are choices to make, then, it should be accompanied by experienced people. Also, a successful implementation is the result of collective work, actors business partners about our projects, clients.
Do you design and build you your projects in BIM or you limit yourself to the design phase?
We use the digital model as often as possible, namely on projects where we are responsible for technical studies and all trades coordination. Most of our construction and real estate development design projects are developed through a collaborative BIM process, integrating the design, coordination, implementation studies, methods and AsBuild model.
Our desire is to bring the model of all our projects at AsBuild, and in some cases we will bring the model to a level sufficient for the maintenance and operation.
What are the solutions or BIM vault keys with you?
First, our main production software is Autodesk Revit.
Then all our developments and acquisitions are thought and think about the IFC standard. We are partners now for 2 years with the collaborative platform BIMSync to Catenda. The IFC is the number 1 issue for us. Incompatible solution not excluded. We are also working closely with all other services of the group, because the BIM unites our developments.
You’re one of the open buildingSMART BIM® Experts in France. How this exchange format is does it fit into your workflow?
The IFC format allows us to receive models from our subcontractors s.a. frames, both wood and metal. This is a very effective solution.
This format is also used as the QTO visualization export.
This is also the way we control models, and make design verification through Solibri Model Checker. We also use the format on the BCF BIMSync platform for the review of our projects and collaboration in the cloud.
Do you use the open source engine Revit IFC and personalized you best for your needs?
Yes, I use the open source IFC export to Revit. We have not developed our own export from source, but it will not be long. This is in line with the R & D projects we lead.
What is the best memory of BIM project on which you worked and why?
My best memory refers to a design project construction of a waste sorting center. We worked with the process supplier thanks to IFC, and especially we have optimized the building design with the digital model, which brought together a scatter of the existing and the model of the future project.
Above all, the project manager was able to take advantage of this work in BIM while completely beginner.
What benefits BIM he brings essentially your company?
Beyond the increased productivity by the Revit user, we develop and learn new ways of working. BIM process that we carry can be summarized as: collaborative, agile, efficient.
It seems that some BIM Experts living in Britain, there you see a cause and effect?
Ahahahah ! no, any 😉
You’re one of the Founders of PRUG (Paris Revit User Group ed), how do you think this will contribute to the advance of BIM in France?
I consider as part of my job to communicate the fact and explain the new concept of our projects.
It is essential to make the extension, explain, debate, and especially about real, concrete cases. This group (PRUG) is a way to achieve this. It’s technical, practical. Those involved use the software every day. BIM structure building industry, we must explain again and again how and with what tools.
Are you involved in PTN and its working groups? And what do you think of this government initiative the sector scanning?
I am not involved in PTN. I think this is a good initiative, but I consider only actions count. Quite a few strong proposals for the moment, a lot of speeches. The industry players want facts.
Do you think we should make it mandatory BIM for public projects like our British neighbors, German, Spanish and Nordic?
Yes, that would be a strong signal. Today, a urban legend claims that BIM will be mandatory in France in 2017. This is false. Nothing, no text specifies. And make a mandatory thing in France takes time. The sector is not ready. So again, a lot of talk, little action. Wait and see …
You are recognized as a Great Experts Dynamo in Europe. Can you quickly tell us about the technology, its benefits, and also tell us what services you propose around this?
Dynamo is an Open Source visual programming software for interacting with multiple Autodesk software, mainly Revit; but also with other software such as MS Excel, Rhino, etc …
Dynamo automates common tasks, making operations impossible in the basic software and connects software and databases. We now use it in our daily production.
I propose to architects and daily users of Revit train to this solution, because I believe that any entity having as main production software Revit, will find immediate use, both in productivity and quality of production.
What are my next goals around BIM in Legendre? Are you interested in particular in the Virtual Reality?
My development goals on the 2 years to come concerning the digital model in maintenance operation phase, and reverse engineering from point clouds.
Furthermore, I must continue to develop the use of our collaborative platform.
Virtual Reality is interesting but still has much progress to be used in daily production. It was in my mid-term targets.
Do you have a particular message you’d like to convey to fans of BIM?
BIM is not a technology. It is a working method, which can be defined as the concurrent engineering applied to the building. So we are all actors. We must persevere, learn and above all share.
Again, thank you for your testimony. Bonne continuation Julien.
You can contact Julien Benoit, for expert advice and consulting on Dynamo here: