Achieving BIM Level 2 Success. Specialist guidance and technical support enables solar shading specialist to improve interaction with potential customers and increase demand for its products.
Function feeds form
Apart from its functional attributes, shading can have a profound effect on the appearance of a building so careful choice of material, style and positioning is all part of the building design process.
“Our exposure to the market is much greater and our enquiry rate has gone up by 40%”
Solinear is an established expert in this sector, designing, manufacturing and installing solar shading products and architectural louvres. Available in different profiles and pitches, the company’s wide range of standard products can be combined with canopies and verandahs to create a customised look and feel. Solinear also provides a completely bespoke design service.
By partnering with Majenta Solutions the company has updated the technology used for product development, improved its design process and enabled architects to specify its products with ease.
The first phase was to upgrade Autodesk Inventor, the software Solinear was using for mechanical design. Majenta identified that Solinear could improve efficiency in various areas and developed training for users. “Majenta brought their in-depth knowledge, advising us on how to gain the most from Inventor through closely tailored one to two training,” reports Tony Dwyer, Director.
The focus was particularly on how to move on from 2D to 3D, utilize geometry most effectively and use rendering software to visualise and showcase products. As a result Solinear can now show customers exactly how a particular design will look and provide a more accurate quotation – before anything is actually made.
“Because architects often come to us with strong design intent it’s extremely beneficial that we can demonstrate clear understanding,” comments Dwyer. “We are leading the way in our sector with regard to visualization of a design. Our ability to give architects a clear view of the end product supports the likelihood that they will specify one of our products.”
Majenta also assisted with automation of the manufacturing process. Once Solinear has finished a design a cutting schedule can be produced at the push of a button. This avoids the time and effort taken up by manual intervention.
Understanding and implementing BIM
With impending government requirements around BIM (Building Information Modelling), progression in this area was the natural next stage. “We were aware of the regulations but had not really grasped what we were meant to do,” comments Dwyer. “Majenta’s specialists were very patient and understanding around BIM, presenting the basic concept, detailing the requirements for minimum compliance and explaining the significance of metadata.”
With comprehensive training and advice from Majenta, the Solinear team learnt how to simplify digital design data and prepare BIM files in the correct format, safeguarding the company’s intellectual property. The team then decided to create a dedicated BIM web site and Majenta assisted with creation of an online portal for the downloading of BIM files for standard products.
Making it easier to specify Solinear
Solinear’s BIM website is a click through from the general web site and has a registration and verification process. The web portal alerts the company about anyone requesting a BIM file so it is easy to track interest. Monthly reports analyse downloads from across the site, highlighting the most popular pages.
Even the supply of bespoke BIM files takes only two or three days. Using Autodesk Inventor the Solinear designers can manipulate all CAD file types, easing communication at the earliest stages of project design. They can, for example, accept a REVIT model directly from an architect or designer, incorporate a BIM file and return all the data in REVIT file format. This capability means that Solinear can usually respond to any query within one week.
“Before, we had a web site that was neither contemporary nor dynamic,” comments Tony Dwyer. “As a result of the consultancy and services provided by Majenta we now we have an interconnected online presence that incorporates social media and BIM and demonstrates our full capability. Our exposure to the market is much greater and our enquiry rate has gone up by 40%.”