Investing in the future? It’s best to invest in BIM!
Jeffrey Heimgartner posted on February 09, 2018 |

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has become a widely accepted platform for managing not only the phases of a building project from design to construction, but also for managing the building itself, as well as the assets contained within, throughout the entire building lifecycle. Many governments and even some private projects mandate that BIM be used. While BIM seems to be here to stay, it also continues to grow and evolve, which has made adoption of BIM difficult for some. Not fully understanding the technology, lack of funds, time or trained users have been obstacles that some firms have sighted. For those that are up to the challenge however, and willing roll up their sleeves and dive in, there is much to be gained. Kingspan, an Ireland based manufacturer of high performance insulation and building envelope solutions, is proving to be one of those companies willing to do just that.

Kingspan Group PLC recently announced that it is investing $10 million in Invicara, a cloud-based data management platform that helps owners and their design and construction partners create data-rich digital buildings, leveraging Building Information Modeling (BIM). This is definitely a noteworthy commitment on the part of Kingspan to advance their BIM initiatives and their development of a solution for the digitalization of the construction industry.

Kingspan has over 100 manufacturing facilities in over 60 countries and employs over 11,000 people worldwide. Their goal is that the company’s high performance insulation and building envelope solutions will improve building performance and construction methods that will ultimately improve people’s lives. Kingspan products include insulation, insulated panels, access floors, solutions for lighting and air, as well as environmental solutions aimed at preserving energy and water. About 70% of Kingspan business is for new construction while the other 30% is made up of refurbishment projects.

A Kingspan Lighting and Air Project (Image courtesy of Kingspan)
A Kingspan Lighting and Air Project (Image courtesy of Kingspan)

This isn’t the first BIM endeavor for Kingspan however; they already have some BIM objects available for a wide range of products that can be found on the UK’s NBS BIM Library. With this partnership though, Kingspan is taking the adoption of BIM to the next level by working together to leverage Invicara’s cloud-based platform to help build a new solution that uses design and construction data to create new digital workflows. With their investment, Kingspan gains a minority stake in Invicara - Louise Foody, Kingspan’s Director of Digital and Brand, and Mike Stenson, Head of Innovation at Kingspan, will be joining the Invicara Board of Directors.

Invicara is well known for helping owners and their design and construction partners create a data-rich “digital twin” of a building, by utilizing BIM. A digital twin not only contains all the information about the building; it also stores that data so that it is easily accessible by all project stakeholders. This helps to make sure everyone on the team has the latest designs and also the latest information regarding any changes in the field during construction. Invicara’s flagship program, BIM Assure, is what makes this possible and it’s currently in use on key projects in North America, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore.

Invicara BIM data workflows (Image courtesy of Invicara)
Invicara BIM data workflows (Image courtesy of Invicara)

It’s been said that “data is king” and Invicara asserts itself as a data platform for the entire lifecycle of a building - not just managing files and folders, but focusing on the data. They use BIM as a foundation for associating multiple sources of project data and documents. During design and construction, they start by verifying the model data is complete and meets the owner’s requirements. As the project moves forward they gather information and help organize it to provide a complete, reliable handover of an information model for operations. This provides the owners and operators of the building a “digital building manual” – an open, accessible, and extensible source for building information.

Invicara continues to expand this solution and has some significant new capabilities planned for release in 2018 as well. This partnership will help to enhance Invicara’s reach to customers and markets through Kingspan’s global presence in key market segments such as airports, healthcare, data centers, and retail among others.

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