The FRILO BIM-Connector® shines with new functions

Connection to the FRILO Building Model established with the 2022-1 release

BIM is often referred to as the future of building because the method, with its integral character, promises the optimization of planning processes and interdisciplinary project collaboration. With the development of the FRILO BIM-Connector®, FRILO has contributed to this ongoing evolution in networked building planning. With the release 2022-1, which was delivered in November, the software provider has now achieved the next milestone: the range of functions has been expanded to include a connection to the FRILO Building Model.

Continuously developing digital technologies present the construction industry with major challenges, but at the same time hold enormous potential in terms of increasing quality, efficiency and speed, which must be used. Building Information Modeling (BIM for short) is a key element in exploiting this potential. BIM is understood to be a cooperative working method through which construction objects are mapped on the basis of digital building models over their entire life cycle with all their relevant information. The holistic planning and control concept provides that data are consistently recorded, managed and exchanged in a transparent communication between the project participants or transferred for further processing. Planning, construction and management of buildings are networked and optimized using sophisticated software. Increased efficiency and quality, the reduction of manual transmission errors, simplified information management and more planning security are just some of the numerous BIM advantages that will make the approach significantly shape the future of the construction industry.

FRILO makes a contribution with BIM-Connector®

As a provider of software for the static calculation of building structures, FRILO is inevitably involved in the planning process of buildings and is therefore responsible for making a significant contribution to the successful implementation of BIM. This endeavor is reflected in the development of the FRILO BIM-Connector® (FBC for short). The FRILO BIM-Connector® pursues the clear aim of bringing the collaboration between architects and structural engineers to a new level of efficiency. In terms of integral planning, the BIM Connector ensures the smoothest possible and manufacturer-independent data exchange between the two disciplines. Building data can be quickly imported, processed and then presented to the user as a 3D building model with additional property data. For this collaborative way of working, the file formats IFC and SAF are used as a common basis for the software solutions used.

Data exchange on IFC basis

IFC (= Industry Foundation Classes) is an open standard that is used for data exchange in the construction industry. The IFC format allows the creator a software-neutral description of building models. It can transmit geometry, attributes and descriptions of components as well as building structures. The workflow begins in the architect's CAD software, in which the model is created. The IFC file is then transferred to the FRILO BIM-Connector and initially opened as a physical model consisting of volume elements. This is where the model is cleaned up so that it can be passed on without errors. Calculation floors can be restructured, components that are not relevant can be removed, specifications for the subsequent dimensioning can be defined and the materials and quality of material used can be assigned. After the physical model has been cleaned up, you can switch to the Analytical model. This model contains only statically relevant components and consists only of bar and surface elements. The prerequisites for structural calculations are created in the Analytical model. The functions provided enable the user to generate a correct static model. Gravity lines of components that have not previously met can be intersected with a click of the mouse. Component axes can be pushed over one another for axis-oriented modeling and the correct transfer of loads. Walls can also be edited with regard to their openings. Small recesses and openings as well as small beam sections, supports, walls and small plates can be removed at will. In addition, surface elements can be assigned a new calculated thickness.

Data exchange on SAF basis

In addition to IFC files, structural engineers can also import SAF files with the BIM-Connector. The SAF format is enjoying increasing popularity because it is particularly suitable for the direct exchange of analytical models. SAF (= Structural Analysis Format) is an Excel-based open source file format that also allows project participants to work together on a software-neutral basis. In contrast to the IFC file, the output file that is transferred to the BIM-Connector is not based on architectural plans, but on a structure analysis model that has already been created. As a result, the BIM connector is already started in the program interface of the Analytical model after the automatic transfer. Components are therefore transferred already connected, materials are already assigned.

Once the preparation of the file - regardless of whether IFC or SAF - has been completed in the Analytical model, individual components can be selected and transferred to the connected FRILO calculation programs, where the component dimensioning ultimately takes place. So far, the user has been able to control the FRILO plate with finite element PLT solution for component dimensioning, which is used to calculate plate structures with complex storage conditions or load patterns. A transfer to the Reinforced Concrete Column B5+ program for the calculation of reinforced concrete columns and walls stressed on one or two axes was already possible.

Connection to the Building Model eagerly awaited

With the 2022-1 release, the connection to the GEO Building Model has now also been delivered. Since then, users have had the option of importing the prepared Analytical model directly into the FRILO Building Model GEO. The Building Model is a modern tool for quickly determining the load transfer of a complete structure in the usual solid construction. The calculation of the vertical load transfer is carried out floor by floor from top to bottom. With this further development, FRILO has taken the next step towards the smoothest and most time-efficient exchange of data between architecture and structural planning, since the entire building no longer has to be created step by step by the structural planner since the software update. Instead, all components from the Analytical model can be automatically transferred to the Building model. After the handover has taken place, the user can make adjustments as usual and carry out his calculations. The integration of the BIM connector can therefore represent an enormous relief, especially in time-consuming project phases.

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