R&D – Research and Development
Our goal is to promote the change of the paradigm in the building sector, placing high importance on changing business conventions and models together with the extensive use of innovative solutions and opportunities of IT. For this, a building environment operating on new principles must be created, centred on cooperation between parties, where processes are viewed across the entire lifetime – from the birth of the idea to its disposal.
The innovation and development activities of Novarc encompass several fields such as BIM (building information management), developing new VDCM (virtual design, construction and facility management) products, managing processes in the digital environment and with the use of cloud technologies, energy efficiency, etc. We do all this in close cooperation with the digital building cluster and universities.
The BIG ROOM concept
An inherent part of innovative project management is the Big Room concept. The Big Room is a co-location space that physically brings together architects, engineers, owners and builders to work together. Along with many benefits, it aims to fight the most painful problem of construction projects – information fragmentation – using the concept to improve collaboration through greater team integration.
The frequency, duration and location of co-located work sessions in the project schedule may vary. For example, a four-hour knotworking session a week may be suitable for a smaller project and a permanent sharing of co-locative Big Room in the case of complex and large projects. Therefore, the requirement for and conduct of co-locative work depends on the nature of the particular project and the exchange of information between the parties involved. The objectives outlined in the implementation plan of the co-location will ensure a higher efficiency and a pleasant work environment.
Possible ways of implementing Big Room work are:
Permanent co-location – permanent or longer period of co-locative work carried out within a prolonged period;
Recurrent co-location – regular and intensive knotworking of the participants in a shorter and specific time to address pre-planned issues;
Variable co-location – combination of regular short meetings and virtual cooperation.
Such integration methods enable the team to deliver a higher performing building projects in time and on budget. Teams are able to design a building with systems that complement and support each other and the goals of the project. Co-location also makes it easier to ask team members for the latest information, reducing the time wasted looking for up-to-date information, or working with outdated information.
BIM as a venue of cooperation
As the initial creators of the BIM information model of a building and also the managers of the information model at the start of the lifetime of the building, we bring here the best solutions, functions, various simulations and analyses of options, and the use of various interfaces. This results in an output on new technological level – a virtual building which has been checked and is free of mistakes, used thereafter in the next stages of the lifetime. Thanks to cooperation between various parties, reworking and corrections can be avoided, saving up to 20% in the design step and even more in the building step.
New VDCM products for the lifetime of building
In cooperation with the digital building cluster, we take part in developing innovative VDCM products which operate in the prototype environment of the e-building portal. In the future, the e-building portal will interface with the building X-Road in progress through the developed Grid solution. The use of innovative VDCM products in the digital environment improves our international competitiveness, increases the market share, turnover and profit, and value added per employee.
Applications of the cloud technology in e-building
In cooperation with the digital building cluster and universities, we are developing the prototype of the data exchange environment of digital building for managing the lifetime of a building, which would eventually also interface to the X-Road of Estonia.
Managing LEAN processes and IPD
The biggest problem in the building sector is low value added. There is a lot of fragmentation, no common vision for the future and the current judicial area does not favour the application of new cooperation methods and IT opportunities. The application of LEAN process management and forms of cooperation oriented towards the final result (such as IPD, Alliance) enable to significantly increase the efficiency of the building sector.
The building sector will face a lot of changes in upcoming years. Due to the establishment of new energy consumption requirements by the European Union, all buildings of the public sector must meet the requirements of nearly zero-energy buildings from 2019 and all new buildings and extensively renovated buildings which receive a building permit from 2021 onwards. We are developing the technical solutions in cooperation with universities to reach those goals. In addition, we are in the process of development for launching energy-plus-houses online.
Digital building cluster
We take active part in the work of the digital building cluster formed in 2015, which is directed towards the increase of importance of innovation in the building sector and thereby to saving up to 30% of the cost of a building.
Cooperation with universities
We involve representatives of universities in our R&D. In cooperation, we find new methods of process management and innovative technical solutions. Upon increase of innovation in the building sector, young people will take increased interest in the specialty, which in turn will bring more competent architects and engineers to the sector.
Directing legislation and the creation of normative documents
As part of several work groups created by the state, we are developing norms and laws which support digital building, as well as the principles of value-based public procurements. The final goal is developing a new modern building strategy.