Architecture & Construction

How BIM cured the Édouard Herriot hospital

How BIM cured the Édouard Herriot hospital

For several years, the transition from CAD (Computer-Aided Design) to BIM (Building Information Modelling) has truly revolutionised the construction sector. It represents the most significant development since computers replaced the drawing board in the 1980s. So much so that, eventually, the adoption of BIM technology will be essential for all architectural firms, regardless of their size.

Michel Rémon & Associés took that step in 2013. “The move was largely due to our partners, who had already implemented these new tools,” explains Razvan Gorcea, the architect responsible for BIM and ISO9001 at Michel Rémon & Associés. “It was a natural evolution for us.” The Parisian firm, which employs 35 architects, works on complex large-scale projects of significant technical complexity, such as hospitals, laboratories, research centres and industrial buildings. In doing so, it needs to create project management teams with partners from all trades (construction, plumbing, electricity, etc.). The BIM tool is particularly suited to this form of collaborative work as it brings all the players together around a single 3D digital model.


Centralise all data

Supported by CAD-UC, an expert in CAD technologies with whom they have worked regularly for about ten years, Michel Rémon & Associés chose Revit, the BIM solution from Autodesk. “Previously, we were working with various CAD or 3D drawing software programs (AutoCAD, Sketchup, etc.), which could generate hundreds of files for a complex project, thereby increasing the risk of errors,” explains Razvan Gorcea. “Revit allows us to bring everything together in a single shared file on a server where everyone works. BIM centralises all the data.”

Implementing BIM is no small feat. “You can’t just take a three-day training course to get a firm to switch to a whole new way of working,” says Razvan Gorcea. In addition to producing documents, BIM contributes to areas such as project management, human resources and collaboration with partners. Michel Rémon & Associés began by forming an initial team of four people over five days. This team was then supported for four months by CAD-UC during the establishment of the project phase for the construction of an R&D centre for Airbus Helicopters in Marignane (Bouches-du-Rhône, France). Since this first successful experience, all of the company’s teams have been trained in the Revit solution. “It took over a year, but we did not want to be working at two different speeds within the company,” explains Razvan Gorcea.


BIM d’argent 2016

On 19 September, Michel Rémon & Associés received the BIM d’argent 2016 award from the Moniteur group. This award recognises the best French approaches to BIM and digital modelling. The winning project concerns the modernisation of the Édouard Herriot hospital in Lyon. This includes the construction of a new 20,000 m2 building. Designed in the 1930s by architect Tony Garnier, the site has been classified as a historical monument. “We were awarded the project in 2012,” says Razvan Gorcea. “It was originally designed using CAD. Michel Rémon decided to move to BIM after two years of working on the project.” The modernisation of the Édouard Herriot hospital was limited by issues related to the extremely compact nature of the site and by its classification as a historical monument. Michel Rémon & Associés worked on the project with 13 partners. “It was a level 2 BIM collaboration,” explains Razvan Gorcea, “This means that each partner works on their own model that they then share with the others.” The whole process was governed by a collaborative framework protocol which sets out the rules for all the partners. In the end, all the models were merged into a single one that incorporates all the disciplines before being forwarded to the builder. For Razvan Gorcea, “this project was truly a pilot operation for the project owner, for all the companies and for us.”



credit: ©Michel Rémon & Associés