How NOVAM benefits from Allplan and Design to Build

February 15, 2023

NOVAM, a French multidisciplinary engineering consultancy, explains why Allplan is the solution of choice for their construction projects.

Since 1981, NOVAM Ingénierie (short: NOVAM) has been providing multidisciplinary engineering and project management services across the building, infrastructure, water, industrial and environmental sectors. A major name in France, they have more than 230 employees located across eight technical design offices, covering a wide range of building engineering services. Their mission is to provide solutions for architects and building projects, simplifying everything from the initial conception to the construction execution.

A Collaborative Process

Achieving this requires a collaborative partnership and a sense of team spirit, which is one of NOVAM’s key values. Their approach is one of realistic and participatory design, where the project team is present from the first sketches until the delivery of the building. This co-design method means that NOVAM work closely with the project management teams, architects, and other specialists throughout the project, developing relationships built on trust.

One way they do this is by creating a 3D model of the building and then using virtual reality to allow their clients to experience the building before it is built. This helps guarantee that the final building is what the client expected before it is built, so any changes can be made during the design process.

1-Caractéristiques_modales_Mode_1-CHU-RennesCHU de Rennes - 3D collaborative BIM model with Allplan. Modelling of the structure with highlighting of the displacements under the effect of an earthquake. It is from this model that model that the forces applied to the building are calculated. This results in the design of the structure and the reinforcement plans. Copyright: NOVAM

Delivering Challenging Projects

NOVAM design with the construction process and final concept in mind, ensuring the design can be built. The aim is to construct a building that will last it’s expected lifetime, or even longer, and that requires as little intervention as possible during that timeframe. To do this means that the right materials must be used in the right places, which takes time.

Another key area for NOVAM is ensuring sustainable development. By constantly developing new ideas, they strive to make the act of building a positive one. Ensuring that their designs are energy efficient and use fewer resources – both during construction and operation – is another challenge.

As one of the major multidisciplinary consultancies in France, NOVAM are involved in many large and complex construction projects, such as the Future Center for Interventional Surgery at the Rennes University Hospital. Estimating quantities for projects of this scale takes a considerable amount of time to get right. There is also constant pressure on the design team to ensure that the design is delivered on time.

Vue_3D_3CHU de Rennes - 3D collaborative BIM model with Allplan. Structural studies in design and execution. Copyright: NOVAM

How Allplan Helps NOVAM

Allplan has helped NOVAM deliver their projects more successfully in many ways. Working in 3D has provided benefits not just in terms of being able to create accurate 3D models, but also for managing information more effectively. “Allplan helps me in that it offers many tools that allow us to model in 3D. Such models are a huge database. It allows us to link everything: what it costs, what it is, the quantities that are associated with it. This results in the building. It is also a tool that allows us to realize many very precise details, whether it’s reinforcement or a general arrangement detail,” explains Antoine, BIM Manager at NOVAM.

Allplan has also significantly reduced the time taken to calculate quantities and estimates, freeing up time for other activities. Thierry Palvadeau, Director General of NOVAM explains: “Once we started working on projects with Allplan, we integrated the properties and that allowed us to do estimating quickly. So that is the whole area of estimating; so, the quantities to do the estimates.” Thierry Mechineau, Architect Co-manager of the firm GPAA, agrees: “And that is confirmed by calculations and a whole range of elements that the project meets the requirements, and that is reassuring.”

Having an accurate set of quantities and construction drawings leads to other benefits for NOVAM. “This means that we can start with a much more complete and much better designed project on the construction site,” explains Florian, Project Manager at NOVAM. It also helps the team adhere to their delivery schedule, as Thierry Mechineau points out: “It’s a real gain in time and precision in our profession, where we are constantly running behind the time.”

Having worked with Allplan for several years, NOVAM are convinced of the advantages that it provides. “Allplan is also a solution that we’ve always seen evolve. We’re always one step ahead of others with this software,” concludes Thierry Palvadeau.

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