What favors digital projects
And there are some factors that are accelerating this development: the omnipresent shortage of labor and skilled workers, the increasing need for maximum efficiency on the construction site. "The desire of customers to build as quickly as possible at some point requires the switch to building with larger formats, which can then no longer be assembled by hand, but requires the help of a mini-crane," says Radischewski, citing another reason.
It is precisely these circumstances that make digital planning with the help of blue.sprint so interesting for customers: Even in the planning phase, the virtual model assigns costs and processing times to all components. With this "digital twin", they can retrieve all important parameters and properties in the long term. When which components are delivered to the construction site is also already recorded in the model. "For the customer, this means less planning effort and thus lower costs."
Digitalization succeeds decentrally
It's no wonder that interest in project planning with blue.sprint is increasing: "We have more and more major customers who value digital planning. This saves the customer time, i.e. another added value." Radischewski knows from his own experience what building owners really need: Before joining Xella, he was planning manager for major construction projects at an international planning company.
As part of the central digitization team, he supports colleagues where digitization projects take place: at the individual sites. But that's not all: the team also ensures that the benefits of digitization become known and that the respective sites build up their own expertise. "For us, this is an ongoing process that we accompany closely: Our team tries to be present at all internal sales events, we hold webinars, and BIM is always part of onboardings." Digitization must take hold at the sites, Radischewski said. BIM experts on site are urgently needed for this, he said.
Less effort, lower costs - for all building types.
An important argument for convincing employees at the various sites to offer digital construction projects to customers is: "We can build more cost-effectively and faster. Material costs are one thing, but many people forget the other factors: construction duration, the number of employees on the construction site. Those who plan digitally efficiently here save real money." A recent study by the University of Bielefeld, for example, showed that the high speed and efficiency of BIM projects can save considerable costs. There's also a guarantee of quality when it comes to materials: "We can offer large-format bricks that are already pre-sawn and can be installed without making any mistakes."
Even single-family homes can be planned digitally
Radischewski has already supported a wide variety of projects with blue.sprint, including complete housing developments: "The first question our customers often ask us is, 'Can we also plan single-family houses for you? That's possible, of course, but it makes more sense if they are type houses, i.e. built more often." In general, he says, this applies to all conceivable building types, such as kindergartens, hospitals, or dormitories for students.
Customer benefits are always particularly evident in tightly timed construction projects. One example is the construction of the Marissa vacation park in Lower Saxony, which Xella supported: 253 detached vacation homes and 216 residential units in 36 apartment buildings were built in just two and a half years thanks to blue.sprint planning - only one week of construction time remained per shell. The customer is convinced after completion: "A second vacation park with BIM planning has already been agreed."
"It won't work completely without people!"
When it comes to increasing efficiency on the construction site even further, Radischewski is repeatedly asked about the future vision of a human-free construction site. But the legal situation in many countries is currently still making this development difficult. As long as a robot is working on a construction site, no human being is allowed to be present. Radischewski does not foresee artificial intelligence becoming widespread on construction sites until ten years from now - and even then he still has reservations: "Even a machine has failures. It won't work entirely without humans!"
Digitalization also means constant change at Xella. Thus, further developments are also on the horizon at blue.sprint: "We are planning uniform software with a customer cloud, and a QR code will soon be standard for retrieving 3D models. In addition, we are working on 3D scanning for construction sites - so the customer no longer has to record the buildings by hand, but can scan them conveniently."