Five minutes with… Duc Huynh
In preparing to talk about creating more accurate digital twins using scan-to-BIM data at BILT Europe next month, we’ve been talking to Atlas’ BIM specialist and project manager Duc Huynh about what he loves about his work.
What are your clients requesting that they weren’t a year ago?
Digital design technology has become so mainstream, and we work with such innovators, that last year’s new ideas have quickly become standard practice. For example, using BIM models for facilities management was still an aspiration for many a couple of years ago, and this year we have been working on a digital twin for asset management of Hong Kong International Airport!
What new ideas are you working on at the moment that will become standard practice next year?
It’s all about new scan-to-BIM technologies at the moment. Speed, accuracy and detail are improving exponentially as the equipment becomes more accessible. Designers, contractors and asset owners all want real-world accuracy: they understand that there’s no such thing as a truly flat surface or a perfect right angle and want to use their 3D model for construction and more.
What’s the real value to a client of a data-rich BIM model?
Layers! Different knowledge captured from the beginning of the design process through construction and into the as-built model can be useful in so many ways.
Want to extend or change part of your building? Easy – we’ll just pull out that section. Need to change the windows? Simple – the specifications are all there. Want to understand where that gas pipe is and, importantly, why it’s 10cm west of the specified location? It’s all there.
Many projects now include an as-built model as a final deliverable to document the design and construction for the asset owner, and the owner after that.
Where does the innovation really lie?
In my experience, innovation isn’t so much about risk taking. We know what the technology can do. The tricky bit is getting it to work in less agile environments, which is why I spend so much of my time talking about standards. Design standards, yes, but also simple things like file structures, asset libraries and naming conventions. If everyone is working in a similar way, we can really push the technology to do more exciting things.
How much of your work is innovative?
We are always looking for better ways to do things – I’m an architect, that’s what I do. But it’s just as important that we can work the other way and extract accurate, detailed 2D drawings out of the model, as many people still like to work that way, particularly when a project goes on site.
The day will come when we’re all designing, building and operating the built environment digitally, but we’re not there yet.