The passion of coBuilder
“You have to have passion” says Lars Christian Fredenlund as he vigorously smacks his chest in the heart area. The venue is Borovets Hills Spa & Resort Conference room and the audience is tired by last-evenings passionate partying. The annual teambuilding event for the Bulgarian office of coBuilder has started with a lovely road-trip and a night that many of the employees will remember as the night swing and retro collided with pure Viking power.
It is the morning after now and we are trying to sip our coffee quietly in the conference room without too much conversation. Lars is the CEO of the Norwegian coBuilder and the company’s co-founder – he doesn’t look even a bit tired and the piston engine that is driving him inside puzzles me. Soon we are to be given a speech; he gets a book out of his backpack and jokes that he is promoting his new book “More blood”. We laugh. There are many new members of our team on board and we start from the beginning…
coBuilder’s solutions are so exciting because they are just what the construction industry needs at the moment. As building projects are becoming bigger, ever more complex and the actors of the supply chain become more diverse in terms of nationality, expertise and process management, we are bound to start thinking about collaboration.
We are data experts. From the very beginning, our company has focused on creating data repository of the construction products installed on a site and that is when most of construction professionals’ work was only available on paper. If there is a mantra in the company, the main word that we repeat is “DATA”. Data is the link between knowledge and execution; it is the smallest building block that everything in the built environment requires to function properly. Collaboration comes in as the sealing agent of all blocks. What will happen if we are not using the same technical language, what will happen if data is lost in e-mails and unreadable files and documents?
Today, Lars gives us a tour of our flagman product ProductXchange, he shows us where data meets collaboration. The platform allows every member of the construction supply chain can effortlessly use the data they require when they require it. ProductXchange automates data collection and distribution during the entire building life cycle. It acts as a single information hub that can ensure the interdisciplinary collaboration denoted by openBIM. Speaking of BIM, the direction our company is headed is towards the BIM future. All our systems are developed so that common data formats such as IFC and IFC4 as well as different software tools such as ArchiCAD and Revit can be utilised for the achievement of seamless data synergy.
We are currently trialling UK contractors such as Carillion and Balfour Beatty helping them to change their ways of handling “intelligent” construction data. We strive to help them in three data operation aspects: assembling the necessary product information available in PDFs to create an O&M manual; exporting the data into a COBie spreadsheet; and structuring the data in IFC format to export it to the as-built BIM model.
The world of openBIM (IFC+bSDD+IDM) is the future for the construction business and by all means the best way so far to head in a “greener” direction. It is Lars’ and our passion to lift the performance of the industry. He emphasizes – “we are doing something people get excited about, we are giving them a solution of problems that are hindering their performance and they know it – be proud, collaborate and most importantly – do it with passion”.
The mood is elevated in the room. I can see people who previously were slumping in their chairs are now sitting up-right and alert. We have now witnessed the truest passion – the entrepreneurial passion …. and it does make a change when seen in your company’s leader.