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Start-up courts contractors with AI-based BIM pre-construction software

7 November 2018 | By Denise Chevin

A London-based start-up that has developed AI-based programmes to automate pre-construction processes from BIM models, says it is in talks with a number of UK contractors.

Kreo has developed two new software programs that it launched at Digital Construction Week in October.

The first is Kreo Plan, which uses data from BIM models and can take off quantities, produce cost estimates, schedule construction work and visualise sequencing, and be shared at no cost to be used by firms in the bidding process.

The second program in the suite provides “off-the-shelf” BIM models for residential and office buildings that integrate the design and structural software – so if, say, the floorplan is altered the structure is automatically altered as well.

Head of marketing at Kreo Software, Julia Valentine, said this is the first software to bring BIM construction planning resources in a single, cloud-based integrated platform. At the moment the software works as a Revit plug-in but Kreo is also working on versions that can be used with other BIM software.

Kreo Plan can take off quantities, produce cost estimates, schedule construction work and visualise sequencing

The software takes information from a BIM model, produces a full classification of the data, automatically detects errors and then produces dashboards of the building elements, materials costs, Gantt charts and 4D simulation model. The software allows users to send and receive comments and information requests and mark up the BIM model in real time.

It allows the user to review options, using different materials and then automatically produces different costing, which is based on BCIS cost data.

“The next stage is then experts would feed in their own knowledge to hone the results,” said Valentine. “That may be knowledge about costs suddenly increasing for certain materials; or some materials being in short supply, or specific requirements of the building. This programme does not take the place of people, it provides an operating basis, and in doing so improves efficiency.

“We see it very much as a tool for pre-construction planning. The information in the model is in a common data environment and can be shared to other team members, or with bidders at no additional cost.”

Valentine said they were talking to a number of major contractors who were showing interest in the programme.

Kreo Design provides ready-made BIM models for certain types of buildings

Kreo is also working with consultants on an associated programme called Kreo Design, which provides ready-made BIM models for certain types of buildings. At the moment this is restricted to simple office buildings and residential.

“It’s a very simple tool for office and residential models. It could be used by an architect to speed up design. You can change say the floor plan and this would automatically change the structure as well, as the design and engineering elements are integrated – which we believe is a first,” said Valentine.

“This would not be used as full design solution, but to provide a quick and efficient way of trying options to allow costings and sequencing to be produced and then easily shared.”

She added: “Neither of these programmes will take the place of specialised professionals, you are always going to need human knowledge.”

Kreo was set up in 2017 by British Russian Magomed Galaev who is its CEO. Galaev has a background in mining and investment banking and is investing his own money in the venture. He is employing a 50-strong team of mathematicians and engineers based in Belarus to develop the programmes and has a team of six in the UK.

“We are concentrating on the UK market to begin with because it is further along with using BIM, but eventually we want to target the US,” said Valentine.