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Q&A: Torben Dalgaard, Dalux

It’s BIM on site… and it’s free

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A free viewer from Danish company Dalux is the most downloaded BIM app in the Nordics. BIM+ spoke to co-founder Torben Dalgaard about the app and the issues limiting adoption of BIM on site.

What does Dalux do?

Dalux develops “construction BIM” for construction sites and for facilities management. With more than 15 million sq m of models in our “BIM cloud” we are one of the most used BIM vendors for construction.

For example, the largest construction site in northern Europe, a 380,000 sq m hospital in Aarhus, Denmark, has used Dalux from 2012 for all quality workflows for all contractors, including BIM from all disciplines.

We’ve seen a succession of project management tools/BIM viewers come to the market in recent years. What makes Dalux different?

Creating software that works is fairly easy, but creating software that the users want to use is very difficult. With construction in focus, we have created a product that is very user friendly without losing features. Mainly focusing on the worker and their tasks on creating supervision notes, snagging, safety inspections etc. our users state that they like to use our products.

We also believe our mobile BIM viewer is the fastest available. It can handle very large BIM models, which are directly uploaded from architects and engineers into one huge BIM model. We’ve also created what we think is the best way to combine 2D worksheets and BIM models in a user-friendly way.

The cloud-based PC BIM viewer also combines 2D and 3D on large BIM models in a user friendly and quick manner. Our apps also work offline which, for some users, is a key feature.

What are the main factors limiting the use of BIM on site?

Office people often believe that BIM models are too complicated for the construction workers and they do not know that there is an easy way to access all the BIM models on site. But the same workers are able to use Google Maps on their mobile phone to get to work.

So people can easily navigate the entire earth using their phone, but not the building in which they are working. We believe that the main limiting factor for not using BIM on site is the knowledge of what is possible and that it can be easy.

Why did you make the decision to make Dalux free?

Many BIM models are created by engineers and architects, but are never used by construction workers. We decided to create a very user friendly product to close that gap.

Making it free to access the BIM models hopefully accelerates BIM maturity on the construction sites and maybe some of the free users like the way we make software and will decide to upgrade to our paid for Dalux Field or DaluxFM product.

How does it make money?

The Dalux FreeBIM product is free for PC, Android, iPad and iPhone products and includes some cool BIM features. Our premium product, Dalux Field, includes the workflows for supervision notes, snagging, safety inspections etc.

DaluxFM is our second premium product which contains a BIM-focused facilities management software including helpdesk, planned maintenance, spare management and lease management.

Creating software that works is fairly easy, but creating software that the users want to use is very difficult. With construction in focus, we have created a product that is very user friendly without losing features. – Torben Dalgaard, Dalux