Norwegian company Rendra has just launched its field BIM model streaming service to the UK construction market.
The service allows users to stream selected views and segments of BIM models direct to tablets or laptops in the field, then upload as-built photos and notes to the federated BIM model directly from their device.
BIM models originated in any software, converted into IFC format, are uploaded to the Rendra platform and federated there, along with related 2D drawings.
Rendra then acts as a “YouTube for BIM” solution, with model views streamed to devices in the field rather than being downloaded. But when users upload any reports, photos or documentation, these will be permanently stored in the relevant files of the federated model.
Sigve Pettersen, co-founder and head of marketing at Rendra, told BIM+: “It’s the first streaming revolution for BIM. Information is rendered according to what [users] want to see, you can choose which disciplines you want to see the stream down the model data. And you can put a filter on the disciplines, for example you might want to see only the electrical model.”
Model views are streamed to devices in the field
Pettersen explained that Rendra converts the BIM model data into a format that enables it to be streamed readily. “When you upload the model, we pre-process it in small chunks then we send those small chunks to the client and it renders the model. So we do the ‘heavy-lifting’ and the user just streams the model views – it’s the same principle as watching videos on YouTube.
“The selling point is having access to all the information. Normally, you are bound by the power of the CPU in the iPad, so you can’t take a 1GB model and render it locally.
“Some of the our projects have over 6,000 drawings – we offer both the model and also the drawings. In Norway, even though they use BIM a lot, they still need drawings.”
Rendra was first launched in the Norwegian market in 2014, with customers paying monthly subscriptions on a “Software as a Service” basis. In the UK, new customers will be offered a free, 30-day trial.
The company is now expanding overseas with Version 2, which has been launched with input and feedback from customers. Rendra’s backers include Eli Sævareid, a well-known businesswoman and entrepreneur in Norway.
A testimonial from a satisfied customer on the Rendra website calls it “the best thing that has happened since Commodore 64”.
The selling point is having access to all the information. Normally, you are bound by the power of the CPU in the iPad, so you can’t take a 1GB model and render it locally.– Sigve Pettersen, co-founder and head of marketing at Rendra