oPEN Lab Innovative Digitalisation Techniques Streamline Building Renovation Process, Yielding Significant Time and Cost Savings

Aug 15, 2023

The oPEN Lab project has published a comprehensive report outlining their ongoing research efforts aimed at optimising the building renovation process through innovative digitalisation techniques. The report’s primary focus has been on enhancing the prefabrication process and fostering seamless integration between various data sources.

Under the umbrella of the oPEN Lab project, researchers have meticulously executed a study that used detailed geometric Building Information Modeling (BIM) models from existing structures. The study’s core objective was to digitally transform the renovation process by establishing robust connections between intricate laser scan data and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) data.

The focal achievement of this endeavour is the formulation of a meticulously designed workflow termed “optimized scenario: integrated renovation process.” This transformative approach showcases remarkable potential in terms of reducing both temporal and resource-related constraints, alongside diminishing the overall environmental and economic impact typically associated with renovation initiatives. One of the most notable features of the developed renovation workflow is its adaptability to diverse project scales and prefabricated solutions. This inherent scalability and flexibility make the proposed method applicable to a wide array of projects, thereby enhancing its practical utility.

The report contains a comprehensive compendium of definitions and stakeholders commonly involved in the building renovation domain. This elucidatory compilation serves to augment the understanding of the project’s scope and the paramount importance of the undertaken work. The study incorporates a meticulous survey of the prevailing advancements and knowledge concerning digitalisation within the realm of the prefabrication process. This state-of-the-art analysis provides a robust foundation for potential future advancements and in-depth studies.

After a rigorous assessment of the traditional renovation process, aptly labelled as the “Baseline scenario: traditional renovation process,” the research found opportunities for enhancement. These improvements were later integrated to forge an “improved scenario: integrated renovation process,” which notably embraces prefabrication concepts. This integration brings forth advantages such as automated production facilities and standardisation, albeit with residual challenges tied to digitalisation.

The pinnacle of the research’s outcomes is the “Optimized scenario: Integrated renovation process.” This culmination underscores an integrated renovation framework wherein all stakeholders are actively engaged from the initial design phases. Integral to this approach are essential digital tools, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), BIM, CAM, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and Life Cycle Costing (LCC). BIM stands as the cornerstone, functioning as a centralised repository of project information accessible to all stakeholders, thereby mitigating duplicities and errors.

The report signifies that the meticulous development of this innovative digitalised renovation workflow has been confirmed through practical implementation within three oPEN Lab Living Labs. Next adjustments and refinements have further honed the methodology’s accuracy and efficacy. The report concludes by offering insightful recommendations for the prospective application of the integrated renovation process in upcoming renovation endeavours. To gauge the real-world impact in terms of time, cost, and environmental considerations, the establishment of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and a comprehensive evaluation of renovation initiatives within the three Living Labs are essential prerequisites.

As the oPEN Lab project is still an ongoing endeavour, the detailed flowchart elucidated in this report is poised to play an instrumental role in advancing the project’s primary aims. The report serves as a testament to the potential of digitalisation and integrated processes in revolutionising the building renovation landscape.

Read the full report here.