Victory for Baltisches Haus – SSC ŽALI recognized as one of Lithuania’s best BIM projects


On Friday, the winners of the Lithuanian BIM Project 2018 competition organized by Skaitmeninė statyba VšĮ together with the Lithuanian Builders Association were announced. During the Resta exhibition, the strongest Lithuanian companies presented their achievements in using Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies. The shopping and service centre ŽALI received the majority of votes of the commission in the category BIM Public Buildings. ŽALI not only brought victory to Baltisches Haus, the project’s developer, but also became an example of how the principles of the development of commercial buildings can change.

The competent commission assessed the BIM projects according to various criteria. The focus was put on the complexity and detail of the BIM models, including their quality and organization. In total, 17 projects participated in the competition in seven categories. SSC ŽALI, which opened at the end of March in the Balsiai suburb of the Lithuanian capital, was recognized as being one of the two most difficult BIM projects implemented this year, consisting of both a commercial building and infrastructure.

According to Baltisches Haus Director Audrius Masionis, the fact that only one shopping centre project from Lithuania competed in the BIM Public Buildings category among administrative and office buildings shows a lack of inclination in the country to apply smart technologies to a greater extent.

“Several years ago, we set ourselves the goal of building the future shopping centre. This meant we had to think outside the box and show that things can be different: more efficient, smarter and greener. BIM technology was an obvious choice. But even in this respect we challenged ourselves. Together with the team, we decided to develop the most detailed BIM model to be applied not only at the design stage, as is common, but also during the shopping centre’s construction and building maintenance processes,” Mr Masionis said.

According to him, the main reasons for choosing BIM were an attempt to avoid design errors, to develop a clear project management model, to prepare a highly detailed project and to obtain estimates that are as accurate as possible. Later, these detailed technical and work projects helped in carrying out the construction works, while the platform developed was of assistance in the operative coordination and smooth and transparent surveillance of the construction process.

Ten different teams and 100 unique consumers participated in the SSC ŽALI design stage and developed not only a BIM model for the building but also models for the entire land plot, surrounding streets, new ring road and outdoor engineering networks. It is not by chance that the project has been characterized by the wealth of information involved: from specific technical information about the materials, technical data and physical and chemical properties of the objects that comprise the building, to information about the manufacturers, suppliers and other minor data.

A detailed model enabled the developers to make decisions on essential building solutions, including those related to optimal construction and energy efficiency aspects. An analytical object model prepared according to the actual parameters and the situation analysis results obtained as a consequence created the opportunity to assess the interdependence of the engineering, construction and architectural planned solutions, predict the operating costs of the future building and identify critical points at the design stage. All of this was invaluable information that helped to ultimately develop an efficient and environmentally friendly building.

ŽALI is facing the final challenge, i.e. an operating model that will be fully prepared within a month. It is expected that this model will be the first of its kind in Lithuania. In the BIM operating model, each building element has a separate lifecycle, so specific operational and maintenance rules are assigned to each element.

Another distinctive feature of the shopping centre is the use of smart sensory and automated equipment management technologies linked to the operating model. These technologies analyse the real-time situation and micro-climate parameters and make various decisions on energy efficiency and cost savings. For this purpose, all statistical databases are integrated into the model. Moreover, relevant information is broken down according to various aspects. Special sensors monitor the air supply rate, CO2 emissions and possible roofing damage. In addition, remote accounting data sensors for electricity, heating, air conditioning and water are operated.

“Many people contributed to this project. It was time consuming and involved many lessons learnt. Even though we managed to develop a complex model of unprecedented graphic and information detail, the Lithuanian market is still behind with respect to the many BIM possibilities, for example in terms of the lack of specialists and experience and the rejection of new innovations. I understand that the ŽALI project has set a high standard for future shopping centres, but it is only such pilot projects that stimulate the improvement of all professionals in the area of digital construction,” Baltisches Haus Director Audrius Masionis commented.

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