The New Black


BIM as architectural style 09

Photo by Züblin

Axel Towers, Copenhagen. Project supported by BIM.


BIM as architectural style 08

Photo by Felix Gerlac

NOVA / Örebro Handelshögskola


BIM as architectural style 07

Photo by Felix Gerlach

NOVA / Örebro Handelshögskola


BIM as architectural style 06

Photo by Felix Gerlach

NOVA / Örebro Handelshögskola


BIM as architectural style 01


BIM as architectural style 02


BIM as architectural style 05


BIM as architectural style 04


BIM as architectural style 03


It would be silly to ask you to close your eyes in order to visualise the image of a Danish architect – ‘cause then you wouldn’t be able to read the rest. Instead, the widespread notion of a Danish architect is very often characterised by a person, male or female, wearing a black turtleneck or a black shirt accompanied by a pair of black pants or maybe a black skirt – and definitely a pair of black shoes. Perhaps too the face would be framed by a pair of black glasses.

Get the picture?

Thought it couldn’t go any blacker?

Think again…

Now a wide range of Danish architects and other AEC professionals are wearing a whole new set of black. The New Black. The BIM. Don’t get it wrong: it is not that BIM is new – actually architectural studios like JUUL FROST Architects (JFA, ed.) have been using BIM since 2006. But now – ten years later – they are no longer alone … at all.

So how do you “wear” the BIM the right way? Morten Bilde, Associated Partner at JFA and BIM specialist explains:

“BIM – the Building Information Model – is closely connected to a specific piece of digital software that makes it possible for everyone in the building industry to cooperate on a project. – Which is why we at JFA also tend to call it ‘Building Information Modelling’. For us, BIM is more than a tool – it’s a mindset, a method, a way of thinking. BIM supports JFA’s holistic work methods and, besides buildings, it’s also used for landscape and urban development.”

Volume convinces 

Translated into fashion terminology, you might say that BIM is not a piece of clothing – it’s a style. And when it comes to style you have to be consistent to be convincing. “Right now, we have reached what you might call a critical mass of people in the building industry, architects as well as engineers, contractors and developers, utilising BIM. This, however, is not enough: in order to truly meet the demands of increased speed and level of detail right from the start of a project, without escalating the number of minor or, even worse, bigger mistakes, we all need BIM to assist us to achieve a positive outcome”, Morten Bilde states.

In Danish architecture, the building industry works in different phases of developing a project. These phases fit very closely with how the Danish system for gaining permission, funding etc. is built. Because of a demand for higher efficiency and lower costs in every project, these different, traditional phases are challenged on a daily basis. It is Morten Bilde’s impression that open BIM processes are the most useful approach seen so far to meet this challenge.

The idea is that virtual buildings can be used in a sophisticated way as a “Dropbox meets Excel” tool. In other words: You share every piece of relevant information with everyone involved in your building project: Your engineer, your developer, your design partners and maybe even your suppliers. Every time you correct one piece of information somewhere in the process, this information is corrected in every part of the process and throughout the project.

For people who are fascinated by the idea of sharing, BIM is probably already a natural part of their mind-set.

Want to be part of “The New Black”? At the beginning of November Nordic BIM Academy takes place in Copenhagen.

Nordic BIM Academy is arranged by buildingSMART, NohrCon and BIM Equity. It’s one of Scandinavia’s largest BIM conferences, and the focus is on OpenBIM. Participants are in for three days full of BIM experiences, such as project and workflow presentations, and building site visits as well as front row seats for “Build Copenhagen Live”. Keynote speakers and presenters include some of the world’s most experienced BIM experts and come from Hungary, England, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Conference participants will have the opportunity to visit building sites such as BLOX, Axel Towers and Amager Ressource Center, where BIG are creating a ski slope on top of a new build power plant.

Thomas Graabæk, partner and BIM architect, explains OpenBIM this way: “OpenBIM is all about using the tools and software that best suit the particular company and the specific tasks at hand. By using the open IFC format, everyone can use each other’s BIM models. Together with a BIM workflow, OpenBIM is the optimal platform for harvesting the value that BIM can add to any project. With Nordic BIM Academy we focus on knowledge sharing and cooperation between everyone involved in the building and AEC industry. And Nordic BIM Academy has allowed us to gather together some of the world’s most experienced BIM experts who will share their knowledge and, in that way, pinpoint why BIM is the New Black for the AEC industry.”

Tickets are available until 31 October. Find out more here.


The goal of DANISH™ is to promote Danish architecture and design in a broad perspective, and demonstrate all the potentials in these fields.

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