Working with agile BIM - An interview with Luiz Felipe Lima

Agile Apr 12, 2021

I've met Luiz, founder of A+U Architecture, during a sleepless night on LinkedIn at 2:45 am. I was infinitely scrolling through the news feed, and I came across a post in Portuguese and the comments that followed. I saw a few keywords (BIM, Scrum) that caught my eye and I translated, commented and messaged Luiz. 👇

Long story short we organised a follow-up meeting for the next day and we partnered a few days later to work together and empower Luiz's BIM workflow and A+U Architecture's methodologies, and for our side to guide our development with Luiz's industry experience in BIM management and design, in projects not only from his home-base in Brazil but worldwide. I will try to encapsulate Luiz's thoughts and methodologies in a quick interview that follows.

Original LinkedIn Post by Luiz Felipe Lima Studio 3DX blog post
Original LinkedIn Post by Luiz Felipe Lima

Marios Messios: Luiz, I had this thought of sharing your experience and focus with the world in the form of an interview, and I finally came around to doing it. I think they will shape a quick but accurate form of what you do at A+U Architecture, what you believe in and how you apply these methodologies in your daily workflow.

So, let's start with the basics, how did you get into the world of architecture and later into BIM?

Luiz Felipe Lima: At first I started working as a realtor, and that's when I became interested in architecture. When I was visiting buildings by renowned architects, I always liked to dive deep into the making and history and explain to people in order to understand better the projects I was showcasing. It was then that I realized how much I admired architecture as craftsmanship, the creative process behind the design and construction of a building. Most profound for me was 'How did they synchronise, exchange information and communicate between different disciplines and teams to achieve this?'. I believe that was the birth of BIM as a thought experiment, even before I knew anything about it. Then, right in the middle of my architecture course, and since I am generally very enthusiastic about new technologies and methodologies, I got into the world of information, project management, Building Information Modeling. Since then I have been getting more and more involved, always studying and applying BIM.

MM: What type of services do you offer and what is the workflow that you use with your team?

LFL: We mainly serve BIM projects, but we also support other architecture studios and working on some confidential projects. Our (architectural) practice works on projects mainly in Brazil and Latin America, but we also participate in many projects in the United States, Canada and other countries. Our workflow is based on the combination of BIM and Agile methodologies, optimising the speed of the project through iterative cycles and continuous value deliveries.

MM:  I see that a lot in your posts, and of course during our first encounter –Agile methodologies and their applications in BIM, I mean. Do you want to expand on that? – your discovery of Agile BIM, Scrum, Metrics etc.

LFL: As architects and engineers we always have on the back of our minds this notion of "eternal optimisation" and we believe that Agile methodologies (Scrum, Kanban, Xtreme Programming, Metrics, etc.) can optimise BIM processes effectively when they're correctly combined and implemented. My team and I, are working using a hybrid methodology, which is constantly optimised, that tries to unite the best of both worlds (BIM & Agile). On the other hand, there are times that we need to work with external teams or support another architectural office; at that point we may need to adapt some of our workflows to their methods, and that's another skill-set on it's own, but crucial, to allow collaboration.

MM: Which was the most common blocker in BIM projects you worked on? and how did you overcome it?

LFL: The most common blocker for us has been communication and, to optimize it, we've built internal standardised workflows with scheduled daily meetings. This corrected most communication problems and made the team more autonomous, especially during these times of remote work.

MM: I think this expands to my next question on communication which is 'How do you include your clients in the BIM process? – if you do'

LFL: We do include our customers in our processes, making constant deliveries and collecting feedback. Our customers can simply report issues, comment and ultimately inform the BIM model on the cloud, which is updated weekly in our online BIM viewer.

MM: With the complete BIM framework in mind, which part do you think you need to improve in your work?

LFL: I think the methods of extracting data related to the BIM model while working, is something that we can definitely improve. We still have a lot of work to do so that we can have real-time data collection of the entire BIM modeling process, as I would wish.

MM: On a vision question now, 'Where do you see your work and office in the next 5-10 years. Are you planning any major changes or expansion in the future?'

LFL: We want to expand and innovate more and more in the next years, to provide cutting-edge technological services related to construction projects, with a focus on BIM, BI and AI. The best way to achieve this is to keep on improving, learning and getting involved with several communities in our sector, either through partnerships, collaborations, lectures etc.

MM: Thank you Luiz and we are looking forward to your upcoming projects.

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity

About A+U Arquitetura BIM

We are an architecture firm, founded in 2018 by urban architect Luiz Felipe Lima. We emerged from the need for optimization and technological evolution of Brazilian civil construction processes and the passion to transform lives through incredible spaces in which they can truly identify, live and work.

Arquitetura | Tecnologia | Inovação‌‌Empresa de arquitetura especializada em desenvolvimento projetos em B.I.M.‌‌ ‌‌+5571991844020 ‌‌,‌‌ IG: @amaisuarq in: amaisu-arquitetura

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Marios Messios

Among with Luiz Felipe Lima

Marios Messios is an Architect Engineer and the Co-Founder and CEO of Parametricos. Parametricos is building Studio 3DX, a Real-time Cloud Solution for BIM professionals.

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