University of Copenhagen – Panum


Case Study: Digital user-involvement

What is OpenBIM Studio?

OpenBIM Studio is a BIM-based tool for user-involvement, quality assurance and knowledge sharing on buildings and renovation projects. OpenBIM Studio ensures that all stakeholders are involved and achieve ownership to the specific building project. Many non-professionals find it difficult to decode traditional plans. Therefore, they have difficulty in providing qualified reviews of projects in development or design stage. The bigger the project, the harder it becomes – even for professionals – to grasp the information that traditional models contain. Therefore, they often build large, complicated and costly projects, so called “mock-ups” to ensure that everyone involved understands the suggested solutions. A much cheaper option that also creates a more realistic picture of the finished project is to take hte BIM model into OpenBIM Studio. This gives both consultants and users an early understanding of the project’s qualities, and they can identify any discrepancies. And it’s not just a small sample of the project, as is the case when judging in a “mock-up”, but the overall project presented and validated digitally.

OpenBIM Studio is aimed at construction industry professional actors, but is equally applicable to non-professional builders and end users for whom a lifelike experience is more informative than drawings, spreadsheets and visualizations.

”On our user meetings, we use many resources to get the worlds of the advisers and users to meet. If sessions in OpenBIM Studio can save the whole team just two meetings, while communication between consultants, users and builders is lifted and made more flexible, I see many opportunities to use OpenBIM Studio. The projects will improve, while we save resources ”

Gert Pedersen, projektleder, Campus Service Sund

Digital user-involvement ensures public investment

In recent years the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Copenhagen have invested heavily in the expansion and modernization of Panum. The modernization project consists of both new construction and overall renovation of selected areas. The renovation of Panum consists of a highly complex interaction between installations, joined building and advanced equipment. At the same time several advisors work has to be coordinated, while different needs user groups have to be met.

Even with competent advisors and tight control there are many sources of error. Errors that can potentially increase the cost of the renovation project considerably – whether the errors caused by lack of coordination of the constructional material or lack of understanding for future users. Or, as is often the case: that the future users have difficulty understanding the advisors plan drawings. Therefore, communication, coordination and intermediary user involvement are some of the factors that have a decisive influence on the succes of the project.

To ensure communication, knowledge sharing and transparency in project The Danish Building & Property Agency demanded design of Building Information Models (BIM). As a novelty, these BIM models now are also used to ensure that future users will have the right facilities. On Panum project managers, consultants, health professionals, BYGST and union representatives now use OpenBIM Studio to test spaciousness and quality assurance of the drawings.

”OpenBIM Studio has given me a much better understanding of the laboratories. It should of course be considered, when it is best to use OpenBIM Studio. In my opinion it should not be done too early, nor too late. It is important to find the balance between the advisors have something useful to show without the material used in the first place is locked” 

Katrine Qvist, Bioanalytiker, Panum

How to get started?

Do you and your collaborators want to present and test the design proposals and test spaces, colors and distances or train users before they start work in their new workpalce? You sjoluld consider to invite your team, your business partners and users into OpenBIM Studio.

OpenBIM Studio makes it possible to tailor make user-involvement in scale 1: 1. However, it is important to make a preliminary focus on what you want to test – and not least to align expectations with all the involved parties. OpenBIM Studio secures communication and knowledge sharing between professionals and users. The result is increased understanding and ownership of the project.

On the major healthcare building projects digital models are required by law, so from the advisors side it requires little more than the BIM model they are already working in. When the consultants deliver the BIM model is converted with simple actions to a file format that OpenBIM Studio can read. Then you are ready to experience a real-life version of building long time before it is finished – and ensure that the project meets the client’s and users’ expectations.


  • Client: The Danish building and Property Agency
  • Consultant: MOE Rådgivende Ingeniører
  • Subconsultants: Aarhus Arkitekter & Mikkelsen Arkitekter
  • Area: 8.250 m2
  • Delivery: 2018
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