#Construction software

Trimble: providing world-class software solutions

Catherine Sturman
|Jun 3|magazine14 min read

Trimble is one of the most renowned construction solution providers in the world. Combining a mix of hardware, software and mobility technologies to enable construction companies to hit the ground at the earliest stages, Trimble has cemented its growth across a number of markets.

Acquiring Tekla back in 2011, the company has furthered its expansion into the construction sector, bridging the gap between physical hardware positioning and measuring tools, to the virtual building information construction modelling (or BIM as it is widely known today). Providing innovative technologies and ensuring strong partnerships with stakeholders and clients, the company supports the delivery of international projects through a number of software and hardware solutions worldwide.

With a diverse portfolio, Middle East & India Trimble Buildings Regional Director Paul Wallett explains that such an investment in providing key software and hardware solutions has ensured that Trimble remains a key player in areas such as BIM, mechanical electrical design and robotic total station layout, contracts management, amongst a number of different segments.

“Through our general contracting, construction management division, we offer Vico Office which works directly with BIM models to perform constructability analysis and a unique 4D location based scheduling and 5D flowline cost estimation. This is coupled with project cost control and document management platform Prolog, enabling all project participants to capture and retrieve information from anywhere at any-time,” explains Wallett.

“Our newest collaboration platforms are Trimble Connect and ProjectSight as a field and project management mobile application tool, unifying the field and office together on a single source platform.”

With cloud based collaboration growing in prominence, Wallett explains that this has become an integral part in developing successful partnerships and the delivery of international projects. “With a combination of contract documents and vast 3D repository of objects which are being placed on our Tekla or 3D Warehouse clouds from customers, partners and suppliers, these downloadable objects can easily be placed into BIM models,” he says.

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Quotables

Our newest collaboration platforms are Connect and ProjectSight as a field and project management mobile application tool, unifying the field and office together on a single source collaboration platform

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HoloLens

The company is utilising Microsoft HoloLens technology, which works to support the its cloud based collaboration platform, Trimble Connect. Here, 3D models can be successfully hosted onto the web, alongside embedding Microsoft’s SketchUp Viewer, which further supports the visualisation of 3D models. “These were the two first available commercialised products on HoloLens which were launched last year,” adds Wallett.

Entering the market at the end of last year, Microsoft’s SketchUp Viewer became the first commercial HoloLens application to support professionals undertaking 3D modelling within a multitude of industries, with construction becoming a main area. Lorraine Bardeen, General Manager of Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Experiences explains that the application “allows people to create improved collaboration and a better understanding of designs in real scale, empowering companies to be more innovative and efficient.”

With a number of quality software solutions, the company’s software, Tekla Structures, enables designers and architects to provide a detailed 3D model of any building by providing a model based workflow. Building Information Modelling software has also enabled increased collaboration with clients and improved coordination in projects through providing a visual with the HoloLens technology, resulting in increased engagement, reduced risk and further efficiencies. The company’s software has also provided room for personalisation within construction and design.

Tekla Structures further enables designers to automate or programme certain processes, eliminating unnecessary manual tasks. This has therefore reduced the time taken and delivered cost efficiencies, creating a seamless approach to construction and design, and improved coordination. The company has stated “from preconstruction to site management, Tekla offers a complete solution for concrete contractors. With Tekla’s ability to handle pours and manage pour-related information effectively, the software is also an essential tool for improving concrete pour planning and management on site.”

Partner power

To drive the business forward, Trimble has a number of partnership agreements. One is with Sitech Gulf, which Wallett describes as “a regional distributing channel which deal with heavy highway positioning geospatial solutions and machine controls,” and is the company’s regional arm for distributing Trimble’s state of the art survey and scanning applications. A direct partnership with CAT has also proven advantageous, alongside a partnership with Hilti throughout the company’s operations.

Trimble also has a number of suppliers, such as Aerial Data, who supply applications which enable sensoring, client design and modelling solutions. Furthermore, a partnership with Materalise enables 3D models to be hosted and converted into 3D printable objects. “3D printing is something that’s beginning to become more commonplace now,” Wallett says. “From an industry perspective, Trimble is also a member of BuildingSMART alliance helping to develop industry standards in support of Building Information Modelling.”

Growth potential

Although Trimble is now established within a number of segments, and whilst Building Information Modelling solutions are becoming increasingly commonplace within a number of projects, the company aims to further utilise technologies whilst growing its customer base in the general contractor arena. “Whilst many contractors still use traditional tools for construction in this sector, one key area we are focusing on heavily is introducing construction specialised solutions to key areas of the construction verticals,” adds Wallett.

Additionally, the company’s venture into data within handheld devices, including tablets or smart devices, such as mobile smart phones, these mobile technologies enable workers to have the information to hand wherever they are. Wallet concludes: “Individuals can review, record or return information back from the field to the office in seconds.”

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