Disruption of the Detail Design Phase by Digitalization

Disrupt and Digitalization, two trendy buzz words, but the fact is that when we change the old Detail Design tools into a new way of thinking and working, then we face new opportunities and even the possibility to do away with the old obsolete habits. The old way of Detail Design engineering where we “just” moved the way of working from the drawing board to the computer, then from 2D to 3D but same thing. Now we have moved our work from thinking in drawing lines and curves to thinking in objects. By selecting and creating objects we build the project, this is done by software solutions like BIM and COMOS.


But how does that change the way we execute DD? The fast answer is, it doesn’t have to! -but it is just so obvious now that we cannot hide it anymore, there is a much better way today to do DD, than to pay one engineering company to do all bits and pieces of a big hairy complete detailed design.


The problem with the old model was that an engineering company would make drawings in every detail of the facility. They would use a combination of a library of drawing elements and drawing lines. They would choose systems and solutions to their preference, and to their own believe of the best choice, and then draw this. Whenever convenient and at their own choice and creativity they would make customized solutions, regardless of the cost and complexity of constructing this customized solution. Then it would be bid out and the supplier would often have to redesig a lot of it by their design team to make it fit to their standard solutions and methods, in order to keep the cost down. During the construction phase these adjustments would then create a lot of issues, clashes etc. often resulting in extra cost, delays, bad solutions etc. Furthermore, the detail design and the as-built documentations ended up very different.


It is obvious that this needs to change, a disrupt, regardless of the old way of drawing or the newer object-oriented way. The object-oriented way just makes it so sparkling clear how much waste, risk and self-inflicted problems we have in the old detail design model.


Imagine that you can build a real facility in LEGO and that you can only choose from the standard bricks that you have in the selected supplier’s library, and if you need a special brick you must have it approved at your manager and the supplier. Imagine that you have not just the specifications but also a price on each brick you add. Imagine the construction team have to install 98% standard bricks and only 2% tailormade.


That is why we at Nordika have developed this “new” model for the DD phase:

We have now shared it with several clients and had very positive feedbacks. We have had concerns from construction companies in doubt of the shop floors capability to work with 3D drawings. At Nordika we believe that the choice of standard objects will improve the relation between drawings/engineering and the construction just by its clearness and therefor also the safety at the shop floor. None the less it is the same challenge we had before and it reflects a need for training how to work with standard and customized solutions.

More about BIM at Nordika:

Best Regards

Ole Broch, CEO Nordika