Reliable Data With Ideate BIMLink

In Latin America’s biggest seaport, Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Contier Arquitetura team of 16 people has been at work on a project of grand scope for more than 24 months. The headquarters of Brazil’s multi-national oil giant Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., known as Petrobras, will include more than 1,073,690 sf (100,000 sq m). The building aims to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold for the client. In the design process, at least 28 different disciplines come together from across various platforms. To enhance workflows, Contier Arquitetura is using Ideate BIMLink for a number of its capabilities, the most important of which is reliability of data.


Contier Arquitetura is an architecture and urban planning firm based in São Paulo, Brazil, that operates nationwide, on a wide range of projects, while maintaining a deep commitment to the principles of quality. The accumulated experience, since 1981, allowed the company to develop a work system able to create and implement projects in tune with the market, conceived to last and with a cost-effectiveness emphasis.

Contier Arquitetura was the first company to use BIM in Brazil. Since 2002, when the use of Autodesk Revit was adopted, Contier Arquitetura has helped to establish the best practices and introduced new standards to the project design, which led Autodesk to contract the company to give advice on Revit implementation throughout Brazil.

Member of USGBC and ASBEA.

Contier image

The Team

Luiz Augusto Contier, Principal, Architect; Miriam Castanho, Principal, Architect; Felipe Contier, Principal, Architect

The Challenge

The size of the Petrobras project presents a challenge, as does its design complexity and the massive amount of data involved.

ContierFire systems, HVAC requirements, curtain walls and other aspects of architectural design concern the team. The firm is also focused on heritage restoration/historic preservation concerns. LEED related goals for energy and atmosphere, water efficiency, waste diversion, conservation and recycling are also on the table. All of these demands require the inclusion of data from a myriad of specialists representing a broad scope of disciplines. MEP and Structure project participants provide their files to the firm. Additionally and ultimately, the firm uses Navisworks for clash detection.

Involved parties – BIM data contributors from various disciplines – enter into the project flow at different times. Various specialties use different naming conventions for Rooms and other elements.

By the same token, one set of project stakeholders might need data from another group in a different discipline. The absence of data standardization affected the way size measurements were reported, naming conventions and parameter values. The firm needed a way to bridge the data communication gap.

Felipe Contier, Principal, Architect, Contier Arquitetura, explains some of the project’s size and complexity issues. The main or master file had to be divided into different sub-files, such as “Tower,” “Underground,” and “Ground Level.” A change to the values of any parameters in one might or might not affect one or both of the others. Before the deployment of Ideate BIMLink, the team had to copy exactly the same text in every file.

The firm needed a reliable, practical, easy and stable way to change values of parameters and copy to Families. They also needed to organize their schedules, verify values and changed descriptions.

The Solution

Contier Arquitetura is using Ideate BIMLink in support of its Quality Control process. With Ideate BIMLink, the team is able to standardize sizes, naming conventions and parameter values. Once data is standardized in Excel, the team can quickly push processed data back into the Revit model using Ideate BIMLink. This capability has eliminated confusion and errors based on different people having assigned different names for Rooms and other elements. It has also increased accuracy, since values are processed via the automated capabilities of Excel.

By helping to standardize BIM data across disciplines, Ideate BIMLink is facilitating the sharing of vital information between the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) communities and all disciplines involved in the project.

Sample Use Case

One Ideate BIMLink use case that Contier Arquitetura provides relates to managing wall families. The wall instance and type data would need to be synchronized across at least two of the three aforementioned files – the Tower and the Ground Level. Felipe Contier describes the dilemma by saying, “If in the course of the project we change the description of the wall, even if the change is very minor such as adding a comma, we had to make the same change in all files without fail. If the wall description in one file included the comma, and in the other omitted the comma, the quantity take off file would appear blank with no value at all for that description.”

What Contier needed was a way to link all sub-files to each other and to a master file. With Ideate BIMLink, the Contier team can explore and edit the schedules for each file.

“I can explore in one single Excel file,” Contier says. “I can change the information as I want and then put the changed data back. Having done that, I can guarantee the text is correct. I have the right information and the wall, I am convinced, has the text that I input. I can make a change in Excel, which is quick and easy to do. I can enter the change in each Family and each file much faster.”

“Ideate BIMLink is saving us time. For example,” Felipe Contier adds, “We have 68 kinds of electrical fixtures. For each one of them we have a parameter in the form of a description. We have the quantity, the energy consumption, and other data. To change each parameter in one single sub-file, even if I had the text, it would take probably a half-day. When the data is in three different files, it would take much more time, something like
four or five times this, so about two days.”


“With Ideate BIMLink, we can change the parameters in less time, say about one hour. But that is not the most important thing to us. What is more important to us than the time savings is the guarantee that the data is correct. That is the most valuable advantage.”

“The worst situation is to not be sure that we have exactly what we want. We used to work and work and after two or three days we could still be uncertain of the data. With Ideate BIMLink, when we present to the client, we are certain of the data and we are happy. It also means we can expend more of our time to do better design work.”

Contier concludes, “I imagine from my experience that in a large project like we are doing, with several different disciplines and Families of all kinds, our problem is that we have to do corrections several times. The Ideate BIMLink advantage in time is not a one-time occurrence. It is cumulative.”


About Ideate Software

Ideate Software allows Revit users to have unprecedented control over their data. Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer for Revit, and Ideate Sticky were all developed to solve persistent problems in Architecture, Engineering,  Construction, and Owner (AECO) workflows. Ideate Software solutions enable Revit users to save time, increase accuracy, improve project deliverables, and elevate design.