Kristof Haerens, Co-Founder and CEO “Water, water, everywhere; but not a drop to drink.”
This excerpt from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge) perfectly reflects the conundrum today’s construction industry faces: one can see information everywhere and nowhere; gather everything and nothing. In the wake of Construction 4.0, building information modelling (BIM), and digital transformation initiatives, the industry is being inundated with data, but building actors still lack reliable information that can provide valuable insights. It is crucial for construction actors—be it building manufacturers and suppliers, architects, designers, contractors, or facility managers—to be able to collaborate and see the complete picture of the entire project from one place, without any data silos. According to Kristof Haerens, co-founder and CEO of ThorbiQ, despite BIM growing in importance as a strong foundation for data sharing and collaboration among construction experts by facilitating the design and maintenance of a digital twin of a building, the pain point remains: fragmentation of reliable data and its accessibility. “The construction industry suffers from an eternal quest for reliable information,” he stresses.
This is where ThorbiQ is in a class by itself. By empowering manufacturers to provide all relevant building actors with an all-encompassing digital (BIM) representation of their products, Belgium-based ThorbiQ is on a mission to enable digital construction and collaboration. With the company’s technology platform, building product manufacturers are offered a solution to engage construction actors through an industry-leading full digital service, representing their product offerings digitally—easy to use and always up-to-date, using a “data to BIM” approach. A trusted source for consistent BIM content, applications, and services, ThorbiQ caters to both the supplier side (consisting of building equipment manufacturers) and user side (comprising construction experts, architects, and engineers).
“Our objective is to decrease the total cost of ownership of buildings, by helping construction actors to digitally construct buildings with accurate data and content.
Only reliable information allows a digital twin of buildings (BIM model) to be a tremendously rich source of information during the complete life cycle of the buildings,” says Haerens. At its core, ThorbiQ focuses on equipping building product manufacturers—be it air conditioners, radiators, climate ceilings, or insulation products—with a digital strategy to help them take a front-seat role in the transformation to digital construction.
More importantly, ThorbiQ creates an ecosystem for service providers where they can offer digital services in connection with the ThorbiQ solution. On the other hand, the users can leverage those services seamlessly by making use of the easily accessible information in order to find the right product at the right time for each project. They can seamlessly identify and select products, systems, and solutions that best suit a project’s needs, and subsequently download the relevant data and/or content, even directly into the BIM model, deciding on which Level of Detail (“LOD”)/Level of Information (“LOI”) to use.
Besides, different building product manufacturers can digitally collaborate within the ecosystem to extend their offerings. While software suppliers require data on different products and solutions to perform dynamic calculations, ThorbiQ empowers them with the “missing link of reliable data.” For instance, a manufacturer of a climate ceiling can work in partnership with the manufacturer of air terminals, grills, or movement sensors using the “reliable data” that ThorbiQ brings to the table. This will help determine products, solutions and materials that are compatible with each other and deliver valuable service to customers. With ThorbiQ, manufacturers can utilise a marketing channel to efficiently render their digital services through a single source of truth while performing dynamic calculations using the data of different products and solutions in the ecosystem. In addition, ThorbiQ’s solution is compatible with other BIM object platforms wherein users can find all the content of different manufacturers. As a result, a building actor can choose to use the data generated by ThorbiQ on their own channels, distribute it, or even place it on external BIM content platforms.
On top of that, ThorbiQ allows for sales enablement by setting up a brand distribution channel for manufacturers, customised as per their visual identity (logo, colour), which serves as an extension of their commercial websites. This allows sales reps to provide engineers and architects with a digital catalogue, running on the cloud, which can be used directly in their BIM models. Incorporating business intelligence in its solution, ThorbiQ helps manufacturers gain insights into the needs of the users through an analytics dashboard, thereby bridging the gap between the two entities.
A remarkable differentiator for ThorbiQ’s platform is the live link it offers between the users and the manufacturers, which enables users to check if BIM content and objects are up to date with those of the manufacturers. Upon collaborating with manufacturers, ThorbiQ uses their single source of truth data to generate BIM content, which is easily accessible by the users, who can then check if the content is valid or the digital twin is up to date through the live link.
ThorbiQ has come a long way since its inception. The company was co-founded by Kristof Haerens (CEO), Wim Tas (CTO), and Erwin Heyse (CCO), with a singular vision to empower building actors with reliable information through their solution. Today, the company has successfully redefined digital collaboration in the construction industry by rocketing BIM to a higher level. With such robust capabilities, ThorbiQ’s solution is serving clients at a global level. The company’s esteemed clientele comprises enterprises like Jaga, Interalu, Grada International, and more. With an aim to bring every possible manufacturer from all over the world onto its platform, ThorbiQ aspires to extend its reach in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Nordic countries and has plans to join forces with U.S. organisations in the coming years.