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liNear among the TOP 10

Interview with owner

and managing director Manfred Waluga

Interview

liNear receives Construction Tech Review award –

TOP 10 BIM Service Companies in Europe 2020

 

The Construction Tech Review ranks liNear in the Top 10 BIM Service Companies in Europe.
Manfred Waluga explains in an interview how his liNear enables planners to plan integrally with BIM.
This interview resulted in an interesting article, which has now been published. 
(Click here for the article)

Question:

What is the mission of your company and what are the key benefits for your customers?

Manfred Waluga:

For me it is  important to make liNear's mission clear:

Digitization is without any doubt the future of the Building industry. Nevertheless many design engineers shy away from the complexity of the BIM topic, feel overwhelmed and prefer to wait and see.

The path to digitization however is more manageable for the individual participants than one would expect after studying the steadily growing literature in this field. The significantly broader collaboration approach with other design engineers and disciplines is what is now to be added and causes changes. But the actual work of an MEP engineer is not changing at all.

We see our mission in helping customers to cover all aspects of planning that are important to them and at the same time to participate in BIM processes in a meaningful way. We decouple them from all theoretical overhead and IT-specific details of the data exchange formats.

Which user has ever been interested in the data structures behind his word processor? Actually, he doesn't want anything more than to write, format and finally output texts.

The same applies here: We provide our customers with tools to be able to deliver the required results as comfortably as possible. We ensure that participation in a BIM process does not generate unnecessary additional effort because the data is already optimally structured for collaboration with other process participants. So we take fear of contact and create acceptance for the new way of working.

Question:

What challenges do you see in the Building Information Modelling space? Could you please shed some light on the unique services and solutions provided by your company for addressing the market challenges?

Manfred Waluga:

The work of our customers is becoming more and more demanding, especially if we think of the global efforts to save resources and energy. This means that the design of Building Systems must be of a significantly higher quality. At the same time, planning periods are becoming shorter and shorter.

We deliver everything that is important for the entire design process in a single work environment: from conceptual design to as-built models including all specific and standardized calculations.

liNear Solutions meet these high requirements, in 7 languages and the relevant country-specific standards implemented.

Question:

An excerpt from your website says “Your workflow is optimally supported by the direct integration into CAD without interfaces. Construct in detail with minimal effort. With the supplied manufacturer libraries, your detailed drawings are accurate at the push of a button and material lists that are ready to order can be generated,” please elaborate on the same.

Manfred Waluga:

Interfaces between different applications always result in unnecessary friction losses, both in terms of data quality and functionality. For thermal load calculations e.g. the gbXML format is unusable for us, since the requirements in the underlying calculation standards need data that we can only extract correctly via API and our own building detection algorithms. This also applies to the field of ​​our high-performance hydraulic calculations.

For liNear the building model is always the basis and thus the "single source of truth". We came to the conclusion that for us it is the most reliable way to get all the information directly from the respective model and later on store it there again.

Important interfaces for collaboration and also for long-term manufacturer-independent archiving are of course IFC and BCF. Here we continuously invest a lot of development work to perfectly embed both import and export in the workflow of our customers.

The close cooperation with the industry results in different advantages for our customers. Up to a certain point generic planning is the right way to quickly provide a rough basis for decision-making. In order to enable realistic calculation results later, correct product parameters are essential. That is why liNear started almost 30 years ago to create separate data sets for real products such as radiators, thermostatic valves, air outlets and pipe systems in addition to CAD libraries. This saves the user from manually entering data from product data sheets and also allows our software to be automated, e.g. to select the correct variants of a selected model series.

In addition to countless 3D products for Revit and AutoCAD from currently more than 70 liNear industry partners our CAD browser also offers additional functionality for product selection and configuration, as well as parts lists. These are sorted by manufacturers and article numbers, which makes them ideal inputs for tender programs. What sets us apart from other CAD libraries is the quality and completeness of the data which we regularly update, check together with our industry partners and finally make available to all users free of charge.

Question:

There are a number of companies out there that are vying for the top position. What are the differentiating factors that give liNear a competitive edge?

Manfred Waluga:

I think that in addition to the things already mentioned, it is most of all the approach that sets us apart from the competition. There are a variety of tools on the market designed to solve very limited tasks. However, most of them do not take a holistic approach.

We do not sell just a set of tools. We see ourselves as a solution provider. We are developing the optimal workflow for planning embedded in BIM processes and map it with our products. Furthermore our users (more than 28,000 seats) expect that market innovations such as dwelling stations, systems for residential ventilation or new control valves can also be calculated correctly with our software. Beside steadily growing detailed know-how this also requires continuous developments.

We are an independent and owner-managed software company with product development, qualified sales engineers and support and training departments. That means we can control all factors of our range of services ourselves. And that is certainly one of the reasons why many companies believe that we are the right partner for them, particularly in light of the upcoming changes.

Question:

To bring out the story, share one or two case studies with us where your company has helped customers overcome their challenges, and attain the desired outcome with your services.

Manfred Waluga:

liNear solutions have been on the market for 30 years and have already been used in countless projects. These include prestigious projects such as the Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi, Tropical Island in Berlin or this year in Germany's tallest residential building, the Grand Tower in Frankfurt, where decentralized heating and cooling systems with more than 300 km of panel heating pipe and 400 dwelling stations were realized.

The current project from one of our Russian customers VNII Galurgii is also exciting. They are the internal MEP design department of Russia's largest potash producer PJSC Uralkali and started BIM-compliant working already years ago. In 2019 the company began to digitize all their existing buildings including heating systems. This formed the basis for the development of optimization measures to increase the overall energy efficiency. When realizing the project, they decided for liNear software as it is seamlessly integrated into the BIM-platform Autodesk Revit they already had in use. Another important point was that liNear calculations are certified for compliance with Russian standards. After the successful first steps the company is currently digitizing the entire property and optimizing the technical systems using liNear.

Question:

Going forward, how does liNear plan to proceed in the BIM space? Do you plan to come up with any new technologies or solutions?

Manfred Waluga:

Of course! With our new spin-off liNear Building LABS we have established a kind of R&D department that is exclusively dedicated to the future of planning in the building industry. And with RWTH Aachen University and our numerous industrial partners we have ideal "sparring partners" for the exchange of ideas.

We understood that despite the oversupply of theoretical foundations and guidelines on the topic of BIM, there is still a certain reluctance to take concrete action. So our task in the coming years will be to convince with our products and services that BIM is nothing more but the logical evolution of traditional working methods: from drawing to model, from paper management to real collaboration and finally from proprietary data graves towards sharable data. We will continue to provide the right solutions for this in the future and thus actively promote the digitization of the building industry.