Before the drawings are finished, our buyers already walk through their future home

Ballast Nedam is testing the 3D configuration of a home using Innobrix. Smart software that allows our buyers to click the desired options for their home into their shopping cart. An extension? French doors? And can those two bedrooms be combined? With every click, our buyers can put together their dream home, where they can walk through their home in 3D or with VR glasses.

This innovative step increases our client and service orientation towards potential buyers of residential housing. Nowadays we throw clothes, books, electronics or even summer trips into our online shopping cart. But when buyers of a house have an extension or patio doors in mind, they often have to use pen and paper. And now that is about to change. This autumn we expect to complete the test and we can fully deploy Innobrix on a pilot project, for a fully-fledged buyer guidance process.

From plot to furnishing

Our potential buyers of homes to which we are going to apply this will receive the login to their digital environment. In it, they see the lot map, with the countless options that our buyer counselors have added in the catalog. For example, a buyer can choose to apply an extension of 1.20 or 2.40 meters deep. Is the option for a 2.40 meter extension selected? Then the result can be seen immediately on the 3D model of the house. The buyer can view this result from all angles and can even virtually walk through the home. To make it complete, it is even possible to place furniture in the room, so that it is clear how, for example, a sofa would look like in the room.

In addition to the desktop mode, it is also possible to walk through the rooms with VR glasses. This is ideal, says Paulus Eckhardt, Director Digital Transformation & Innovation at Ballast Nedam: “As Ballast Nedam, we improve the journey for buying a home and ensure a more automated process for engineering and building homes. We can now focus on the potential client and think product-oriented at an early stage by already arranging lots in different shapes. We can then show the options to buyers who are still unsure whether a new-build plan would suit them. This makes new construction much more interesting and provides more insight than the sales brochures and 2D sales drawings that buyers are often used to. In addition, we are collecting more and more data about the sales process and potential clients, which is in line with Ballast Nedam's development into a more data-driven company.”

A test in Oosterhout

We offered this innovation to our buyers as a test at the Slotjes residential housing project in Oosterhout. Internally we are also fully testing and updating. “Once a buyer has chosen his options, we download the corresponding Revit file and we can immediately prepare the drawings of the relevant home for production,” says BIM specialist Dino Dizdar. “What was chosen today, is approved, exported and prepared for our Engineering and Realization departments tomorrow. Before, this could easily take weeks because the architect still had to draw everything out. But this program has already done that. This process saves a huge amount of time.”

Building a database

Each option chosen is not only a nice step for the buyer, but also an improvement of our database. For example, through the statistics on the 'back' we see the most frequently chosen options and the average prices. Is one option never chosen? Then we may be able to adjust or delete this option. The more projects we carry out, the more data about facades, roofs and garden doors is added to our database. “That's how we make our own library of homes,” says Dino Dizdar. “We can use this smartly in future projects. For me, this step is a breakthrough because it greatly benefits our process. This gives our buyers a clear picture of their future home right from the start. That is exactly our goal.”

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