Q&A with Gerardo Olsson of DCT Group Argentina

15 Mar , 2021  

Irish owned, DCT Group’s Argentinian office has been in the midst of developing one of South America’s largest commercial buildings in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The project which sits at 150.000 m² across four basements, over two towers are connected by large bridges is one of DCT Group’s largest commercial projects completed to date.

DCT Group Argentina’s Operations Manager, Gerardo Olsson, has been leading the project in Buenos Aires and we caught up with him to talk us through the entire BIM process of developing this phenomenal megastructure, and the challenges the project has entailed for the leading BIM consultants in South America. 

Q1. Gerardo, can you tell us a bit about this project and the concept behind the BIM design? 

Well, this project is (by number of square meters) one of the largest commercial projects in Argentina. It is privately owned, and its use will be purely commercial, in one of the most exclusive areas of Buenos Aires. DCT have been present since the design development stage until the bidding documentation phase and it has been quite a challenge!

The premise for this project was the for the whole project to be developed using BIM to cover the entire life cycle of the building.

Q2. The project spans 30 floors, how many man hours of design has this project incorporated?

It has been very time intensive. To carry out the modelling on this project and the additional tasks, DCT Argentina has had to dedicate a team of six full time BIM modelers over a 12-month period.

Q3. Has there been any issues with the project to date? If there has been can you tell us about them and how you overcame them?

On a project of this magnitude and with different teams working simultaneously, some setbacks are to be expected. Beyond that, and thinking about internal issues, it can be noted that the size of some models became considerable, greatly exceeding what was expected, for which we had to review our model division strategies to maintain hardware performance.

It should also be mentioned that a huge external event which greatly impacted project completion was the global COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 meant that our team members had to complete mandatory isolation at home meaning there was no collaboration in the office. This was a challenge for us and although at first, we were negatively impacted we were able to overcome these challenges and adapt quickly to the new working environment at home and have been able to work remotely whilst delivering the project to the highest standards which DCT is renowned for.

Q4. What services will DCT Group Argentina be providing to this project? MEP Modelling, inferences detection and coordination, DIM?

DCT Group Argentina collaborated across this project delivering MEP modeling for all services to LOD300 (Fuels, Electricity, Telecommunications, BMS, Security, Fire Detection, Sanitary Pipes, HVAC systems and fire extinguishing systems).

DCT Argentina also carried out BIM coordination of these services including the recording and digital printing of documents. Finally, aside from the modeling, DCT Group Argentina also completed the population of the model with metadata for constructive sequences simulation (BIM 4D) and for the facilities management of the building.

Q5. How has BIM helped the client on this project?

There are so many benefits to the adoption of BIM on a project that it would take eternity to cover all of them!  But in short, what I can say is that we delivered a project without significant clashes, which will undoubtedly help to save time and of course money to the owner when the construction stage of the building begins. This is just one of the many benefits to the adoption of BIM and the improved safety and reduction of waste on site through modelling.

Q5. Can you tell us anything else about who is involved in the project?

I cannot give away too many details due to client confidentiality, but there is a large multidisciplinary team from several of the most prestigious architecture and engineering studios in Argentina currently involved on the project. It is an exciting project for all those involved, and it will be an honor for all those working on this project to see the end result.

About DCT Group

DCT Group are award winning global virtual design and construction consultants. With strategic locations around the world, DCT’s digital solution for construction projects enhance the design, collaboration and communication process or a project whilst improving the strategic decision-making process and developing the client’s digital capabilities.

Gerardo Olsson is Operations Manager and DCT Group Argentina and is the BIM project lead on the new development in Argentina which is due for completion by Q4 2021. For more information on the project please contact; [email protected] or visit