Cape Town based engineering firm saves the environment, one building at a time.
This experienced engineering firm will soon be launching one of South Africa’s most state-of-the-art medical facility for Mediclinic. Utilising the company’s expertise in energy efficient construction, this facility will make use of the latest technologies and engineering practices available. Lombard Consulting Engineers have a rich heritage within the medical facilities space and their staff have been involved with Mediclinic since its inception over 30 years ago. This expertise has allowed them to play a major role in other construction projects, most notably The Edge, situated on the Tygerberg Waterfront. This is one of South Africa’s few 5-star Green Star SA rated buildings.
About Lombard Consulting Engineers
Lombard Consulting Engineers is a relatively new engineering practice, but it is part of a new breed of consulting firm that has opted to work exclusively in Autodesk Revit, irrespective of the software used by the associated stakeholders. A decision that has saved the firm a lot of time and money.
The company was founded in 2014 but the staff at Lombard Consulting Engineers have experience in the building industry going back more than three decades. As a multi-disciplinary consulting firm, the company’s vision is to become a leading specialist mechanical and electrical engineering consultant, in all the major cities of Southern Africa.
Lombard Consulting Engineers’ main focus is building services and they are one of the top tier engineering firms when it comes to hospitals and hospital services.
Mediclinic Stellenbosch – Electrical and Mechanical Revit Model
Industry disruptors face interesting challenges
One of the biggest drawbacks of the construction industry is the mindset of, ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’. While established norms and practices are a good thing, the benefits of using Autodesk’s technology far outweighs the inefficiencies of many old school practices.
David Lombard, founding member of Lombard Consulting Engineers had the foresight to see that there is a new wave of technology coming and realised that if they don’t jump onboard that train, they’ll miss it. Coetzee says this is what a lot of international companies have done. “Construction techniques are changing and time tables are constantly moving up. Customers are demanding more construction in less time.” He adds that if you’re not already onboarding the new industry technologies, you are rapidly falling behind.
While onboarding new tech is important, understanding the steep learning curve that is required for tools like Revit is paramount says Coetzee.
"Our background with some of our founding partners stretch back 30 years to the inception of Mediclinic. When it comes to hospitals there are very few people that have as much background knowledge as we have in this field"
V&A Waterfront – Sea Water District Cooling Plant – LCE’s First Revit Project in 2014
"A lot of people make the mistake in thinking that once they’ve completed a Revit course they’ll be on top of their game. The truth is that experience is still a very important part of the engineering process and knowing where to look when problems creep in is what separate the experienced from the inexperienced."
Lombard Consulting Engineers are experts in the areas of energy efficient construction and chilled water plants and have done everything from day-to-day chilled water plants to sea-water and lake water cooling. Even their buildings are designed in such a way as to make use of any otherwise wasted energy, thus improving the building’s efficiency and carbon footprint.
“Companies with the foresight to spend extra money up front in energy efficient buildings will save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in the future,” says Coetzee. The other benefits of introducing alternative sources of cooling or heating means that your general plant size decreases, which is great news for the environment, he adds.
When it comes to savings and efficiencies within their business, Coetzee says they see huge benefits on each project they’ve worked on with Autodesk Solutions at the helm. A primary example is the exponential time and cost savings they see when using Autodesk’s Point Cloud Software.
“A few years back, measuring up a 1,000KW chilled water plant room would take hours of meticulous measuring and drawing. Now, with Autodesk Recap we spent half a day doing the scan and we have all the data we need at our fingertips.” The increased workflow and reduced time out of the office translates to the same level of service delivery at a reduced cost to the engineering company and in turn to the client.
Mediclinic Panorama - Chilled Water Plant Revit design using a 3D Scan
Paying it forward
Being at the top comes with its advantages and disadvantages says Coetzee. “Once we get involved with a project our efficiencies and state of the art tools usually mean we are leaned on to drive more of the project during the planning and construction portion.” This is where Lombard Consulting Engineers sees a big opportunity for industry upliftment and gives them the chance to pass on valuable knowledge that will go a long way on future projects.
On the other hand, assisting Coetzee and his team is Jacqui Petzer and her team at Baker Baynes, Autodesk Gold Partner. “Their response and response times are phenomenal, and should they not be able to help, they put me in contact with someone from Autodesk in the US immediately,” says Coetzee.
"This has massively reduced the need for site visits and modelling of existing services in 3D and has increased our workflow anywhere from 15% to 30% depending on the nature of the project."
Partnered locally with an award-winning Autodesk Gold Partner, Baker Baynes, Lombard Consulting Engineers is an example of Innovation and excellence. “The work that they are doing not only benefits their organisation, but the entire project ecosystem. This is where the true value of BIM lies” says Baker Baynes Managing Director, Richard Smedley-Williams.
He goes on to add “We have a responsibility to help our customers get ROI from their technology investments, and ideally resulting in better design concepts. Lombard were committed to technology and its benefits – imagine if all of South Africa could be like this. Imagine how strong our economy would become.”
Baker Baynes is a consulting company, representing Autodesk, who help professionals design and make a better world. Committed to playing a role in solving South Africa’s urbanisation challenges, Baker Baynes is bringing digital transformation to a variety of critical industries. Recently being awarded their 2nd coveted Autodesk Platinum Club Award, Baker Baynes has proven its ability to lead its clients into digital transformation.
At Baker Baynes We believe: “Buying software is transactional, helping you adopt the software is transformational”