Pontsteiger’s Innovative use of openBIM® Sets a New Standard for Construction

Pontsteiger Residential building “Pontsteiger” is the tallest of its kind in Amsterdam, Netherlands, rising 90 meters out of water in the IJ canal. This project hosts 366 apartments, 1400m² commercial real estate, 500 underground parking places, and a marina for 40 yachts. The planning, development and construction was done by De Nijs and Dura Vermeer and an extensive list of architects, designers, engineers, co-makers, sub-contractors and suppliers.  The project made extensive use of openBIM processes and collaboration and set a new standard for construction engineering by developing a strategy for the use of Industry Foundation Classes (IFC).

One of the project challenges was that all building information needed to be available before production. No cutting and drilling on site would occur. For building speed, the project had to make use of prefabricated materials as much as possible. Demand models were developed to look at all disciplines to a level at which production could participate in making their own supply models.

Working with Solibri Model Checker and IFC models, several coordination models were built to allow for coordination and checks. BIM coordinators kept these models up-to-date and added new supply aspect models as they came in. In the coordination models, the demand models were completely classified with the project’s classifications in order to have a good overview and make automatic and visual checks between aspect models easier. All clashes and issues where kept digitally, using BCF zip files. Final models formed a base for other partners to confirm their aspect models to.

Managing remarks on hundreds of dynamic models with many project members was very difficult.  An issue management workflow was developed to resolve this using IFC, BCF and BIMcollab. The issue management workflow made it possible to manage, engineer and coordinate this very difficult project, resulting in a coordinated model within time and budget.  By using only IFC and BCF, the use of paper was minimized, and a highly integrated BIM coordinated model was created. The demand and supply models substantially reduced costs.

This project proved that highly complex multidisciplinary design and production coordination through IFC is possible. It entailed more than 50 disciplines delivering IFC, over 350 unique IFC’s, and over 3500 different versions of IFC. By effectively managing a strategy for the use of IFC information, all teams benefited from having access to the right data to manage change throughout design and construction.

The project was realized through the use of open standards, working together and sharing knowledge, being process oriented and focusing on information delivery. It established a new standard for digital construction in the Netherlands, known as ‘BIM Basic IDM’. This project was delivered on time and on budget.

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Project Overview

Project Pontsteiger


Amsterdam, Netherlands


Inspire design collaboration, integration and alignment; reuse information throughout the whole supply chain and stimulate forward integration of knowledge from suppliers and producers

Software used:

Allplan, ARCHICAD, BIMcollab, Docstream, Solibri Model Checker, Tekla Structures, Vectorworks

buildingSMART tools:

IFC 2x3 and BCF


• 85 project participants worldwide

• 75% of all concrete and 100% of all steel structures produced off-site

• 3000+ versions of IFC models

• 6000+ BCF issues to be managed