Ramboll – Manageable property information

Property information as a manageable entity

Current practices for building data management waste massive amounts of time and resources in multi-million euro building projects. Data gets fragmented and decays over the building’s life-cycle. Design and Consultancy business Ramboll developed in cooperation with Siili the Ramboll Circle platform, which revolutionizes real estate data management.

“Building projects can last for years, and real estate life-cycles can stretch over even hundreds of years. These years often include many administrative transitions. At the moment, essential information is lost during each transition. In addition, properties are constantly developed. Information about renovations carried out are saved over the years into sometimes hundreds of different systems which cannot communicate with each other. Nobody has the ability to administer the data as a whole”, explains Ramboll’s Chief Data Scientist Janne Liuttu when describing the challenges which led to the creation of Ramboll Circle.

What we did

  • Overall architectural solution
  • Data models
  • Data architecture

Tech & Methods

  • Azure Data Lake
  • Azure's Big Data Platform
  • VUE front end coding
  • Microservice architecture
  • APIs
  • Data research
  • Gap analysis – current state analysis of data models
  • Goal mapping, roadmap and prototyping


The Challenge

After many years, a building only faintly resembles its original form, but the most recent drawings are hard to find. The usage, conditions, building technology and other information for a building is all monitored and administered in different locations.

“We wanted to give property owners a real opportunity to monitor and administer their property using one user-friendly tool. The information for Ramboll Circle is gathered from different sources and used to create for the owner a clear overall picture in which the property information can also be examined as a 3D model in its real environment.”



Administration of the real estate data is based on Building Information Models (BIM), which include a digital description of the property’s features and geometry. Each BIM ranges in size from a dozen megabytes to several gigabytes. Before, there was no technological capability for gathering the data together, let alone administering it from one location.

“When an integrated solution tries to gather together hundreds of thousands of data models and hundreds of other data sources, the task quickly becomes impossible with traditional technology. In Ramboll Circle, we solved this problem by using the modern Azure Data Lake integrated architecture solution. In this approach, the data is managed such that the relevant data for a particular view or 3D environment is imported only when needed”, explains Antti Heinilä, Sales Lead of Siili’s Services Unit, who has been closely involved in the project team’s work.

“Using Azure Data Lake we developed agile methods for handling and processing huge data masses and for ensuring the service’s broad scalability. We also used some of Azure’s other most recent technologies to develop an advanced analysis platform that enables knowledge management and the integration of IoT devices”, continues Data/Cloud Engineer Harri Artinaho.

The service’s overall architecture, the technologies used and the many APIs effectively ensure that the service can be further developed without limit.

“Siili has exceptionally strong expertise in modern technology – without this, it wouldn’t have been possible to create Circle. We share the vision that an open ecosystem is the only right way to operate in large digitalization projects. Together, we make a good team.”

Janne Liuttu, Chief Data Scientist, Ramboll


With its innovative approach, Ramboll Circle has been described as an enabler of new operating models for the whole construction industry, which according to Liuttu is still only in the early stages of digitalization.

“When developing large digital service entities, the only correct approach is to base one’s actions on open ecosystem thinking. In the construction industry, open information exchange or joint development are still quite new concepts. I believe that with the help of Ramboll Circle we will be able to create a genuine platform economy for our sector as well.”

Ramboll Circle made it from the drawing board to trial customer use in just three months. The first users got their hands on it at the start of April 2018.

“New digital services are at the core of our strategy, and we had been engaged in preparatory work for a longer period of time. The actual project progressed very quickly, however, from concept to pilot use. This has largely been possible because of the strong shared vision that we and Siili have of the current and future development of digital services”, Liuttu adds.

Time will tell how widely Ramboll Circle will be adopted. The expectations are high at Ramboll, Siili, and among property owners.

“The initial experiences from the pilot have been very encouraging. It seems that we have come in from a new angle at the right time and at the right place”, Liuttu concludes.



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