An Interview with Eric Bernier, Zenit Consultants

August 18, 2016


Zenit Consultants was founded in 2009 by Eric Bernier, an architectural technologist by trade who was just finishing a contract with a local Autodesk reseller. He started using Revit in 2002 and trained over 800 people on the software, marking their first steps on the BIM road. In 2009, he was working alone in his company for DCYSA Architects in Montreal. The project was characterized by a 30 level high-rise residential building located downtown Montreal. Due to the scale of the project and the rapid BIM implementation that the project demanded, Zenit Consultants grew by hiring more BIM specialists. Today, Zenit Consulting has more than ten employees with multiple specialties and areas of expertise, ranging from architectural, structure and MEP training and Revit Implementation to 3D scanning, BIM direction on big projects, doing clash detections, estimation, and also using BIM on the construction field and even to the end of the BIM process with the client handover. Zenit is the BIM pioneer in Quebec!

CanBIM: What is your role at Zenit Consultants?


ER: My role at Zenit Consultants is to make sure that we deliver the best BIM services possible. We achieve that thanks to our unique team comprised of members with hands on experience. We have a unique approach to BIM and BEM technology, and worked on mega projects such as the CHUM, CUSM and other hospital projects as well as university buildings. Being a geek, I like to be the first to try new technology and processes and discuss it with team members. Even if I’m president and founder of Zenit Consultants, I like to get my hands dirty and actually work with my clients. I’m currently working with a big Contractor company to implement BIM in their processes and evaluating different field solutions like Trimble, Autodesk and others. My specialty is technology and implementation processes.


CanBIM: What BIM platforms do you mainly use at the moment? Why?


ER: Being an Autodesk Training Center, we are mainly using their software like Revit, Navisworks, the BIM 360 suite, Infraworks, dynamo etc. The contractors and subcontractors in Quebec face a particular problem: the government and big project owners want to have a BIM model at the end of the project. They must comply with the call for services and train their people on this new tool like Autodesk Revit, Recap 360, BIM 360 FIELD and GLUE for example. This is why we are using those tools more than ever now.


CanBIM: What are some of the main concerns clients have when beginning to introduce BIM to their practice. How can we overcome these concerns?


ER:The main concern would be the return on investment (ROI). They want to know how and when they will get back the money spent. By chance, a lot of case studies exists and we can speed that process up with our experience so they don’t dash headfirst in known pitfalls. They are also concerned with the procedure and integration processes. Will it be painless etc… They want to see results fast. Again, our extensive experience has proven that those processes are successful.


CanBIM: How do you see BIM evolving in Canada and in the world?


ER: I had the chance to speak with a variety of people worldwide: in the USA, France, Ireland, UK, and Australia. I had the pleasure to attend conferences in many of those countries. Canada is evolving at a good rate and a much quicker compared to last year from what I have experienced. I see a lot of good things coming our way. The government in Quebec is getting involved in BIM processes. This factor surely marks the open mind set of the community. Also being in the field, I can see that subcontractors are very happy to use BIM on site. They see that BIM generates less RFIs and punch lists are streamlined with Field and cloud software.