Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is first and foremost a centralized, collaborative process where project stakeholders work together and share information. This allows for better organization of design and construction, with professionals from various disciplines contributing to the process. Naturally, this goes beyond simply sharing a 3D model, as each model contains data that will be useful throughout the project life cycle.
Historically however, construction professionals worked in isolation, as the means of communication and technology weren’t as evolved as they are today. Sometimes, for instance, important information on 2D drawings would get lost. Consequently, the design phase was often plagued with fragmented deliverables, miscommunication and limited visualization, which often required rework.
Engineers can reap the benefits of BIM just as much as architects and other stakeholders.
Nowadays, BIM enables early detection of clashes, improved communication, visualization and an overall increase in productivity.
For example, shared information and common databases now make it possible to reuse information several times without having to completely remodel a project.
Other benefits of BIM include:
The BIM process as applied to structural analysis and calculation
At its core, the BIM process allows engineers to better coordinate the design as the project progresses. Interoperability between BIM software and different structural analysis software allows engineers to use the calculation tool of their choice. Ultimately, 3D model exchange between structural analysis and BIM software enables 2D drawings that are extracted from the models to be cohesive and coordinated in accordance with the reality of the project.
BIM provides accurate tracking of project changes
Instead of trying to manually aggregate information from various sources into a single model, BIM makes it possible to seamlessly
receive and send accurate data. From a structural engineering standpoint, this data includes:
• General model and structural member geometries
• Section and material properties
• Structural behaviour, for example end hinges and eccentricities
• External loads applied to either the architectural or structural model
• Internal forces in structural members calculated with the structural analysis software
Using a BIM synchronization feature, data transfers and updates to a project can be managed and applied automatically.
Furthermore, users can easily verify the highlighted changes and decide on whether to accept or reject modifications.
Download the full whitepaper here to discover many other topics:
- Collaboration between architects and engineers is evolving thanks to BIM
- Common challenges of BIM
- Scarcity of talent
- Culture shifts
- A business development opportunity
- Different steps of the process: tools and training
- The choice of BIM software
- The next step is training
- Addressing resistance to change
- Structural engineering implications to the overall BIM process
- The future of BIM