Monday, 25 July 2011

Featured BIM Model

BIM Model Las Arena

Featured BIM model now an iconic landmark building in Barcelona, Spain. Truly one of the most architectural and engineering technology used in the redevelopment of the Las Arena Bullring.  The BIM model demonstrate a historical building fabric and modern style roof timber frame, design by Rogers Stirk Harbour and partners.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

BIM, Applications and 6D Platforms

BIM applications are transforming the way we communicate to our design and planning team in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry (AEC). Some of the application that have captured the AEC industry are highlighted as follow:-

4D Simulation (Vectorworks):- A software product that create a simulation model of the building which mimic the real building at every phase of the project. It is primarily used for both pre-construction and construction stages of the project and offers the entire functionally of BIM. (Click image to get detail
information on software)

Tablet PC:- The design and management team have access to designs and attached information in the BIM model.

Vectorworks Landmark w/ Renderworks 2011
Vectorworks landmark 2011
Coby KYROS MID7024-4G 7-Inch Touchscreen Tablet Computer
Tablet PC

6D :- factoring BIM to facility management and life cycle management software.

Construction Schedule 6D


Thursday, 25 November 2010

BIM 1D, 2D, 3D, 4D and 5D CAD explained

The Computer Aided Design (CAD) software application ranging from one to 1D to 5D CAD is a dynamic process and when integrated provides a true realisation of the Building Information Model (BIM) process. This 5D CAD is the future of the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry (AEC). To further explain  this process see explanation below:-

1D CAD which involves the program data.
2D CAD involves a design base upon the data that was program
3D CAD involves data intelligence and linking of a database to generate BIM
4D CAD involves the scheduling and sequencing of construction process
5D CAD involves the cost and resources to complete the project.

Example of 5D CAD work process model
BIM and Construction Management: Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows
Details on 5D CAD


The benefits derived from the 5D CAD process are as follow:-

  • Data integration and tracking
  • Quick analysis
  • Graphical integration
  • Architect, Engineer and Construction processes combine into single environment
  • Coordinating the designs and the construction work by real-time updating process.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

BIM and Google sketchUp

Bim, Google sketchUp a 3D modeling interface and the ability to assign characteristic to objects in the design. It is used in the schematic and conceptual phases of project for designers to understand scale and massing of the conceptual designs.

Google Earth and Google SketchUp design
Google SketchUp Pro Series, SketchUp & CAD
Google SketchUp 

BIM is not just a software. What is BIM? it is a process and a software. BIM tools interface design now has some capability to import and export models from sketchUp in a user friendly way. Google sketchUp and BIM have the ability to undertake early performance analysis on the designers model and then bring the model forward into a more intelligent analysis environment without reproducing the drawing.

The full realisation of the process is continuing and will change the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry (AEC).

Monday, 6 September 2010

BIM and Sustainable Design

The Building Information Model demonstrate the use of green sustainable design and intelligent landscaping in the schematic and planning phase of the building.


Green Sustainable designs and the Building Information Model

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

BIM Extension and Benefits

The Building information Model is continuing to extend more benefits as it integrates more design tool such as Trelligence Affinity. The benefits of such integration are: fast-track space planning and programming, enhanced communication through out the design and construction phases of the project.

Trelligence Affinity

Managing space has never become more easier and dynamic especially during the peliminary stages of complex project. Project analysis and collaboration interms of Cost, Time, and Quality in real time can be evaluated, thus reducing project waste and enhancing cost saving.

Some design softwares with the potential to integrated Trelligence Affinity are: Archicad, Vector works, Allpan, Autodesk Revit, and Google Sketchup.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Figure 4.4: Design productivity during BIM system implementation. Source: Autodesk (2006)

As with any new technology implementation, one may experience a temporary loss in efficiency as the project team comes up to speed. In the case of implementing a Building Information Modelling approach, time invested is paid back in multiples. (Autodesk, 2006). In further identifying the return on BIM investment Karsren (2006) was able to highlight the many benefits to be realised in chapter 3.

Construction Computing Online (CCO, 2006a) has mentioned that the architectural sector is fully aware and embraced the benefits of 3D modelling. They further stated that the inherent logic of designing a building as a three dimension object is unavoidable because of its application to the whole construction process. With this it is possible for example to have a fully interactive 3D construction based model where estimating, scheduling, procurement and site management tools can be integrated. (Construction Computing Online CCO, 2006a)
Because BIM mimics the real building, benefits on the design side can be fully realized. The application of BIM at design stage generate the ability for designer to understand the relationship of the building and its system instantaneously in term of functionality , aesthetics and programming issues.(Goldberg, 2004)
Heller (2006), Karstens (2006) and Hill (2006) highlighted the benefits of 3D modelling with respect to cost reduction, accelerated design process, automatic generation of quantity take-off, the accuracy of the model and ability to communicate effectively with stake holders and subcontractors, plus the incorporation of the whole life cycle cost of the facility and better collaboration in the design and construction process.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Project Integration

With regards to Project integration, Nemetschek supplies a range of modules which is fully compatible with this 3D Model and allows for full integration with other aspects of the industry like building services, structural and energy analysis and facility management. (See Figure 5.8 for example)
As mentioned by Nemetschek (Nemetshek, 2007a) the building services module is:
‘the all-encompassing solution for all HVAC applications, including the planning of heating, ventilation, sanitary and electrical works’ and ‘a single stage process to produce integrated calculations without the need to transfer data to other systems’.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Linking of 3D Model to BIM Database

As impressive as a 3D Model in itself may appear, it does not leave much room for collaboration and integration if it is unable to retain and effectively transfer or share specifications and other important information relating to the building. The key to BIM in this sense lies in the communication of information between the 3D building elements and the BIM Database. With Allplan for example one has the possibility to directly access the BIM Database from within the programme to establish a direct link to the Database. (See Figure 5.7)

IFC Standards

Karstens (2006a) explained that Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is an open standard that generate data schema for software interoperability. This process can be used to integrate vendors’ software or product. For example, a ‘door specified in one software package will still be a door when it is translated into a different package’. (Karstens 2006a)

Although the standard is still evolving, it is possible for software vendors to support IFC certification by programming its software to conform to the AEC industry standard. (Karstens, 2006)
Construction Computing Online (CCO, 2006b) further supported the views of Karstens (2006) and also defined the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI), which was formed to help achieved coordination with in the AEC industry. The IAI Industry Foundation Classes is the only recognised standard by the International Standard Organisation (IOS).
Hoback, (2006) argued that since IFC is still expanding, this means that some of the future potential of BIM modelling was not actually available from all CAD program layers. At present;

- ‘it appears that most CAD design software delivers an IFC file that is useable by a structural analysis program that can import the IFC format.’ (Hoback, 2006)

However, the IFC format for export of the structural analysis to other detailing software is not yet complete. Designers are aware of some of the file compatibility issues such as Drawing (DWG), Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) and so on.
But the problems with these file types is that designers and developers are reluctant to share information in the fear of losing future sales. Fisher (2005) further illustrated the IFC standard integrating the design, analysis, construction and facility management process. (See Figure 4.3)

Howel and Batcheler (2006) explained that CURT (Construction Users Round Table) in their analysis discovered that project schedule and cost overruns is linked to lack of cooperation and integration among design, construction and operation of the project lifecycle. They further argued that for BIM success interoperability is paramount.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


The Evolution of BIM

In looking at the history of methods for Production and Delivery, in Figure 2.8 one is able to see that the concept of BIM really crystallised towards the end of the last century. The BIM concept is simple but also powerful as it seeks to transform and revolutionise the AEC industry.

The theory behind the BIM is the manipulation of every single piece of project data into virtual 3D-4D and 5D model into which scheduling and cost analysis of different designs and construction sequences can speedily occur allowing for problems to be solved well in advanced of procurement, material delivery and onsite construction. The end results that can be derived through collaboration and integration as specified by Thomas and Miner (2006) would include:
‘constructability analysis, structural models both in the form of 2D and 3D, energy and airflow analysis, mechanical and structural collision identification as well as operation and maintenance report’. (Thomson and Miner, 2006)

As mentioned by the Wikipedia encyclopaedia, (Wikipedia, 2007), the term BIM was
‘coined by Autodesk to describe "3D, object-oriented, AEC-specific CAD" and popularized by Jerry Laiserin as a common naming for these capabilities offered by several technology providers.’ (Wikipedia, 2007).

Autodesk (Autodesk 2006), described BIM as:
“the creation and use of coordinated, internally consistent, computable information about a building project in design and construction and beyond.” (Autodesk 2006),
The technological evolution of BIM is being seen today as the only integrated solution as shown in Figure 2.9 which is able to address issues plaguing the construction industry as mentioned before

BIM as a collaboration tool

The American Institute of Architects emphasized that:
“with a Building Information Modelling approach, information and vital project content is preserved, coordinated and transferred as Design, Construction and Operational teams collaborate to deliver the project in as efficient as means as possible” (AIA 2005).

The role of the technology is seen here as being a catalyst and a means of being able to transform a vision of:
‘creating an integrated practice, moving from traditional ways of doing business into fully collaborative, highly integrated, and productive teams that include all the stakeholders in a project’s lifecycle’ (AIA, 2005).

Integrating Building models

In setting up an integrated model Eastman (2006), explained as shown in Figure 2.10 that consideration must be given to effective planning and utilising 3D modelling, thus integrating both design and construction process. The process entails coordinating different building trades within BIM. Some of the application can be supported by interoperability using BIM technology. Application that allow for creating and editing the design are denoted with a large blue circle. Those that support detailing or editing are within white circles, while analysis applications that are generally flowing one way are show in light blue circles.

Setting up the integrated 3D Model based on 2D Drawings

In setting up a BIM solution, one of the first tasks for the author was to transform the mass of 2D Drawings into 3D-elements like foundations, floor slabs, walls and rooms for finishes and other specifications.
details is eliminated because they must not be independently drawn, thus confirming the views of many authors like Autodesk (2006), Hill (2006) and Howel & Batcheler (2005).
With 3D drawings, Nemetschek’s ‘Allplan’ for example also offers the possibility to have all linked drawings and dimensions automatically updated when changes like adding a new wall or window to the building is made. Another advantage of the integrated 3D model was the ability to examine the building based on buildability and the interaction of various building components with one another. With such an innovative and complicated Roof design as the Windsor Project for example, (all compliments to the Planning Bureau Limited, Architects and Town Planners), it was difficult to grasp or visualize the design based purely on the 2D Drawings.