How BIM Will Impact the Civil Design Process

By Akio
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bim for civil design

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BIM: A Game Changer for Civil Design

The AEC industry is moving toward embracing a collaborative environment. It is crucial that owners, designers, engineers, and fabricators have simultaneous and real-time access to design models and project data.

AEC business leaders are advocating for Building Information Modeling (BIM) as the future of infrastructure projects worldwide.

Adopting BIM technologies into the civil design process will enable stakeholders to instantly collaborate with each other on an integrated design platform. BIM can provide for digital sharing and collaborating of models, instead of individually working from drawings.

As a result, BIM will increase efficiency and reduce time and cost, which is imperative due to the scope and pace of civil design projects coming from today’s emerging markets. With large infrastructural projects, BIM is a must.

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Without BIM, design changes can be crippling. Cross referencing and approval times drag down productivity and drastically increase construction time and costs. Departments struggle to work coherently with each other. Indexing the work becomes an extra process, thus slowing down the entire project timeline. Teams that depend on drawings, not an integrated BIM model, are unable to fully visualize a structure’s proper angle views due to the limitations of a drawing.

Fortunately, an integrated design platform can avoid these situations.

For AEC stakeholders, BIM is the future of the process.

Better Civil Infrastructure Outcomes Through Collaborative Processes

BIM provides visualization, shared information, and accommodates changes. For best results, identify a project suitable for process experimentation, then determine what value you want to get from a BIM tool set.

Significant BIM capabilities to consider include:

  • End-to-End Collaboration. Sharing with digital models is easier than with drawing sets, while also promoting collaboration of ideas. No team member is isolated as in the past. The project team also can now collaborate on cost and pricing as the design progresses, rather than work from one set budget and schedule.
  • 3D Visualization, instead of 2D drawings. Digital imagery captures reality using simulation tools in a shared model in a way that paper cannot capture. Accuracy is enhanced; rework and duplication of drawings across building disciplines is minimized.
  • Flexible Design Changes. A shared model like BIM can accommodate for changes in design during construction, which can be frequent. In the past, this was a very difficult process.
  • Integrated Data. The platform connects to fabrication and construction data. This promotes pre-fabrication and reduces waste.

As implemented by an integrated solution, BIM makes the civil design process easier—and improves the AEC industry as a whole. BIM can ensure a greater level of accuracy in civil infrastructure projects, improve efficiency and productivity, and save money and time.

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Related Resources

WHITEPAPER: “Civil Design Innovation: Industrialization Methodology Achieves Breakthrough in Civil Design”

Civil Design for Fabrication Industry Solution Experience

3D Technology + Construction: A High-Value Partnership

By John S.
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World-leading, innovative technology is being used successfully to make the aerospace and other manufacturing industries more responsive to demand, dynamic in development and increasingly efficient in delivery. I would argue that the construction industry is crying out for this innovation to drive efficiency, generate sustainability, improve safety and reduce waste.

The techniques of Building Information Modeling (BIM), being applied in some areas of the industry, take us part-way but the full value has yet to be realized.

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The technology used by the aerospace industry embraces the full spectrum: from initial design, detailed 3D digital mock-ups, to testing and proving in the virtual digital world. The 3D model is reviewed, revised, redesigned and tested to destruction without injury or damage.

The same platform of collaborative data then tracks materials requirements and the manufacturing process, following the aircraft from assembly to sale and delivery. It integrates data across the lifecycle of the program, to generate efficiency, reduce cost, cut waste, increase sustainability, improve safety and create value.

Like an aircraft, a building is a system –  superstructure, foundations, air conditioning, useable spaces, arteries providing power, water, waste processing – a system for people.

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a building is a system for people”

The building becomes more than concrete, steel, glass, bricks and mortar – it becomes a space for living, working or leisure, an intelligent space connected to other intelligent spaces – an intelligent system – an intelligent community.

This building, this intelligent space, lends itself to digital design, 3D digital mock-up, review and revision in the virtual world and the ongoing provision of through-life management.

It is a complex logistical system which is simplified, made efficient, given value and given life through data integration and collaboration.

Guggenheim MuseumFrank Gehry gave life to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by approaching Dassault Systèmes to use its leading-edge technology from the aircraft industry to imagine and create the impossibly fluid lines of his building.

In the architect’s own words, this was transformational, and signaled a cultural change in modern architecture.

The building was completed on-time and well within budget, achieving financial savings of 18% in the process. That act would prove to be a game changer.

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The imaginative use of this technology has the potential to make buildings not only iconic and sympathetic with their place in the landscape, but to be intelligent, energy-efficient and sustainable. The manipulation of data enables the integration of retained, legacy buildings, harmonized sensitively with the new development to create places which are special; balancing the old with the new, seamlessly merging the ideas of yesterday with those of tomorrow.

This information provides the arteries which allow the dynamism of the construction provider to flow and the imagination of the client to be realized. It harnesses the desired outcomes of the client, the strength and capabilities of the construction industry, and the power of leading-edge technology, significantly improving the quality of sustainable construction and creating assets which are fit-for-purpose, environmentally sensitive and of lasting value.

Originally published: http://blogs.3ds.com/uk/3d-construction/

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Related Resources:

AEC Industry Solutions from Dassault Systèmes

End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3 [WHITEPAPER]

Think a Zero RFI Goal Is Impossible? Consider These Strategies for Improving Project Coordination

By Marty R
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reduce change orders on AEC projects”

The typical commercial construction project generates on the order of 3,000 to 20,000 RFIs (Requests for Information). It’s a staggering number, especially considering reviewing and documenting each RFI takes time. Studies show each RFI resolution costs about $1,000 in time and labor, even when BIM design tools are utilized.

RFIs are an indication of a lack of understanding of the design, as well as a lack of close coordination among the project teams. Further, RFIs are the source of changes in scope, costing the project owner more time and money than expected.

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For AEC teams aiming to improve performance and predictability in construction, the goal should be to reduce RFIs as much as possible.

One way to do this is to get all team members on the same page early in the design process. A building lifecycle management (BLM) approach can facilitate this, drastically reducing RFIs and change orders.


Related Whitepaper: End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices 


BLM success story: One Island East, Hong Kong

Swire Properties Ltd. applied BLM processes and technologies for its One Island East tower in Hong Kong. The 70-story, 1.75 million square foot project was delivered on time, and with zero cost overruns.

3D clash detection became a primary vehicle for early collaboration and enhanced coordination. Over 2,000 issues were identified and resolved prior to tender. As a result, the One Island East project team issued just 140 RFIs—a 93% reduction from traditional construction coordination processes.

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project was delivered on time, with 0 overruns.”

One_Island_East_201302-Image-Source-Wikimedia-Commons-courtesy-of-WiNG

One Island East,
Hong Kong

Incentivizing the shift to early collaboration

The benefits of closely coordinated teams might be clear cut for to the project owner: a project that is delivered on time and on budget. However, individual members of the design and construction team might not be so quick to invest in a change to BLM processes that enable this improved coordination.

Typical construction project budgets include a healthy contingency, meant to cover overruns caused by RFIs and change orders. A portion of the contingency can be reallocated as a fee for the design firm and subcontractors to work on identifying issues that create RFIs.

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architect & subs as incentive for preventing RFIs”

Thus, re-allocating a portion of the contingency becomes an incentive for eliminating jobsite problems before they arise.  Technology can support the detection and resolution of these problems earlier—when these issues are less costly to resolve.

The benefits of a collaborative approach

Such early coordination among team members can dramatically reduce RFIs, preventing budget and schedule inflation. Moreover, owners benefit in the long run by having a project team focused on improving operational performance.

AEC teams that put the tools in place to improve project coordination are better prepared to turnover a project that can ease maintenance and operations throughout the building’s lifecycle. And they’ll be able to improve their own bottom-line as well.


To learn more about how AEC professionals can benefit from the collaboration enabled by BLM, download the Dassault Systèmes whitepaper.

Extended-Collab-venn-diagram

BLM Processes Reduce RFIs

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