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Intelligent BIM workflow

Intelligent BIM workflow

Intelligent BIM processes reduce project delivery times as well as construction and long-term costs. The process of creating and developing a BIM model, which encompasses the essential geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, quantities and properties of all its components, requires deliberate planning and a coordinated approach by the participating industry experts.

Start with a BIM strategy and execution plan
BIM workflow requires the adoption and application of agreed policies. A strategy document should be formulated in accordance with the level of BIM compliance required by the relevant legislative framework or project stakeholders. It will include policy information concerning the responsibilities and deliverables of participating AEC specialists, and guidance concerning the choice of authoring software and BIM file sharing protocols.

Extending the agreed strategy, a specific project's BIM execution plan will define the stand-ards, software platforms and exchange procedures to be used by the team in order to ensure smooth collaboration between all parties.

Use a common coordinate system
AEC projects are often initiated by an architectural design that uses local coordinates and no geospatial referencing. While this may be adequate for collaboration with a structural engi-neer, workflow problems will arise if the project involves access roads and infrastructure services, as these require accurate survey coordinates.

Shared projects need to be set up with a real-world coordinate system and a more authentic BIM workflow would seek to integrate the relevant survey data at the projectís outset so the design model has an accurate location.

Identify the right software for the job
Engineering specialists participating in a project require appropriate software to deliver a contribution that reflects the extent of their field of expertise.

An infrastructure design process, for example, requires the interrogation of project data across the terrain, pipes and roads design disciplines in order to determine the optimal design. Software solutions that depend on the use of additional third-party tools to achieve their intended purpose potentially introduce data exchange inconsistencies and synchronicity problems that may cause disruptions to the workflow.

Intelligent BIM data
Intelligent BIM processes require the exchange of more than just solid faces, 3D data and other geometric information. Consistent collaboration requires the transfer of data rich objects with associated quantities and properties. Where insufficient data is exchanged, a design contribution loses its technical value.

Industry Foundation (IFC) specifications are part of what is referred to as ĎOpen BIMí, and the IFC data format is one of the widely implemented formats that can handle a data rich work-flow. IFC provides a set of definitions for all essential AEC industry object element types and a text-based structure for storing those definitions in a data file. Open BIM is an initiative of several leading software vendors using the open buildingSMART Data Model.

The application of intelligent BIM processes requires moving away from closed software formats and legacy design procedures. Priority must be given to the creation of a common point of reference for all stakeholders across a projectís design phases. Where collaborative workflow is upheld effectively, future changes to the design model can also be integrated directly into the workflow.

An industry case study
When Solid Structures Consulting Engineers (UK) developed their BIM workflow strategy and execution plans, they wanted to make sure that collaborative design processes and intelligent BIM compliant tools were adopted from the word go.

Solid Structures Part of the process is developing a 'Level of Model Definition' (LOD) which describes the level of detail to which a model is developed and its minimum requirements. The LOD allows for clearly defined modelling stages which, in turn, allow for the appropriate engineering re-sources to be efficiently allocated to achieve the required level outcomes. Beyond the engi-neering team, industry experts are further able to make use of the assigned Open BIM software applications to maximize their specialist design contribution.

Solid Structures (UK) Ltd chose Nemetschek Allplan and CIVIL DESIGNER Software packages across their civil infrastructure and structural design processes.

CIVIL DESIGNER is a suite of integrated infrastructure design modules. The software provides IFC file export functionality that allows all the geometric data in a project to be exported as one or more IFC files. This data can be used within any BIM workflow process. The IFC files contain 3D watertight ísolidí model geometry representations of the projectís objects, with various IFC properties and quantities attached to the 3D objects.

Solid Structures (UK) Ltd also chose Allplan Bimplus as their online BIM platform to manage model data, documents and tasks centrally over a complete project lifecycle. The system allows a BIM coordinator to assign specific tasks to project members during the design phases in accordance with the approved project execution plan. The coordinator is also able to handle technical design challenges that arise by allocating software and other resources to the participating engineers and designers.

BIM workflow using CIVIL DESIGNER

A road design, as exported from CIVIL DESIGNER, shown in a BIM Model Viewer

"Civil Designer delivers comprehensive infrastructure design functionality and fits into our BIM requirements, which rely on Open BIM software applications contributing to the development of a shared design model throughout a project's design phases." Sean Daly, Director, Solid Structures, UK

View a video demonstrating the BIM workflow between CIVIL DESIGNER and ALLPLAN Engineering below

Intelligent BIM Wofkflow | Civil Designer Software
Download a print friendly pdf version here >>.

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