Applying BIM to Design of Sites and Structures


Since my early surveying days, I’ve seen amazing developments in tools and solutions. By far the biggest impact has come in how integrated solutions can transform the way people work. It’s an exciting time—and when it comes to BIM, things will only get more exciting.

The term BIM, which comes from “Building Information Modeling,” can be a little misleading. It’s not just about buildings; BIM is the process that enables the efficient and quality design, construction and operation of a structure such as a building, bridge or highway. The core BIM principles and concepts, which were pioneered for the construction and management of buildings, are being applied in heavy civil construction, utilities, energy and more. Today, BIM is an emerging technology that is transforming the way we build. The use of 3-dimensional models and real-time management of processes and workflows delivers the efficiency that today’s clients demand.

Modern BIM is the combination of technologies (in the field, office, and cloud), people and processes that support the development and exchange of information for building construction and operations. Just as each project is unique, the concept and application of BIM will vary with the needs of the project’s stakeholders: owners, contractors, architects, designers, engineers, project managers and suppliers. Each of these constituents plays a specific role in the overall project. They often use different skills and technologies to complete their tasks and deliverables while leveraging the collaboration and sharing that lie at the core of effective BIM processes.

Geospatial information plays a role at multiple stages throughout the BIM processes. In order to provide key data and services, geospatial professionals must be adept at the capture, analysis and delivery of information using multiple technologies and formats. In doing so, they use their core capabilities to produce and manage a single, comprehensive reference frame for a project. 

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