Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is a process that involves creating and using an intelligent 3D model to inform and communicate project decisions.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is changing how buildings, infrastructure, and utilities are planned, designed, built and managed. BIM solutions for structural designers help turn information into insight and deliver business value at every step in the process.
“Business value,’ that sounds great doesn’t it? Imagine you are the owner, MD or a CEO of an AEC company, i.e. the most important or senior person in the organization; you would surely want a business process that adds value right? Your responsibility as the Principal is the overall health and profitability of the business. You are the decision makers who implement new business processes to increase the overall effectiveness of your organization. Effectiveness can be defined as lower costs, higher accuracy, less conflict and coordination issues; more productivity, etc.
This conversation is about how you can benefit your business and how a BIM software that is specifically built for structural engineering can help you achieve that.
There is no question of the fact that engineering offices get paid to produce drawings.
The 3 main structural engineering tasks are:
- Structural analysis;
- Detailing for fabrication/construction;
- Design documentation [communication, NOT drawings]
BUT WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE DRAWINGS?
The purpose of the drawings and documentation [plans, elevations, sections complete with dimensions & notes etc.] is to communicate how the design looks and is put together.
The process of building is an endeavor that is all about exchanging and understanding of information about what is to be done. The promise of BIM is based primarily on better communication/collaboration resulting efficiency in all the businesses involved in a project. For Engineering offices, efficiency and business effectiveness are currently measured in terms of time consumed and this is what we want to talk about.
To stay relevant and ahead of the competition, structural engineers need to produce accurate, consistent and high quality work quick! Incomplete or uncoordinated drawings fail in their purpose to effectively communicate how the design looks and how the structural solution is put together – they introduce “doubt” for contractors. Uncertainty drives requests for information [RFI’s] that reduce or eliminates project profitability.
As the assertion for engineering offices is to get paid upon satisfaction of their contractual responsibilities, they need to be:
- Quick in modelling and produce drawings that add value to engineers and their customers alike.
- More flexible and competitive by having the ability to better predict the outcome of their structures before it’s even built.
- More proactive in reducing coordination errors and improving accuracy.
- To be able to accommodate design changes as they occur while improving coordination with extended teams.
A BIM software for Structural Engineering can help you in all the above-mentioned areas and much more as it helps structural engineers stay flexible and competitive. Structural design and documentation can be integrated earlier in the process and design interferences can be addressed before construction begins – it helps structural engineers to more efficiently accommodate design changes as they occur!
As there quite a few players out there who claim they provide the “ultimate” solution, you need to make sure that you go for the one that creates fast workflows proven for all phases of structural projects. A software that provides productivity and workflow improvements for all structural engineering tasks.