Whenever a landowner, business person, or corporation seeks to improve their capital through construction projects, there is always a question of how much planning should be put into that project. Too much planning and the project can be unnecessarily delayed and prices can skyrocket. Too little planning and catastrophic mistakes are more likely to happen, causing the project to stall indefinitely.
A great planning process includes architectural drafting, CAD electronic systems, and even BIM simulations. Since each of these engineering processes require different effort and capital to do well, which is the best one for your needs? This article will showcase several unique construction projects that should be planned out using modeling instead of a traditional two-dimensional drawing scenario.
What is BIM?
Building Information Modeling (or BIM) describes the modern processes necessary for modeling current structural, architectural, and engineering projects. BIM services creates a seamless process for planning and implementing any physical project. Simply put, BIM is the process of creating a virtual replica of the building or other project before it is began. For more information on BIM services, please see our BIM services page or BIM category on our blog.
In the rest of this post, we will look at the different types of projects that can benefit from BIM services, and why BIM is needed more than a traditional two-dimensional representation or blueprint.
Complicated Building Utilities
Electrical, plumbing and HVAC are all integral parts of a building’s construction design. The regular daily running of most projects require smooth utilities processes, but many traditional architectural drawings do not adequately define the paths that these utilities will take through a building or campus. Good BIM services will provide you with 3D modeling that engineers specific functionality and process into your buildings. Where are utilities accessed? Utility rooms, crawl spaces and attics need to be designed so that the utility’s installers and maintenance personal can access it. A 3D environment will show whether a person can access the needed utilities before placing someone underneath a building.
Additionally, you need to ensure that utility access points to your building, through walls, to utility cases and more are adequately designed. For example, if you are building a radiant water heating system through a building, there needs to be adequate space in the walls and floor for all the additional pipes. A BIM system will identify any choke points and whether the structural architecture needs to be adjusted to accommodate your building’s utilities.
Utilities that are difficult to plan and complicated usually include multiple resources in a close space, like running electrical and plumbing through the same conduits in a concrete or sandwich board construction. From a contractor’s point of view, these problems seem to be easily solved by drilling another hole, but this can often cause problems with the engineering and design of the building project in the long term.
BIM services are essential towards safe bridge construction. If you have ever heard of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure of 1940, you will remember that having the right mix of building materials and structural formats is necessary to keep a bridge’s structural integrity sound. To engineer the proper materials and shapes necessary to build a modern, structurally sound bridge, BIM services are essential parts of building a bridge to withstand the forces that nature will through against it.
Before doing additional computer testing on hurricane resistance, earthquake resistance, or flood resistance, accurate BIM models need to be developed and imported into your simulation systems. Good information modeling creates a system that demonstrates structure in a more comprehensive manner than any CAD drawings while also presenting you with an accurate file for creating simulations to determine if the bridge will meet structural requirements for the location it is going to be built.
Radio towers and cell-phone towers all require intense engineering in order to submit an application to broadcast in many countries, including the United States. Getting accurate portrayals of antenna location, power supplies, power and communication lines up the tower, is difficult work to do without an accurate 3D model of the tower. Creating a quality tower model requires more than just a description of the tower, but often uses 3D modeling of the surrounding structures and terrain as well.
Tower planning requires specific engineering and construction principles. These principles are best demonstrated to other businesses and to regulatory agencies through 3D graphic illustration. Quality models showcase requirements regarding radiation, regarding terrain, and spacing on the tower.
For businesses looking to build a tower as a portion of their business plan earnings, for businesses looking to lease space on current or planned towers, and for businesses who specialize in creating applications for radio or telecommunications companies, BIM services for tower engineering is an essential part of your business plan.
Water Containment Structures
Combining fluid and structural mechanics is always a difficult chore. Planning for the unique situations that arise when a fluid is held within a solid structure requires systematic engineering and modeling before committing any resources to a project. Common structural elements that include water containment issues include water towers, cooling facilities, certain HVAC systems, and other systems require modeling to ensure that they are strong enough and well-designed so that they can work without leaking and provide the best quality structure.
With water containment structures, simulation programs need to simulate pressure and weight differentials that is difficult to mathematically define from 2D representations. With 3D, 4D, and 5D virtualizations of the system, your engineering team can predict the behavior of the liquids in the system with a higher degree of accuracy.
While some of these are simple systems, like a water tank, even simple systems get complicated when combined with other projects. For example, an office restroom is not a complicated system to design, but when it becomes part of an 80 story building with restrooms and kitchens on multiple floors and a storage tank on the top of the building, predicting weight distribution and water flow becomes a more complicated process.
Finding The Right System
Rather than building from drawings and conjecture, a well-planned construction project of any major scope will use BIM services to virtualize the process and ensure quick turnaround on construction planning and prevent unseen circumstances from delaying the project. With the additional issues each of these situations cause in your construction schedule, accurate 3D models can provide the difference between a successful project and a budget mess.
The right system for planning construction will often have a mixture of traditional CAD and BIM services to both save time and be as detailed as necessary. Whether completely planning the project in BIM or just specific aspects of it, use BIM to analyze data that cannot be easily computed in more flat systems.
Although BIM is one resource for planning building construction, it is an important resource for most major construction projects and one of our growing systems of engineering that we are happy to provide for many of our clients.