Bentley Boosts BIM
Through the use of attribute data "tag sets," the CEME project benefited from issue sheets and drawing registers fully synchronized with the DGN drawings. Door and window schedules and specifications were all produced as a by-product of the CAD model — a clear benefit of BIM.
Sheppard Robson's IT director, Mike Bufalino, credits the firm's efficiency to Bentley's flexible approach to coordinated CAD data, which has helped the seven-decade-old firm change its workflow processes to accommodate BIM. "We can make the transition at the correct pace for each of our projects," Bufalino says.
Coordination Is Key
A different kind of software was adopted by the U.S. Department of Energy for its development of the "Spallation Neutron Source" (SNS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In this case, Bentley coordination software was used for data management.
The SNS is a $1.4 billion accelerator-based neutron source now in construction. When completed in 2006, it will provide the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific research and industrial development.
To support its highly technical and collaborative design, construction, and implementation, ORNL turned to Bentley's ProjectWise for sharing the more than 200,000 drawings, documents, and other pieces of information between the six partnering labs and hundreds of scientists, engineers, and construction managers.
All team members have instant access to needed project documents from a controlled, secure environment. ProjectWise condenses the data from many disparate systems into one content management system, reportedly saving SNS tens of thousands of dollars yearly in software maintenance and IT support costs.
Another award recipient demonstrated how software can support multidisciplinary collaboration in BIM design: the Delta Township (Michigan) Assembly Complex for General Motors by Ghafari Associates, LLC. General Motor's Worldwide Facilities Group is applying "3D Virtual Factory Initiative" to the design, coordination, and construction of the new complex.
Throughout design and engineering, the entire design/ build team, including GM's project engineers, colocated at the offices of Ghafari Associates, the project's lead architect/ engineer.
The team used GM's strategic facilities 3D application based on MicroStation TriForma, GEOPAK, and PlantSpace Design Series to design, coordinate, and produce many of the 2D-coordinated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing construction documents. They were able to decrease rework and increase the quality of the 3D models by implementing workflows and procedures to incorporate structural 3D analysis and fabrication data directly into the models.
Also using BIM to coordinate multiple disciplines was the Maeda Corporation — one of Japan's leading building and civil engineering contractors — in creating the infrastructure for a new research facility. They operated on a tight schedule and had to avoid interfering with the ongoing work of existing labs. They used visualization software to communicate effectively with the client and receive rapid sign-off for the exterior design.
Within TriForma Maeda engineers created objects containing multiple components and formulas for extracting detailed quantity data. They merged hundreds of reference files to generate quantity survey reports and extract drawings.
Maeda Corporation reports that modeling time has been reduced by 75 percent and that the time required to create and modify drawings also dropped dramatically because designers and subcontractors were able to avoid unnecessary rework.
BIM for Simulation and Visualization
One of the most popular applications for CAD technology has been generating imagery. With the advent of BIM, this remains true and quantitative simulations can give such visualizations still greater value to the architectural design processes.
This was demonstrated clearly in DaimlerChrysler's design and construction of the Van Technology Center in Stuttgart, Germany. The designers were challenged by a small, difficult site, and the building's exterior design was critical in shaping a modern, new face for the Untertürkheim site.
Based on a 3D master model, digital reviews take place every two weeks in a specially equipped room: the "Power Wall." In a virtual walkthrough, the team reviews the project for interferences between the various trades. This was one of the first projects that DaimlerChrysler planned fully in 3D, using MicroStation, InRoads, and Digital InterPlot.
At a civic scale, simulation and visualization were applied by the New South Wales Department of Commerce for the Dee Why (Sydney, Australia) Town Centre Master Plan. The plan was developed over a five-month period in consultation with landowners to turn a low-density district into an economically viable and vibrant work/ live/ shop center.
The project involved the use of Bentley software for 3D modeling, visualization, and animation of the town center, generated from constantly changing guidelines. Because the data was centralized in a single model, ideas could be quickly tested and developed.
At the building scale, visualization was applied to the design of the SBA Group's new office building. Danish design firm PLH arkitekter expressed SBA's dynamism in an open, twisting atrium structure with eight intertwined steel helixes. Designing the complex structure in 3D gave the architects greater control over detail and accuracy while cutting design time in half. The 3D model was structured so that several architects could work on the model at the same time.
Frequent visualizations allowed easy inspection and evaluation of aesthetic and functional characteristics keeping clients and local authorities up to date on project developments.
Team Sharing via BIM
Communicating complex geometry within design and construction teams was the motivator for a building information model by Morphosis Architects for a new federal courthouse in Eugene, Oregon. A TriForma model became the primary source of information for the most complex areas. It recorded the relationships between geometries, and GenerativeComponents helped the designers formalize the geometric constraints and demonstrate how they operated.
Using Bentley Structural, Morphosis was able to model the building frame quickly and accurately, reducing the margin for error within tight architectural envelopes. The software also helped the team locate the steel in 3D by precise offsets from the curving finish surfaces, then export those members via steel detailing neutral format (SDNF) to the steel detailer.
CAD-Phil, which designs buildings and HVAC systems for the pharmaceutical industry, developed systems for GSK Biologicals in Gembloux, Belgium, using MicroStation, Bentley HVAC, and TriForma.
Increasing the complexity of the project, each room had to be pressurized differently, depending on its type and intended use. It was also critical to integrate piping, equipment, walls, and accessibility for maintenance, all within limited space. Being able to visualize the mechanical systems in 3D contributed to understanding and communication between all parties involved in construction.
In summing up the 2005 awards program, CEO Greg Bentley applauded the technical skill, imagination, and leadership of his company's customers. An overview of winners in the other award categories demonstrates the reach of technology throughout the world's developing infrastructure.
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