What is BIM?
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is not a product or proprietary software program. BIM is an integrated process built on coordinated, reliable information about a project from design through construction and into operations. The principles of BIM apply to everything that is built including roads and highways. BIM is not just about 3D, although that is part of it, BIM allows Engineers to more easily predict the performance of projects before they are built; respond to design changes faster; optimize designs with analysis, simulation, and visualization; and deliver higher quality construction documentation. Furthermore, it enables extended teams to extract valuable data from the model to facilitate earlier decision making and more economic project delivery.
New Workflows with BIM
Implementing a BIM process for road and highway design starts with the creation of coordinated, reliable design information about the project. This results in an intelligent 3D model of the roadway in which elements of the design are related to each other dynamically—not just points, surfaces, and alignments, but a rich set of information and the attributes associated with it. In this way, BIM facilitates evaluation of many more design alternatives. As part of the design process Civil Engineers can leverage the information model to conduct simulation and analysis to optimize the design for objectives such as constructability, sustainability, and road safety. Finally, with a BIM process, design deliverables can be created directly from the information model. BIM approach can be leveraged for quantity take off, construction sequencing, as-built comparisons, and even operations and maintenance.
The most immediate benefits of BIM for road and highway design are better designs and increased efficiency and productivity. Because design and construction documentation are dynamically linked the time needed to evaluate more alternatives, execute design changes, and produce construction documentation is reduced significantly. Beyond efficiency and productivity, BIM facilitates optimization by including visualization, simulation, and analysis as part of the design process.
Simulation and Analysis
Simulation and analysis helps clients understand the implications of dynamic design choices. With simulation-driven design Designers and Engineers can perform simulations early in the design and engineering process to investigate behaviour, test innovative concepts, and optimize designs before manufacturing or construction.