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BIM Coordination & Consulting

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a rapidly growing approach to building design, construction, and project management which includes geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components. Building systems such as the structure and foundation, and other assemblies and sequences for the entire project can be input into a computer model in a relative scale. When implemented properly, BIM can facilitate coordination between disciplines and improve the overall quality of the work.

On the detailing side, SDLLC has been utilizing the advanced BIM capabilities of SDS/2 modeling software since 2001. With this software, we create a highly accurate, scaled virtual model of the structure which is data rich with all relevant information necessary for procurement, fabrication & erection of every steel component in the structure. If it is an early detailing project, this level of information can be used to coordinate the multi-discipline design of a building.

The BIM model can also be passed downstream to the contractor, fabricator and erector, increasing the interoperability of the design and construction teams and enabling them to “walk through” the 3D model to resolve any problems. This ensures that the structure is fabricated and erected quickly, accurately, and efficiently. Once the project is complete, the life cycle of the model can be extended by incorporating the final “as-built” model into a “Facilities Management” (FM) model.

On the design side, SDLLC uses Autodesk Revit Structure to coordinate BIM information with the rest of the design team. Revit has proven to be the most common and most reliable of the BIM technologies for structural consultants.

When SDLLC is acting as the steel detailer and the structural engineer on the same project, the benefits of BIM coordination are taken to even higher levels. Model sharing can happen much more frequently, and review of model imports and exports can be done by both the engineer and the detailer, who each have their own priorities and perspectives on the information contained in the model. This higher level of coordination can save the construction team and the owner time and money. The linked video illustrates this deeper level of coordination.

SDLLC also has experience building BIM models for other project team members who are not willing or able to build the models. For example, if the design team on a certain project did not provide a BIM model, we could build the structural Revit model for the contractor or owner, if desired. Likewise, if the contractor, another detailer, and fabricator are having trouble with the SDS/2 or Navisworks models, we can step in and help find a solution to the problem. Even if we are not the engineer of record or the detailer on the project, if our services are needed for BIM we are available.

For more information on the relationship between the structural engineer’s model and the detailer’s model, see related sections Steel Detailing and Structural Engineering Consulting.