Floating Water Platforms: Construction & Uses

 Floating Water Platforms: Construction & Uses : Although most modern construction takes place on dry land, sometimes building on top of water has its benefits too. Floating platforms form the basis of on-water construction, which can be used for a variety of purposes.

Types of Floating Platforms

Whether you’re looking for moderate or deep water applications, there are floating platform construction models designed to suit a variety of industries.

  • Spar Platforms – suitable for harsh environments with ice and cold temperatures
  • Semi-Submersible Platforms – suitable for mid-range and deep water production and drilling
  • Tensioned Leg Platforms – suitable for supporting dry trees and is cost effective
  • Extendable Draft Platforms – suitable for ocean science measurements and hydraulic power

On-Water Construction

Unlike large ships and barges, floating platforms can be stably constructed without ballasting or using an excess of materials. These structures have low buoyancy, which makes them cost-effective but limits the loads that they can hold. Some projects require more buoyancy, and for those, tanks can be added to the sides and cavities. It’s important that on-water construction projects can withstand high winds and waves in case of hurricanes and other storms.

BIM modelling

 Power Platforms

The most common use for offshore construction is to produce and transmit gas, electricity, and oil. Some engineers fully construct the facility on land and then tow the structure out to the water. Modular construction is often used to construct individual pieces of the platform on shore and then lift them into place with a crane.

Oil platforms are typically fixed installations that remain in key locations. Related floating vessels include drilling rigs for deep water extraction and jack-up floating designs that include a barge with legs. When floating platform construction requires extensive labor, floating hotel vessels are used to accommodate workers.

Wind Power and Electricity

In the U.S., wind power has emerged as a very promising source of electricity. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that 30 percent of new generating capacity over the last five years was attributed to wind turbines.

Offshore wind turbines require engineers to design floating platforms that are tethered to the ocean’s floor. Off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, engineers are using $232 million of government dollars to build a deep water platform with wind turbines. To help stabilize the platform, engineers added more bolts to prevent sway, added more transformer oil, and raised the oil tank height.

“We believe that a downwind design will have particular advantages for a wind turbine mounted on a floating platform that is subject to tilting, such as higher generation efficiency” wrote Mitsuru Saeki, Hitachi senior project manager, who also pointed out that downwind turbines track changes in wind angles when they blow from the side.

Residential Real Estate

Living near or even on the water is a big perk for many homeowners, so floating platforms also have a place in residential real estate. Experienced construction companies can create building foundations, gangway platforms, ferry landings, fuel stations, and housing structures on the water.

Concrete floats are popular to use as support structures for floating homes because of concrete’s strength and stability. Just as with any home construction process, concrete floats must also be level, buoyant, varmint-free, and have in-floor heating and insulation. Most floating home platforms are built in a depth of about five feet, although they typically need only about three feet to float. Floating platforms can even be used for large venues, such as The Float at Marina Bay in Singapore, which is used for concert performances and exhibitions. Reference viatechnik.

How to decide the returns received on BIM modeling cost incurred?

How to decide the returns received on BIM modeling cost incurred?

Determine the returns received on the bim modeling cost incurred during the pre-construction or design phase.



Tremendous changes have occurred in construction industry with the development of technology. Nowadays, the typewriters and drawing boards are replaced by computer software to produce construction documentation. Other most important revolution in construction industry is Building Information Modeling (BIM), which makes significant change in efficiency and accuracy. Implementation of BIM can reduce the design fees that should be paid. But, at the same time, BIM modeling cost under BIM implementation is increased.

  • BIM transfers the quality digital information from briefing through design and construction and finally to the owner-operators of the building. So, the person, who gets most benefits from BIM, is the owner operator. Some of the important features of BIM are the following.
  • BIM helps analyze building design and thermal calculations and reduce energy-use significantly, as it enables use of renewable energy, improved design of the building fabric and services and simple decisions like the building’s position with respect to its environment.
  • BIM provide the clients with high quality digital information, with which they can help the maintenance of the facility. The digital information ensures happening of maintenance at an optimal schedule.
  • With the help of modeling the building, the clients can make informed decisions at design time about the quality of the products and they can be installed in their facility.
  • Another major benefit of BIM is cost saving. It is very difficult and costly to correct the clashes between structure and the services on construction site. The costs will increase along with the increase in the number of clashes and that will lead to a great loss to the owner. AsBIM helps early detection of clashes, this problem can be solved to a great extent.
  • Working with incomplete or badly co-ordinated construction document may force the construction team for further information. It is also expensive to rework on design, if the construction has already started. As BIM enables digital construction at design time and the physical construction second time, this problem is solved.

All these above described points do not mean that design fees is reduced in the BIM. But, if you are ready to spend extra on designing in BIM,you can save 20% on construction cost and 60% on operation cost. The method to reduce BIM modeling cost in the design phase is to create pre-design templates combined with common building elements such as geometric constituents and provisions. It helps produce similarly replicated buildings through the BIM template. So, we can save and improve designs by using standardized digital construction templates.

To conclude, even though the designers have to face rise of design fees in BIM adoption, they get value to the construction process and reward for this. However, if the designers get repeated business orders for similar projects from clients, the fees will reduce. But, use of BIM increases the efficiency of these projects and the margin of all members of the construction team.

A professionals cost depends on the worth added by the designer during the project. BIM models, through running simulations, handing over usable asset data and designing out clashes and waste, enables the designers to offer more value to their clients than the traditional design methods can. Demonstrating this value to the clients and receiving fees in proportion to the added value is the responsibility of the architects and engineers. reference bimforum knor more then contact us.

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BIM Consulting Australia – An Industry Overview

BIM Consulting Australia – An Industry Overview


Everybody says that BIM promised significant cost saving delivery. But still people are not clear about it. We still doubt on many things like how these savings will eventuate and who gets these cost savings and who gets the advantages in the future etc. But on a company or project-by-project basis, it is clearly evident that a shift to 3D process and BIM consulting Australia benefits construction industry significantly. In fact, many firms already reported that this technology ensure cost savings.

The construction industries in Australia reports that designers can save 30 percent of man hours by using 3D over 2-dimensional process. 4D programmers and 5D quantity surveyors also report that use of BIM enables to reduce the time taken for producing estimated and developing real time re-visioning from weeks to days. It also improves integrity and certainty of the model data.

Mechanical contractors report that BIM can reduce labor cost up to 30 percent with the help of reliable model data. Mechanical contractors are responsible for the integrated supply-chain workflows and prefabrication techniques.

Decisions taken in the early stage of construction can influence time and costs significantly. However, different professionals should be engaged at different phases of the process for various types of projects. For a commercial scale building project, 17 percent of the construction cost is for the indirect cost of preliminary drawings, head-office overhead expenses and margins. Remaining 83 percent is relegated to subcontract prices. So, those, who have the most to gain in a building project is subcontractors. This amount is used for efficient virtual design and construction process. In short, the margins of a subcontract may be as much seven times that of a head contractor.

But the situation is just opposite in a civil project such as a residential land subdivision. In Australia the subcontractors handle only 17% of the total cost. The advantage lies largely with the head contractor.

The resource sector like a gas pipeline project has higher relationship between direct and indirect costs than any other construction type. The indirect cost of a head contract can be nearly 45 percent of the project. Moreover the plant is owned and labor is employed by the head contractor and it will construct nearly 83% of the remaining 55 percent of the direct costs. A pipe line project is made more efficient after an engineering procurement only when the head contractor stand to gain in terms of profitability on delivery.

In short, Equal engagement of both the head contractor and subcontractor in providing advice on the construction of a plant is required to determine the savings.

To deliver greater certainty in the model information, owners and contractors should work with business. It helps reduce risks in a project and enhances the quality, cost and time for the project. The nature of the contract and its timing also has a significant role. Before entering into a construction contract, the owner gets all savings that result from lean and design. Once the head contract and different subcontracts are finalized, the terms of those contracts will determine who will own time and cost efficiency. The single point of truth for the entire project team is the designer’s parametric modeling at the outset. When the documentation and reliability of the model data is improved through each stage of revision, the resulting building design and construction ensure subcontractor costs are more predictable. It also makes the negotiations more transparent. The variations and extension of time are also reduced. reference bim forum know more then contact us.


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World’s Longest Bridges and China’s New Record-Breaker

World’s Longest Bridges and China’s New Record-Breaker

We recently explored how high modern engineering can go. The next logical question is, “how long can it go?” As you’ll soon discover, this question is a little trickier.

Measurement Wars

Architects and engineers have been comparing the world’s longest bridges for many years, but this is no easy task. You see, there is no standard way to measure the total length of a bridge, so measurement wars have ensued.

Some bridges are measured from the beginning of the entrance ramp to the end of the exit ramp. Others are measured from shoreline to shoreline, and still others are measured by the length of total construction involved in creating the bridge. Does a bridge have to be over water, or do elevated road bridges count too?

China’s Fascination with Long Bridges

China has dominated the realm of long bridges for many years now. At this time, China holds the record for the two longest bridges in the world: the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge and the Tianjin Grant Bridge. At a length of 102.4 miles and price tag of $8.5 billion, the Danyang Kunshan was opened in 2011 and crosses the Yangtze River and Yangcheng Lake. At 70.64 miles in length, the Tianjin Grand Bridge is a high-speed railway that runs between Beijing and Shanghai.


The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

But once again, China intends to out-do itself. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is an ongoing construction project that will connect the Chinese cities of Hong Kong, Zhauhai, and Macau by a series of tunnels and bridges. Construction began in 2009, and it’s expected to be complete in 2015 and open  for public use in 2016. It will be the world’s longest sea bridge, spanning about 31 miles in length.

This bridge differs from the others in China because it includes a 3.4-mile underwater tunnel with artificial islands joining the bridges on both sides, making it the first marine bridge and tunnel project in the country. According to the construction project official, Zhu Yongling, “It is designed with a service life of 120 years. It can withstand the impact of a strong wind with a speed of 51 meters a second.” Once completed, the bridge will allow six lanes of traffic traveling at 60 mph, which will cut travel times from Hong Kong to Zhuhai from four hours to one.

Other Long Bridges in the United States

  • Lake Pontchartrain Causeway: Located in southern Louisiana, this is currently the world’s longest continuous bridge over water, measuring 23.8 miles long.
  • Manchac Swamp Bridge: Also in Louisiana, this bridge measures 22.81 miles long and is the longest toll-free road bridge in the world.


Other Long Bridges in the World

  • Bang Na Expressway: Located in Thailand, this six-lane elevated highway crosses the Bang Pakong River and at 34 miles long, it earned the title of “world’s longest road bridge.”
  • Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge: This high speed railway was built in China in 2008 and runs 49.54 miles in length.
  • Jiaozhou Bay Bridge: Built in 2011, this Chinese bridge spans 26.4 miles and is currently the Guinness Book of World Record’s longest bridge over water.

Regardless of location and length, bridges connect people, places, and ideas. Bridges have the power to promote socio-economic development, create employment opportunities, and make our lives more efficient. Thanks to innovative engineering designs, like the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, our world can expand greater lengths than ever thought possible. reference viatechnik know more then contact us.

Cost estimation in construction using 5D BIM modeling

Cost estimation in construction using 5D BIM modeling


The BIM model that contains objects and assemblies to add cost dimension to it is called 5D BIM. The cost data is incorporated within the BIM model objects themselves or it is linked to estimating software tools. Thus 5D BIM modeling helps create a relationship between elements and include the properties and specification of each element and object. So, we can extract comprehensive and accurate information from the model used for costing.

A collaborative effort of people is required to get the maximum effect from the models. So, the main aim of 5D BIM is to enhance collaboration on projects. It also facilitates the management of the project overall. But, the designers have to generate appropriate 3D information and the construction team should check for clashes to become the 5D model effective.  As 5D software is able to check clash detection, it can encourage a collaborative atmosphere throughout the project. BIM, through the use of a centralized model, enables automatic updating of the design changes and coordination among the project team.

Some benefits of 5D BIM cost modeling:

  • 5D BIM Modeling can increase the visualization of projects such as construction details.
  • It helps the people to work together to make the models effective and thus enhance the collaboration on projects.
  • 5D BIM improves the quality level of the finished projects because the users maintain the quality of data in BIM models.
  • As the costing of design options can be done during early design stage with the help of 3D and so 5D BIM modeling makes project conceptualization easier.
  • Using 5D software, design details can be pointed out with more clarity and it facilitates the analysis capability of the model.
  • 5D ensures more take-offers during the stage of budget estimate.
  • Its efficiency to generate quantities for cost planning is higher than the traditional software and manual take off during the detailed cost plan stage.
  • As it helps identify potential risks at earlier stage, team can improve clash detection in design stage itself than traditional approaches can.
  • It increases ability to resolve RFI’s in real time.
  • As 5D BIM is able to model project options before and during construction, it improves estimating. reference bimforum know more then contact us.

Preparing for Global Warming

Preparing for Global Warming

Even with some contrarian reports that have been brought to light lately, the vast majority of the scientific community believes in the fact of global warming. Regardless of what skeptics might say about it being a “made up disaster” one thing is certain, the ice cap is melting and seas are rising. That poses a grave threat to all coastal cities and towns. Countries such as Singapore, Palau and the Netherlands, all of which are at or below sea level, face the risk of being wiped right off the map.

Experts are not in agreement as to how much of a rise in average sea levels we will see, but figures ranging from one foot to as much as five feet of rise by the end of the century have been predicted. In some cases, even the best case scenario would be too much, let alone having almost two meters of rise to deal with.

Coastal engineers everywhere have been studying this risk and seeking ways of responding to it. The Dutch, long recognized as the world’s foremost experts in holding back the sea are experimenting with new “soft” defenses to deal with these rising tides. One of these has been to build a massive sandbar, as a barrier island to protect miles of beaches from erosion. This structure, called the Sand Engine, is expected to last 20 years, eliminating the need to replace beach sands every five years.

Maeslant Barrier Flood Control System
Maeslant Barrier Flood Control System

The Maeslant Barrier in Rotterdam was built to protect the city from rising seas, specifically a storm surge. It is an automated system, with two floating gates that are each 210 meters long. When the seas are expected to rise in excess of three meters due to storm conditions, the gates automatically close, then flood to settle into a trough constructed along the bottom of the river.

Singapore is another country with large amounts of land reclaimed from the sea; amounting to over 20 percent of their total land area. In a recent decision, regulations for reclaiming land from the sea were changed, raising the minimum reclaimed land height by a meter, to protect the land and any structures built on it from rising seas.

Breakwaters which protect the Singapore oceanfront are also being enlarged and raised to new heights to battle rising sea levels and rising tides. Civil engineers in the island nation are battling hard to stay ahead of any potential threat. As the nation with the second highest population density in the world, Singapore can’t afford to lose even one square meter to the sea. Nevertheless, experts are saying that allowing the sea to reclaim some land back may be necessary, in order to protect the rest of the land.

This problem isn’t just an overseas one, but one that strikes home here in the United States as well. Some of the most valuable property in the country is threatened by rising tides along both coasts. Municipalities are faced with the need to raise sea walls, dikes and breakwaters, in order to protect that property. reference viatechinik know more about it then contact us.

Rendering of Sea Level Rise in SF (Nickolay Lamm)
Rendering of Sea Level Rise in SF (Nickolay Lamm)

BIM VDC Modeling in 8 Easy Steps

BIM VDC Modeling in 8 Easy Steps

BIM VDC Modeling

Building Information Modeling brings a revolutionary change in construction industry. This process involves the generation and management of digital representation of physical and functional features of places. Nowadays, private industry widely wants to implement BIM realizing its benefits. Project teams can explore the designs before they are built with the help of BIM. Using the intelligent 3D models and the data derived from it, all critical aspects of projects like communication, coordination and collaboration can be made easier. As BIM enables better visualization of projects, it speeds approvals. BIM can also help the team to reduce the environmental impact of projects.

All over the world, many design and construction firms worry that their ability to compete in the industry may be affected, unless they soon adopt BIM. But on the other hand, some firms are afraid of adopting BIM that it may prove difficulty and disruptive. It restricts them from their move. Here are discussing eight steps for BIM VDC modeling.

  1. Get more informed about BIM

As the first step, assign the responsibility of learning more about BIM and its effectiveness in the team works to one or two people at the firm. If the details are left to the later stages of the design process in 2D world, the design details should be worked out much earlier in BIM.

  1. Discuss the change with your staff

High-level firm leaders should take a leading role in the move to BIM. They have to inform the firm that they are changing to BIM definitely. The leaders should convince the need of this move with a message that it is critical to the future. The anticipated benefits of BIM for the firms and the clients should be clearly communicated to the team members.

  1. Arrangements for software and hardware needs

BIM, instead of software, is a collaborative process, which depends on intelligent 3D models. However, you require software to create these models. So, you have to explore available software taking enough time. Moreover, you also have to ensure that your current hardware has sufficient processing power. Sometimes you may have to replace the older and less powerful hardware with new one. You can give the older one to the team members other than the design department.

  1. Plan to implement a pilot project and Train the team accordingly

Running a BIM pilot makes sense for most firms. If you do some small projects every year, you can consider them as one pilot and capture lessons before running many more pilot projects. If a firm has a few massive multi-year projects, they can prefer to capture lesson from an initial pilot, while also initiating all new projects in BIM.

  1. Processes preferred should be documented

While your pilot project is in progress, tell your team to document BIM processes. You can document the preferred results and the steps from your team to get maximum output from BIM. It helps you to create standards during or before running a pilot. But your standards will evolve as you use BIM. If you start with standards, it may slow your tem down, which will lead to more complication in BIM adoption process unnecessarily.

  1. Find out BIM Leaders from the pilot team

There may be some people, who are excited about BIM, in every firm. They even have learned about BIM during their education time or while working at another firm. Try to find out such people and consider them as BIM leaders on every pilot project. You can give them additional training and support so that they can help the teammates adopt BIM.

  1. Collaborate all the models

The most important benefit of BIM is that when we share models with other firms, they will also work in BIM. As BIM models can be integrated into a single, shared model, it can accelerate the coordination process. This will really help collaboration in a new level.

  1. Expand and innovate with BIM

You can understand the abilities of BIM as such as new visualization, coordination and analysis capabilities, when you use BIM. You can communicate these values of BIM to your current and potential clients in your marketing. So they will be convinced that you can meet the requirements of the clients in coming BIM mandates.

Even though you can refer the above described steps to get started with BIM, don’t think that they are the rigid suggestions. You may have to change the order of the steps depending on the types of projects you do. Sometimes, you may have to skip or alter some. The important things to keep in mind are that you have to start with an adoption plan supported by the firm leaders and you have to focus on your goal even if some modifications are needed in the plan along the way. reference bim forum know about it then contact us.



How a real estate organization in India can benefit from BIM on their project?

5 Remarkable BIM Modeling Benefits to Real Estate

5 Remarkable BIM Modeling Benefits to Real Estate

How a real estate organization in India can benefit from BIM on their project?

How a real estate organization in India can benefit from BIM on their project?

While, real estate sector in India was the domain area of only handful players in the 90s, now its growth has reached to investors, developers and global stakeholders in the growing construction industry in the country. The second largest employment sector in India, after agriculture, is real estate. Besides generating high level of direct employment, it also increases the demand in ancillary industries like paint, brick, steel, building materials and consumer durables etc.

NRIs get an exciting opportunity in invest in real estate with the constant depreciation of Indian rupee. As Indian rupee is falling, more Gulf-based non-resident Indians (NRIs) start to invest in real estate market, as it ensures relatively higher returns.

Challenges of Indian real estate sector

The main challenges faced by Indian building industry are significant schedule and cost overrun, which is mainly occurring due to wastage of material, poor coordination, significant rework and lack of information sharing. Let us point the main issues faced by firms involved in built environment as follows.

  • Changes in design
  • Time, work effect consumption
  • Higher possibilities for error and rework
  • Increasing input costs
  • Deficiency of skilled labor that result in high risks for workers
  • Construction cost estimations
  • Anxieties on the quality and productivity of the project
  • Lack of organization of market
  • Rare virtual environment work

Influence of technology in Real Estate Sector

The bigger challenges faced by Real estate sector can be solved up to a limit with the emergence of technologies like BIM models. A lot of different IT-enabled project management tools have been introduced in the real estate market and the industry can ensure more efficient project delivery with the help of these technological tools. Such technologies can act as a catalyst to change the real estate companies in India and redefine their space in the country for both now and in the future. They can make tremendous changes in all areas like construction, project management, business management, marketing and customer service etc.

How BIM modeling benefits to real estate industry

 Better output through BIM collaboration

BIM creates a collaborative working relationship among all project partners including various design disciplines, contractor, specialists, suppliers and customer, using a single shared 3D model. As a result, everybody involved in the project will focus on achieving best value throughout the project from project inception to eventual decommissioning.

Optimized performance

As swift and accurate comparison between various design options is possible with BIM, it can develop more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective solutions.

Enhanced solutions

The deployment of new generative modeling technologies enabled cost effective solutions against agreed parameters.

Better forecast

Using BIM, project team can built the project in a virtual environment before construction started. This virtual model rehearses complex procedures, optimizes temporary works and plans procurement of materials, manpower and equipment. As BIM can provide the owners and operators with a visual representation of the project at an early stage, they get a clear idea about the design intent. So they can suggest modification in the design to get the output they really want.

Quick project turnaround

As Bim allows changes in design concept in early stage of the project, last time design changes can be avoided. Similarly it uses standard design elements and so complex construction details can be solved before the project starts. Moreover, it produces fabrication and construction drawings from the model, uses data to control construction equipment and checks design integrity and estimate quantities. All these features of BIM will help the construction industry to save time up to 50%.

Enhanced safety measures

The designs using BIM can optimize public safety with the help of crowd behaviors and fire modeling capability. Asset managers can enhance operational safety using the 3D model. Contractors can also review complex details or procedures before the project starts and it avoids construction risks.

Elimination of errors at early design stage

The single 3D model can integrate multidisciplinary design inputs that enable to identify and resolve interface issues prior to construction. It eliminates chances of redesign and save time and costs. Using this model we can also integrate existing and new assets seamlessly.

Revolutionary change brought by BIM in construction

The fundamental changes brought by BIM can rapidly transform the real estate and construction industry in India. For centuries our construction industry represents and communicates design intent for client approval, procurement, bidding, fabrication, installation and construction etc. by using the traditional method of symbols on paper, which includes drawings and specifications. But these abstractions lack native intelligence in them and so they need human interpretation and manipulation to provide meaning and value.

Get to know more about the “Status of BIM adoption and outlook in India” – A Report by phoenixEOS.

Building Information Modeling

BIM adoption in smart cities at construction world

BIM adoption in smart cities at construction world


This July 2015, Construction world released an article focusing on Challenges faced by the Indian Government in implementing Smart Cities project.  As the Indian government has planned to launch smart solutions to meet the need of growing urbanization and have approved 100 smart cities project in India.

Many industry experts contributed to different solutions to the challenges highlighted within the article. Like,

Mr. Pratap Padode says, ¨The Smart Cities mission and AMRUT are likely to infuse a total of Rs 400,000 crore, once integrated with other missions like Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Housing for All, etc.¨

Mr. Kanwaljeet Singh, Business Development, Energy and Smart Cities, Schneider Electric India say’s “At present, only Lavasa near Pune can be classified as a smart city. Other cities (such as Mumbai and Delhi) are still in the process of upgrading their systems and could qualify as smart in the future.¨

¨We have been talking to these cities about the best way to do this, following which they will come up with their procurement procedures,¨ says Aamer Azeemi, Managing Director, Cisco, adding that the company is in discussion with many cities. ¨We have done the complete smart city planning for four cities in the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor,¨ he shares.

Similarly under the “Utility and Solutions” section where there are two components to any smart city: Physical infrastructure and software. Every city, from ancient times to now, has required roads, water, power, parks, security, transportation, shopping, food production, and services of different types for its citizens. What has changed is that all these facilities can now be designed using analysis of data . Therefore, you get smarter roads where traffic lights are coordinated with the amount of traffic and smarter water by measuring the amount of water being consumed and then planning how much to buy, how much to clean and purify, and how much to store and distribute. While smarter power and the fine granular measurement can improve load factors and reduce electricity cost, smarter grids for electricity distribution improve the resiliency of power networks. Additionally, smarter transportation, agriculture and services can be possible by backing every decision with data collection and analytics.

This considered, the benefits building information modelling (BIM) offers at various stage are proven. “It can play a significant role to make smart cities a success”. She highlights some goals for BIM adoption or implementation in smart cities:

  • At the design stage: Visualisation of the project leads to reduction in coordination time; reduction in time by design changes; accuracy in data used for construction as BIM lets us build virtually before building physically.
  • At construction stage: Reduction in rework at site owing to clash detection and resolution; accuracy of Bill of Quantities (BOQ) and consequently material procurement; delay monitoring through 4D construction simulation; availability of an as-built model for facility management.
  • At maintenance stage: Integration of design data with maintenance data; impact of any updates or renovations can be assessed against the data available in the BIM model. reference the article THE SMART CITIES CHALLENGE.

The Highway Trust Fund Broke in 2014: What it Means and How to Fix It

The Highway Trust Fund Broke in 2014: What it Means and How to Fix It

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Highway Trust Fund, founded in 1956 to build the interstate highway system, will go broke sometime before 2015. This isn’t the first time this has happened, as Congress has had to shore it up to the tune of 29.7 billion, taking money from the federal government’s general operating fund.

Lawmakers are discussing options and trying to determine the best course to take to prevent the expected 14 billion dollar shortfall for the 2014 fiscal year. While raising gas taxes, the source of revenue for this fund, has been considered, congress and the president are reluctant to do this.

Highway Trust Fund Going Broke
Highway Trust Fund Going Broke

This isn’t a simple problem as it doesn’t just have one root. Amongst the various roots that have created this problem are:

  • Gas taxes haven’t been raised in the last 20 years, even with inflation. The tax is charged “per gallon” not allowing for inflation.
  • Cars are becoming more fuel efficient, causing consumers to buy less gallons of gas.
  • Higher gasoline prices are causing people to drive less, also reducing their gasoline consumption.
  • Credits for hybrids and other more efficient cars are encouraging more people to shift to these vehicles which consume less fuel.
  • The fund being used for more than its original purposes, providing funding for a host of transportation projects that aren’t part of the federal highway system.

The additional transportation related projects which are diverting funds from the original purpose of the Highway Trust Fund include local transit, environmental mitigation, ferry boats, bicycle paths, and nature trails. None of these were included under the original charter of the fund, yet they account for a sizeable percent of the fund’s total expenditures. Transit alone received 17 percent of the funds in 2010, even though it is a local issue and not a federal one.

At the same time all this is happening, our interstate highway system is in need of major maintenance, with bridges crumbling and highways becoming potholed. Even so, politicians and government bureaucrats would rather spend taxpayer money on impressive new projects, rather than maintain the existing infrastructure, allowing roads and bridges to decay.

While the problem is serious, it isn’t without a solution; even a solution that doesn’t require raising taxes. However, this would require that the government take some drastic steps to maintain and even reduce federal highway costs; something that politicians are reluctant to do.
Nevertheless, a number of practical steps have been proposed to make it possible to keep the fund from going bankrupt, while keeping congress from having to bail it out. These steps include:

  • Limiting spending to available revenues.
  • Ending cash transfers from the general fund to the HTF.
  • Phasing out programs that are locally or regionally based.
  • Limit funding to programs that improve mobility, safety, and relieve traffic congestion.
  • Force state and local governments to pay for local and regional projects, without federal assistance.

While these measures may not be popular, they are necessary to prevent the fund from falling short in 2014. Even though congress could bail out the fund once again, that would merely be a stop-gap measure, not a solution. Raising taxes would help, but America is already screaming about excessive taxes. Increasing gas taxes would not be a popular solution. reference viatechnik know more contact us.