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.

Still wondering what is BIM and benefit of BIM services?


BIM (building modeling information) is the much talked about topic these days in the AEC industry. You may get different definitions of BIM from various sources. While some people say BIM is a type of software, others say it is the 3D virtual model of buildings. According to some experts, it is nothing but collecting and organizing all building data into a structure database. In short, we can say BIM is all the above and sometimes some more. But, in simple sentence, BIM is the means by which everybody can understand a building through the use of a digital model.

BIM is a new way of approaching the design and documentation of construction projects.

  • Building: BIM consider the entire life-cycle of the building such as design, build and operations
  • Information: It includes all information about the building and its life-cycle
  • Modeling: BIM defines and stimulates the building, its operation using integrate tools and its delivery

BIM model, if explained in layman’s term, consists of the virtual equivalents of the actual building parts and pieces that are used to build a building. BIM elements have both the physical and logical characteristics of their real counterparts. In other words, BIM elements are the digital prototype of the physical building elements like columns, windows, walls, doors and stairs etc. These elements help us to understand its behavior in a computer environment way before the real construction work starts.

BIM can be called as an intelligent model-based process, as it helps you plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure more accurate and precise. BIM services enables the construction industry more innovative and competent by providing the right information at the right time. The construction industry is nowadays undergoing its very own digital revolution with the help of this unique way of working with BIM. But what is very important is that all team members should be working to the same standards as one another, as the complete benefit of BIM gets only from the combined efforts of people process and technology.

The users list several advantages of BIM services for various stages of a construction work such as scheduling, estimation, risk analysis, more collaborative process and effective facility management. With the help of BIM services, project parties can understand and review the design more easily, visualize and evaluate alternatives in terms of cost and other project parameters. As it gives the opportunity to find out solutions in advance prior to building the structure on site, the construction firm can ensure guarantee in accuracy and completeness. It also enhances communication between project parties.

Even though the use of BIM in engineering and construction is not new, its growth rate becomes clear, when you look at the increasing number of construction firms who use this new system. It is not only the number of project teams who adopt BIM, but the size of the average model has also increased over the past five years.

The advent of mobile technologies like iPhones/iPads etc. expands the accessibility of BIM to a wide area out of the close circle of professionals. Today, clients, operators and building owners get more and more access to BIM models through their mobile devices. reference bim forum know more contact us.

LEED Platinum Certified Building

LEED Benefits are Starting to Materialize

Although LEED has been a little slow getting off the ground, it’s gaining momentum quickly. The increased awareness of the need for sustainability has given a lot of impetus to LEED, both domestically and overseas. All in all, the United States accounts for a little over half of the LEED certified buildings, with the number of buildings that are being built to meet LEED requirements and the number of older buildings being upgraded to meet LEED requirements increasing.

LEED Platinum Certified Building
LEED Platinum Certified Building

This demonstrates an increased awareness in the United States in our responsibility to reduce our resource consumption. As the United States is the world’s number one consumer of electricity, water and other resources, our reductions provide opportunities for emerging countries to have greater access to these resources.

In 2005, green buildings accounted for only two percent of non-residential construction starts. This grew to 12 percent in 2008, and 28 percent in 2010. By 2015, and estimated 40 to 48 percent of non-residential construction starts will be green buildings. These figures include both public and private sector new construction starts. For commercial building projects in excess of 50 million dollars, a whopping 71% make reference to LEED in their specifications.

LEED is not a regional phenomenon either. The leading states for LEED construction and certification are scattered across the country, from New York to California and from Minnesota to Texas. Even Washington, D.C. is listed high amongst the parts of the nation which are focusing on building green.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification provides a number of benefits to building owners who decide to seek certification. While building a LEED certifiable building adds about two percent to the cost of design and construction, the savings over the building’s life cycle are somewhere between 12.2 and 16.8 times that much.

In addition, property values for LEED certified structures are higher than those which are merely built to meet building code requirements. While this is hard to quantify for commercial buildings, homes that are LEED certified have an average resale value of eight percent higher than comparable homes which do not meet the requirements to receive LEED certification. That’s four times the investment required to make the home LEED compliant.
LEED also provides a healthier work environment for employees. While there hasn’t been any studies done to calculate the savings in lost employee hours, it is obvious that a healthier work environment helps reduce lost time due to sickness. Companies who invest in providing this healthier work environment are rewarded with a happier, healthier workforce, increasing productivity.

By incorporating LEED design requirements into buildings, American companies are becoming more responsible global citizens. This pays benefits in more ways than just the bottom line. With the greater awareness of sustainability in the world today, companies that “go green” are seen as socially conscious members of the community. Those who don’t are seen as being interested in making money. While all companies need to make money in order to survive, public relations have a lot to do with any company’s ability to do so. reference viatechnik


Standardizing BIM coordination process can increase your productivity

Standardizing BIM coordination process can increase your productivity

Warning: You are losing money not implementing BIM coordination Process


BIM is the process that generates and manages building data during its life cycle. Using three dimensional, real-time and dynamic modeling software, the BIM coordination process encompasses building geometry and design data, spatial relationships, geographic information, environmental data, maintenance data, financial data, owner/occupier data and building specification/component data and thereby increases productivity in building design and construction.

BIM holds design and construction together, but there are some steps to be followed by a firm to go from design through construction using BIM. The BIM coordination process is a lengthy one that involves real investment on software and employees.

The BIM coordination process cycle starts with predesign stage, where the architect starts on the schematic model either by using masses or real elements in a BIM environment. After preparing the schematic model, a presentation will be given to the owner with the help of walkthrough or renderings. The owner can offer thoughts on the design and suggest the changes at this stage. Then the model is ready to go to the design phase.

4D helps the project to track the schedule and monitor delays, eradicate sequential issues in construction and streamline the construction process. This is done by working closely with the construction team on site to make use of BIM efficiently. Monitoring the construction progress through BIM (4D) helps the site team to control the delays and work towards a catch plan for the delays.


BIM coordination Process Cycle

Next stage is detailed design, in which collaboration is the key. So, weekly coordination meetings take place in this stage participating architects, engineers, project manager, estimator, scheduler and construction manager. The meeting is to ensure that everybody is on the same page. Interference checks and BIM coordination reviews are done weekly in this phase of design process. As it helps save a lot more time and money for fixing the problems in the field, this is an obvious step to take.

There are some modeling practices that should be followed throughout design. For example, if you are going through the trouble of modeling the project, it is more effective to have the model used for more than just plan work. Sections, elevations and walkthroughs are some of the coordinated process, which make your BIM model more efficient. You can save time and money, if done accurately.

Once the design is completed, construction is ready to start. Estimating and scheduling were updating their respective processes, as discussed throughout design. Also, sight work has already been begun and foundations are ready to be poured. The design models may have been replaced by models from the subcontractors during construction phase. Construction manager and field superintendent work together with design team and ensure that the design intent is followed. As BIM was used in early in the design phase, this process was made easier.

In a project that uses building information modeling (BIM), a BIM map is developed as a pre-cursor, which produces full employer’s information requirements (EIR). It is a helpful format in the earlier stage of a project, as it describes the key decision points, which will be used to structure the project and the queries, which should be answered at those decision points. Then the information, which the employer will need to procure from the suppliers to answer the questions, can be identified.

BIM creates a solid connection between design and construction and make the process of collaboration among architects, engineers and construction managers even faster and more efficient.reference bim forum


Global Steel Consumption and the Largest Steel Structures in the World

Global Steel Consumption and the Largest Steel Structures in the World :

Chicago, IL – Construction is one of the biggest steel consumers on the planet, using about 30 percent of worldwide steel production. With steel consumption forecasted by the World Steel Association to be 1.455 billion metric tons in 2013, that makes for an incredible amount of steel going into some really massive structures.

Part of what makes steel consumption for construction so big is the amount of steel that is used for the construction of huge structures such as bridges, skyscrapers, and other large buildings. A single steel building can use many tons of steel in its design. With the need to make more and more skyscrapers and other large mega-building projects, the amount of steel consumed adds up rather quickly.

There are several ways that the size of structures can be rated, each of which would give us a different idea of what the largest are. If height is used, then some skyscrapers would win. If width is used, then some of the largest suspension bridges would clearly be the winners. On the other hand, if total mass of steel used in the construction were the deciding factor, a third group of structures would be the winners. So, we’re not going to try and decide which are the biggest, just look at some of the biggest.

For a building or other structure to be considered “steel” the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat says that the main vertical and lateral structural elements along with the floor systems must be constructed of steel. Most buildings don’t qualify as steel buildings by this definition, as the majority of the structure is concrete. Buildings which use a combination of the two are considered composite.


The Beijing National Stadium, commonly referred to as “The Bird’s Nest,” which was built for the 2008 Olympics is considered to be the largest steel structure in the world today. This massive steel structure was originally conceived to support the retractable roof that the design specifications called for. Later revisions removed the retractable roof as a cost savings, leaving the Bird’s Nest in place.

The Bird’s Nest uses a total of 110,000 tons of steel. Three are 24 trussed columns as the main supports, each of which uses 1,000 tons of steel. While there are many interesting things about the design and building of this structure, one of the most interesting is that it serves no purpose other than aesthetics. The steel structure does not support the stands, which are a concrete structure that is 50 feet inside The Bird’s Nest. It was intended to support the roof, which was removed from the design.

Looking at other massive decorative structures, we find the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Completed in 1965, this steel structure is still the largest monument in the United States, standing 192 meters tall. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used in its construction.


The tallest steel skyscraper ever built is the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. Completed in 1973, it is still the tallest building in the United States, although it is the seventh tallest free-standing structure in the world. Taller buildings use a composite construction, not qualifying to be considered steel buildings.

The Sears Tower, as it was then known, used a very unique structural design, which has been used in almost all skyscrapers since its construction. Referred to as Khan’s bundled tube structure, the building consists of nine hollow steel tubes, bundled together. All nine tubes rise the first 50 stories, with seven continuing past that point. Pairs of tubes are dropped out of the design at periodic levels, leaving only two tubes to rise the full 108 floors.

The longest all steel suspension bridge ever constructed is the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. This massive structure has a total length of 1825 meters. It was the first to use steel wires for the suspension part of its structure in 1883. Today, over 100 years later, this iconic bridge still serves its original purpose.


Despite the fact that composite steel and concrete construction has taken over much of the world of massive construction, we can still expect to see steel used as a common building material. Not only does steel provide excellent structural strength, but it provides lasting beauty, as we see in structures like the Gateway Arch. Reference viatechnik, Photos by Ryan Jaffa, Sue Waters, P Schlenker.

BIM Implementation: Problems, Prospects and Strategies

BIM Implementation: Problems, Prospects and Strategies

Computers and technology have so far been used in the BIM industry. Recent developments have put forth the myriad advantages of modeling not only the graphical aspect but also the non-graphical aspect of building design life cycle.

Bim Model Advantages
Bim Model Advantages

Design professionals and firms are now being faced with the exciting and quantifiable advantages of this revolutionary technology. Better known as BIM or Building Information Modeling, it is also known as Simple Building Modeling (SBM) and Virtual Building Modeling (VBM).

Computers and technology have so far been used in the building and design industry . Recent developments have put forth the myriad advantages of modeling not only the graphical aspect but also the non-graphical aspect of building design life cycle.

The objective here seems to be to improve user productivity by making building design and project execution faster, cheaper and more efficient. Implementation of BIM technologies called for a strategic shift in the business functioning model followed so far. Firms have created strategy frameworks that help them to readily adjust to the practical realities of BIM implementation. Most employees within these organizations are accustomed to working around or with familiar touch points such as sheet layout templates and line blocks for printing. Implementation of a radically different comprehensive technology within this environment called for insightful strategy decision making on the part of the management. Most importantly, making use of the available knowledge and experience to execute implementation without disturbing the existing working model formed the core of this strategy.

In addition, dual platforms functioning within the same office pose a staffing challenge. With a single software platform such as CAD, any staff member is available to work on a relevant project. However, in the implementation of BIM software, only a small pool of team members would be available. Therefore, pilot projects of BIM or training in BIM need to be carefully selected according to the size, schedule and team member availability. This division of team member could cost an organization team efficiency and billable time.

Large and medium firms can afford the luxury of aligning teams to BIM, as they would have some supplement workforce at certain points of time. Smaller firms would find this difficult to achieve. As they would be unable to commit an entire team to BIM software at a time or even over a period of time. A viable option for them would be to seek offshore expertise in this regard. Leveraging outside experience and expertise would help them keep their teams intact, facilitate better integration of BIM technologies within their business model and save a whole lot of billable hours.

Though BIM software offers quantifiable advantage, its adoption percentage has been quite low. It is on an accelerating track now – BIM usage grew by three percent in 2003, six percent in 2005 and 11 percent in 2006.* Nevertheless, challenges have been cited in the path of this growing rate of BIM implementation. As opposed to traditional 2D CAD systems, BIM systems are more complex. Existing professionals are well versed with using capable drafting tools such as CAD systems. Absence of industry standards are also considered a hindrance to collaborative construction processes and effective BIM implementation. Along with this, a lack of expertise also poses a challenge to firms who wish to shift to BIM software.

Adopting and implementing BIM software is quite a challenge, but once executed BIM gives a power dose to productivity. BIM facilitates the creation of visualizations, sections and elevation freely and helps incorporate this information further down in the construction process.

Obviously, the challenges arise not regarding the capability of BIM software but in effectively implementing this software within existing systems and training and equipping teams with the necessary skills to leverage its many advantages. BIM is a complex software, design teams seldom have the time to learn and adopt complex systems. Also, most of the new programs are built for people with in-depth knowledge of how buildings are made.

BIM provides certain foundation element opportunities:

  1. Virtually design or edit existing structures/facilities
  2. Eliminate problems and predict performance
  3. Virtually stimulate construction and operation prior to physical execution
  4. Coordinate design documentation
  5. Coordinate construction to reduce construction time and eliminate change orders
  6. Enter one-time data as part of the process and re-use it throughout the lifecycle and beyond
  7. Strategic planning by harvesting business intelligence and operational information
  8. Blend geospatial and building information for planning, development and emergency response
  9. Harvest building information for use in programming and design

BIM assists in significantly reducing lifecycle time by facilitating better communication and management of delivery times. When adopted along with lean concepts, BIM helps reduce lifecycle cost. According to Ghafari Associates Inc., the wastages in construction include:

  1. Correction – Rechecking and redoing errors occurring in design but discovered only at the construction stage
  2. Over-production – Executing task ahead of schedule thus interfering with other practical, scheduled work
  3. Motion – Time and effort lost in transit due to team moving from and to the office picking up plans, tools or materials
  4. Material movement – moving material from one stage to another or from one crew to another
  5. Waiting – Teams waiting for equipment, plans, instruction, materials etc
  6. Processing – Unnecessary reporting, expediting material orders, or excessive coordination
  7. Inventory – Material staged too far in advance on site

Cost savings from BIM implementation

Implementation Strategies

Introducing and implementing BIM can be quick and painless, if preceded with the right amount of planning and preparation. This ‘right amount’ will be decided entirely based on each individual firm’s functioning and objectives. Just like every architect, firm and design are unique and different, BIM implementation for each firm; architect and designer would also be unique and different.

Smaller firms face bigger challenges their larger counterparts as they would find it difficult to shift their production staff to other studios. Therefore, drafters and team members must be amenable to workflow changes. For small firms BIM implementation requires critical planning and dedicated execution of these plans. Also, they must be aware of methods to measure the success and failure of this implementation planning and strategy. This planning requires insight into the short terms project schedules. Measuring the success or failure of the implementation can be judged by recreating a previous design using new technology and procedures.

Budget requirements are also a hindrance for smaller firms. When implementing new software, hardware such as work stations and server might also call for up gradation. In addition, the billable hours lost during system rollout is always a concern, particularly for smaller firms with shorter project timelines.

Smaller firms can therefore, look to leverage offshore expertise and infrastructure investments regarding BIM implementation. As these firms are specialists in BIM technology, they wield fully equipped studios and knowledgeable team of professionals to handle every requirement.

What to do
Step 1

  1. Determine your stake and maximum advantage derivable from
  2. Enhancing value services
  3. Reduce cycle time and improve efficiency
  4. Better coordination between design, construction and operations
  5. Determine cost savings derived by not implementing BIM
  6. Determine how competition is coping with or without BIM
  7. Leverage innovation offered by way of offshoring BIM integration, professional associations and industry organizations

Step 2

  1. Invest in education and training or hiring outside help
  2. Adopt available standards such as National CAD Standard, Omniclass™, UniFormat II etc
  3. Support and participate standard development
  4. Seek contracts that reward value enhancement
  5. Require and support higher functioning facilities

With an intelligent implementation of BIM technology, your team starts to develop skills and techniques, build confidence in the software; reevaluate current projects and judge and pace the future work for potential benefits and added services. This confidence gives your firm the edge needed to survive in an ever changing, ever growing marketplace. Source realtytimes know more contact us.