One very fascinating thing about the AEC industry is that the information available for construction works is in tons, and is easily accessible. The challenge only lies in integrating this set of ‘silo’ information. A contractor who is set out on city planning may find information pertaining to architecture, structural engineering or MEP works in the form of BIM, CAD, LIDAR, GIS and what not. But until the time this information is in silos, it is nothing more than a pseudo data set.
However, BIM and GIS together play a very significant role in integrating this information across the project tenure. Besides, if we look at it holistically, building the construction world is also evolving rapidly; and BIM has coped up really well.
BIM way: Building in a meaningful way
In terms of infrastructure designs, BIM is the most optimal way to collaborate the information from different disciplines for generating a federal 3D view. For towns and city planning, generating a holistic view of how the city will look like, gives insights for the betterment and displays a fundamental idea of every single element.
Furthermore, today most contractors are shifting to cloud technology in order to equip themselves with the entire design data even on construction sites. The reason for the shift is that it gives them the means to be free from worrying about cumbersome and tedious document management. Taking the entire building design plan to construction site empowers contractors in taking better decisions considering all the aspects.
BIM allows you to rapidly explore the options that are feasible with the future and decisions are based on analytics to make more sound decisions. And more than anything else, BIM empowers you to visually communicate designs for technical as well as non-tech data such as QTOs, costs, logistics routing, etc.
Aggregate your data in BIM
Now the question lies in aggregating and assimilating this data on a BIM platform. However, there is this beautiful thing about BIM. In order to use BIM, BIM modelers do not necessarily have to own all of the design data. It can be collected from land surveying, landscaping and public records and multiple other ways.
The only hurdle in integrating the data is practices that professionals have followed for years. The current approach is more agnostic about design data from cross-discipline, which needs to be removed and then clubbed it on BIM platform to bring output in the form of best designs.
Don’t overlook the APIs
But with data integration, there is always a question of systems efficiency which needs solutions. Autodesk’s BIM platforms such as Revit have developed APIs to connect different systems to access and club the information that contractors do not own. APIs will essentially represent the data and allow the stakeholders to use that information and not actually own it. This will give contractors and stakeholders and advantage to explain their designs properly to the management in terms of real-world scenarios.
Achieve the synergy in data
Now you might think how necessary is it to synergize the data obtained from BIM or GIS. Well, to say this, data obtained from GIS is more geographical and from the architectural perspective. Upon clubbing this data with BIM will add engineering actionable intelligence to it and is entirely re-represented. It thus is necessary to synchronize both data sets, since standalone GIS or standalone BIM (in some cases) won’t be as useful.
Peekaboo into future
By now, it is pretty apparent that a good set of information will take infrastructure development to new heights, altogether. Emerging economies that will form tomorrow’s leading infrastructure developers are gearing up to really efficient building systems with GIS. For instance, China has adopted GIS on a large scale and on the other hand, infrastructure design and development companies in India to have embraced LiDAR and UAVs with open arms.
Since the GDP of any nation is closely related to infrastructure, even the local and state authorities, the transportation industry, infrastructure development agencies are embarking upon BIM. Data collaboration in BIM is unparalleled and it is unarguable. Hence it lies in the benefit of contractors and construction firms to assimilate data obtained through GIS in BIM to be able to create wonderful infrastructure.
About the Author:
Bhushan Avsatthi is a Director at Hi-Tech iSolutions LLP. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advises his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like a nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.