1 BIM and the Structural Engineering Community By Dan Schinler, and Erik Nelson, A Coordination lthough 2D and 3D modeling The use of BIM for coordination software has been used for dec- requires very conscientious modeling by ades to analyze and design The underlining factor driving the the entire design team. The information structures, over the past few years a wave BIM movement has been the enhanced can be shared either across platforms (via of new 3D modeling tools are allowing coordination tools among the design common file formats like IFC, CIS/2. E. Structural engineers and designers to team (architect, Structural and MEP or SDNF) or within platforms (via create models for documentation and engineers). In essence, the team is gen- multi-discipline formats like Revit).
2 The coordination as well. As a result, more erating a virtual prototype of the build- former allows for 3D coordination and R. and more Structural Engineering firms ing containing all aspects architectural, clash detections, and the latter offers the are embracing the Building Informa- Structural and mechanical. This allows additional functionality of monitoring tion Modeling (BIM) movement. BIM the team to coordinate and make bet- and automating changes between the U. software is based on the object-oriented ter design decisions based on actual, models. The result is a better building programming paradigm, in which accurate 3Dt geometries. Furthermore, design, since many of the coordination righ can be used as a construction T. instances of Structural members are thepmodel y issues are identified and resolved during assembled to create a building structure.
3 O by contractors (construction cost Ctool design rather than propagating into Each member possesses the information estimating, scheduling and phasing) and construction or beyond. We know C. and functionality that fully defines it. In by owners (facilities management). This that coordination can be more time other words, a beam element knows its downstream use is motivating owners to consuming than Structural analysis, and e require BIM models to be submitted as U. properties ( material, sectional prop- BIM shows great promise to help reduce erties ), as well as its purpose within part of the project requirements. the coordination time. the structure ( a horizontal member i n R. on level X, spanning between column Y. and girder Z). The resulting BIM model z T a contains a wealth of information which GC and Architect Structural Archite can be useful for inter-discipline coordi- Detailers Design Team g nation as well as internal coordination.
4 S a Survey of Engineering Firms En g gi tin ne m To assist in substantiating portions of af er Dr in the following discussion, the authors g surveyed 11 Structural Engineering firms in impact of technology on Structural Engineering across the country, some with multiple Construction Documents Analysis/Design offices (17 total responses). First to gauge the use of BIM; the survey asked what percentage of their projects were done Plans Sections Schedules Gravity Lateral Foundation using BIM software. The average was about 50%. More importantly, the sur- vey additionally inquired about what Traditional Workflow percentage of these projects was BIM. used for the following: Coordination (inter-discipline). Technology Documentation (producing GC and GC and hitect Structural Architect Structural construction drawings) Detailers Detailers Design Team Design Team Analysis and Design (using third party analysis links).
5 The survey results indicate that creating En discussions and information onftthe g gi drawings (documentation) is the prima- ne a er Dr ry use of BIM software (to date) at about in g 87%, followed by coordination at about nstruction Documents Analysis/Design Analysis 47%, and analysis and design at about Software A. 25%. This may be attributed to the fact Plans Structural Analysis that documentation is the only facet of API. Sections BIM Software B. BIM that Gravity ns Sections Schedules structuralLateral Engineering firms Foundation Software have complete control over. In other Schedules Analysis words, the documentation is not depen- Software C. Traditional Workflow dent on analysis links nor the modeling capabilities of the other disciplines.
6 Workflow with Structural BIM Software Figure 1. STRUCTURE magazine 10 December 2008. NCSEA WEB SEMINAR. Kevin Moore Certus Consulting, Inc. Wednesday, December 17th, 2008. Kevin Moore , , SECB is a Principal and Seismic Design of a co-founder of Certus Consulting, Inc. in Steel Special Moment Frame . 5 of 8 presentations on the E. Oakland, California. Mr. th Moore has authored SEAOC Structural Design Manuals two Steel Tips, a book R. chapter and multiple 10:00 am Pacific 12:00 pm Central Blue Book articles related to Structural / 11:00 am Mountain 1:00 pm Eastern U. seismic design, all with an emphasis on steel This webinar will outline a comprehensive approach to the construction and most related to SMF design design of a new steel special moment frame (SMF) system.
7 All and construction. Mr. Moore serves as Vice g ht T. r pertinent i Structural building code provisions will be referenced: Chair of the AISC Connection Prequalification Copy 2006 International Building Code (2006 IBC), the American Review Panel and is currently Chair of the Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Seismic Provisions for C. Seismology Committee of the Structural Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/AISC 341-05), AISC Prequalified Engineers Association of California. Kevin can Connections for Special and Intermediate Steel be reached at AL. EN. Moment Frames for Seismic Applications (ANSI/. e U. UR. GI. CT. NE. RU. AISC 358-05), AISC Specification for Structural Steel ER. ST. S. n Seminar Cost: $250 per connection Buildings (ANSI/AISC 360-05).
8 The design example NCSEA. i NG. N. R. Several people may attend IO. UI. AT. will explore the state-of-practice related to SMF. TIN. UC. z N. for one connection fee. CO. ED. design as well. A question and answer session will Diamond T. Reviewed a be included in the presentation. Information: 312-649-4600 x202. This course will award hours of continuing education. g Registration: S. Approved in all 50 States. a ADVERTISEMENT - For Advertiser Information, visit It should be noted that BIM coordination where BIM fits. However, in the traditional Coordinating with architects as to tools do not replace the communication among the design team. Quite the contrary, the team needs to clearly define the use of the model and the necessary level of detail m arrangement of a separate drafting depart- ment independent of the engineers, there may be some uncertainty as to who should do the modeling drafter or engineer.
9 Ownership of elements. (Who owns the concrete columns?). The learning curve is very, very steep. Lack of documented best practices. required to achieve its use. A well built The survey asked who was doing the model- Engineers are taking on more Structural BIM model is only as useful as the ing drafters or engineers. Based on the responsibility if the BIM model is models it is linked to and coordinated with. survey results, about 60% of the drafting transferred to the fabricator, and how Structural BIM software (namely: Bentley staff uses BIM as opposed to 20% of the is this additional liability mitigated? Structural , Autodesk Revit Structure and Engineering staff. BIM is seen by many Training and defining the new modeling Tekla Structures) aim to further leverage the engineers as something not unlike drafting, requirements and responsibilities for the model by not only using it to generate the and as such, should be controlled by the users, and how this affects the technician/.
10 Construction documents, but also internally drafters. Other companies are restructuring engineers relationship. coordinate them with results from analy- the office and requiring some engineers, who Lack of sufficient time and resources sis/design software. This idea of generating are interested in this technology, to learn the to learn BIM software. and storing all the information necessary to BIM tools and help document and annotate BIM requires Structural engineers to analyze, design and document the structure is a particular project. In some ways, BIM know too much too early, before they are very powerful and requires a departure from has blurred the lines between the traditional ready to know it. Especially in schematic the traditional workflow of a typical struc- engineer/drafter dichotomy, with engineers and design development, when framing tural design office (Figure 1).