Building Information Modeling (BIM) is evolving at a breakneck pace. BIM procedure and processes are being further defined, the quality and quantity of information being gathered is growing exponentially and the speed with which we collect and disseminate this information is ever increasing. MCL’s commitment to the utilization of BIM requires a continued dedication to evolving as BIM is further defined within the AEC industries. BIMForum is, as its name applies, the place where BIM industry leaders gather to present, discuss and observe trends in application of BIM. Tony Fucinaro and I attended the spring 2016 BIMForum in Minneapolis on April 19-21 in order to gain insight into emerging industry trends and share and compare our experiences with others utilizing BIM.
The focus of the spring 2016 BIMForum was BIM & the Built Environment. Much of the conference focused on Reality Capture (RC) and its integration into the BIM process. Presentations varied from the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle to quickly photograph a 200 acre site and thereby perform cut and fill calculations to the use of high definition scanning (HDS) in recording the yearly rate at which varying concrete runways types will settle and deform on reclaimed land designated as the future site of Mexico City’s international airport. As the Project Manager for EIA, MCL’s high definition scanning subsidiary, it was intriguing to observe the myriad of ways scan data can be applied across the construction industry. While HDS is nothing new to the industry its integration into the BIM process in the past was relatively difficult due to the sheer volume of data gathered. High definition scans can easily reach and exceed 1.5 to 5 Gigabytes and exporting that information once required excessive time for the processing and translation of the data into a format that could be utilized effectively by BIM software. Now with faster processors and the addition of “add-in” applications translating data from scan to modeled environment takes a matter of minutes rather than hours. Furthermore, the use of scan data often meant the need to convert the data to a 3D model, but with these advancements in HDS processing we are now capable of manipulating and utilizing point clouds in their raw form. A MEP systems model can be compared against the existing conditions of a building that has had numerous rework and additions over the decades. What once took two Engineers and a tape measure months to measure and record can now be captured in a matter of hours thanks to HDS.
It’s an exciting time to be in field of Building Information Modeling and we at MCL have an opportunity to be a key member in contributing to its further adoption in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. MCL, in collaboration with EIA, is at the forefront of BIM integration and delivery when it comes to Reality Capture. We’re currently using HDS at the Lauritzen Outpatient Center, the St. Robert’s School Renovation, and the Capitol District Apartments projects. After attending the spring 2016 BIMForum I’m certain we’ll have more opportunity to add value to our future projects through the use of reality capture by utilizing it in BIM and the built environment.