June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.251.1 - 15.251.18
Building information modeling in construction: Current practices and their implications for construction engineering education
This paper reports the findings of research intended to document the current status of adoption and use of Building information Modeling (BIM) in the construction industry. BIM utilizes 3D computer models, developed using software applications based on Object Oriented Programming that integrate 3D-2D operations. This study utilized an online survey which was sent to 236 construction firms drawn from the top 400 contractors listed in the 2008 Engineering News Record (ENR) who were identified as having over 80% of their projects categorized as general building 2. The study utilized the following expanded utilization-level categorization: level 1 (use of BIM technology that is limited to 2D and 3D capabilities for document production and visualization functions), level 2 (use of BIM for additional analysis done on the 2D and 3D data that is based on geometry and positioning of building systems including change management of 2D and 3D documents, and conflict/clash detection between different building systems), and level 3 (includes in addition to levels 1 & 2, the use of BIM for all other functions including cost and scheduling). The response rate was 48% of the total firms included in the survey, most with multiple respondents. This paper documents the data collected and the data analysis and procedures used to categorize the responses relative to the level of BIM use. The data is then used to provide a framework for recommendations to construction engineering faculty interested in integrating BIM technologies into their courses and curriculums and aligning instructional outcomes with the current and anticipated utilization of Building Information Modeling in the construction industry.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been defined as a “project simulation consisting of the 3D models of the project components with links to all the required information connected with the projects’ planning, construction or operation, and decommissioning” 1. It is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility providing accurate 3D representation of a building and the capability to affiliate attributes and data to the components and objects that form the model 2. Similarly, the National Institute of Building Sciences published the following definition:
“Building information models, or BIMs (are) digital, easily managed and shared representations of physical and functional data that define buildings throughout their life cycles—are increasingly seen throughout the public and private real estate and construction sectors as a way to control cost and performance problems associated with inaccurate and incomplete communications” 3.
Central to these definitions is the concept that the BIM is as a database made up of interrelated files organized within or linked to the 3D digital model. The concept of BIM is to construct a building virtually, prior to constructing it physically, in order to resolve and simulate any potential design conflicts 2. Architecture, engineering, and construction professionals have been adopting BIM technology to improve business processes in AEC project delivery 4.
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