Asee peer logo

Using BIM to Support Habitat for Humanity: A Case Study

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

BIM in Architectural Engineering

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1660.1 - 26.1660.17



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Stan Guidera Bowling Green State University

visit author page

Stan Guidera is an architect and a Professor in the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design at Bowling Green State University. He teaches design studios and computer modeling courses related to digital applications in design, design visualization, and computer animation. He has conducted workshops, published, and presented papers at national and international conferences on a variety of digital design topics including design visualization, building information modeling, parametric modeling, and integrating digital applications into the design process. He is skilled with a variety of digital modeling tools including Revit, Rhino 3D, Grasshopper, 3DS Max Design, and AutoCAD Architecture. In addition to university teaching he is an Autodesk Certified Revit Professional and provides training and consulting services.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Using BIM to support Habitat for Humanity: A case study Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital, parametric, model-centric approach toproject delivery in the AEC industry. Among the many advantages of BIM is the ability toaccurately model real-world construction as well as to embed information in the components ofthe computer model. These can include attributes such as the physical properties of buildingcomponents and the cost of components and materials. This information can be extracted fromthe model for analysis. Additionally, any changes to the geometry of the BIM model canautomatically update information queries such as schedules and cost estimates. This paper documents a graduate level research project developed to investigatestrategies to enable a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, often referred to as Habitat, tooptimize project estimating and scheduling by utilizing BIM. Habitat is an international non-profit organization that builds and repairs housing for low income families by utilizing the laborof volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and no-profitloans. While the project is based on a standardized housing prototype, there are typicallyvariables related to labor and material expenses on each individual house that is constructed. Forthe local Habitat associated with this project, each project varied in terms of material and labordonations, particularly in regards to project components that required skills beyond that ofvolunteers such as foundation work and mechanical system installation. The project goal was to utilize BIM in a manner which could assist Habitat in twoprimary ways. The first was to develop a method to document the cost variances and the use theBIM model to generate estimates for each individual project using the prototype. The second wasto use the BIM model to assist in helping volunteer laborers to better visualize the constructionsequence. This required the development of atypical modeling and cost estimating approaches.The paper documents the evolution of the project, modeling strategies that were employed, andthe final project outcomes. It also identifies further refinements that can be made to scale theproject to adapt to a wider range of Habitat projects.

Guidera, S. (2015, June), Using BIM to Support Habitat for Humanity: A Case Study Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24996

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015