For the past few years, TSW has been successfully using a new drafting and design technology called BIM or Building Information Modeling. We use the AutoDesk brand of the software named Revit. BIM is the new wave of communication tools within the architecture and engineering industries, because it makes it possible to “virtually build” a project, component by component in three dimensions. We can then query and slice the detailed 3-d model to create construction documents, legends, takeoffs, and loads, among others. It is distinct from CAD in that it is no longer simple 2-d lines; BIM projects are built from “smart” objects. It is a major step up from the old CAD-with-SketchUp process designers have employed previously.
This seamless integration of the 3-dimensional design into and by the same program that creates our construction documents means many positive things for the process. It means faster, less expensive, investigation of the design from multiple angles. It provides for nearly automated conflict detection between architect and engineering disciplines. It creates fewer opportunities for coordination errors within our documents due to the way it is structured. It also provides limitless 3-d perspective rendering and walk through capabilities which owners value highly.
Suwanee Police Substation images on the left were generated via BIM at 75% CDs, and images on the right are recent photographs.