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How BIM Improves Underground Facility Construction

Construction Tech Review | Friday, May 14, 2021

The BIM for infrastructure makes it easier to detect and address interferences in designs before the construction project begins.

FREMONT, CA: One of the significant hazards of all construction activity is inadvertently hitting underground infrastructure.  A major challenge facing governments and utilities is one of data management, streamlining information flows for engineering data. To address this challenge, some have decided to develop a 3D model of the above- and below-ground infrastructure area. The living 3D model of the city's existing infrastructure, not an archive, could be an accurate and up-to-date source of information for planning, designing, and maintenance.

The 3D model blends engineering design drawings, geographic information system (GIS) data from a variety of sources and file formats, and aerial photogrammetry.  As the GIS and design data provided together with aerial photos to build the framework for the model. The aerial photographs offer a wealth of information about conditions and buildings above ground and serve as a point of reference for underground construction. Some of this information is old and may often not reflect existing conditions. 

Top 10 BIM Consulting/Service Companies in APAC - 2020The focus has been on optimizing their business processes for updating data about their existing facilities and adding the latest facilities so that over time data quality will enhance. In particular, they have ensured that there is tight integration between the engineering design environment and the city model. Engineers can not only integrate city model data into their designs at the starting of projects but also add their designs to the city model at the completion of construction. One of the significant benefits of integrating the city model into the design process is that it allows them to avoid interferences with existing underground infrastructure during the design phase.

The BIM for infrastructure not only makes it easier to find and address interferences in designs before construction begins, but it also assists in enhancing communication with non-technical stakeholders, including the public. 3D visualizations are more intuitive for nontechnical people, whereas 2D drawings and maps need explanation. 

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