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Stacy Meyers Fall 2011 Honors Paper Building Information Modeling Software Construction is a constantly evolving industry which is largely controlle d by the economy. T he economy is not doing very well right now which is causing construction industry professionals to work twice as hard in order to estimate more accurately, negotiate more carefully and tak e more risks to acquire work. Professionals in the construction industry are innovative and hardworking people who are always ready to work harder an d smarter when times get tough. In order to help combat these hard times along with helping move the construction industry into the 21 st century thi s article is going to evaluate the use of Building Information Modeling o ( BIM ) ling is the digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility. As such it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle from inception o nward. 1 BIM has been around for quite some time, however it has not caught on and been used to its full capacity within the construction industry B IM when used as a Virtual Design and Construction tools, allows the user to simulate the construction of a building in the virtual world before it is constructed in the real world The 5 D model consists of the normal X, Y, and Z dimensions along with time as the 4 th and cost as the 5 th dimension. The ability to view many of these unknowns in a digital format before any ground is broken is only half the beauty of BIM. The ability of the user to extract quantities from the model for estimat ing purposes and also the ability to simulate the schedule is the other half of its invaluableness to t he user When created correctly and accurately the model allows the user to estimate large quantities of building materi als such as concrete, rebar, and drywall as well as the smallest components such as welding plates and bolts. However, this is preface d with the caveat that the estimate is only as accurate as the drawings. The ability to estimate this project is useful for both the preconstruction process and the as built drawings. The use of an as built set of drawings to generate an estimate can help b oth the construction team and the owner. Having estimates fro m as built drawing s will help everyone involved see what the building should have cost compared to how much it was built for and where the differences within cost might have come from. Scheduling within BIM is a more sophisticated way of showing an owner a typical construction schedule by showing what the schedule will look like in comparison to the construction process. T his means that within a certain piece of software used for BIM (e.g. Navisworks) one can link the construction schedule to the final model and watch a simulation of the building be ing built day by day in real time. As noted in the previous section the entire BIM process c an help the industry become more efficient in several ways. Outside of estimating, scheduling and clash detection the process of Building Information Modeling encompasses many types of
software t hat improves the construction process. This article is going to discuss s ome of this software along with their pros and cons. The first two software packages this article is going to discuss are Autodesk Revit Architecture and Bentley Architecture. Both programs are widely known throughout the construction industry. Keith Bentley founded Bentley Systems in 1985 and produced the first CAD software called Psuedostation in 1986. Over the years Bentley software evolved and by 2008 Bentley released its first software package that could view real time plans, sections, elevation and clipping plans. 2 Revit is a sof tware program an Autodesk, a company established in 1983 when AutoCAD was first released. AutoCAD evolved throughout th e years and acquired Revit in 2000 centric idea. Each project created within Bentley is broken up into several files and coordination amongst those files occurs when the user chooses to collaborate using them. In regards to response time drawing in Bentley software is like drawing in 2D, whereas, Revit is a database centric program where anything drawn within Revit is coordinated with a database. This causes Revit to have a slow er response time and very advanced hardware requirements. However because of this database system Revit has the ability to link all components within a model In describing the parametric features of Revit, Bill Koster, a principal at MVE Institutional noted 3 This feature makes Revit a very popular software package By completely changing its interface in 2010, user friendly feature provides for a wide r use of the software in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) indus try. Revit Architecture 2010 no w contains a ribbon interface much like what is used by Microsoft Office 2007. Also, the tabs within Revit are task based and self explanatory For example the home tab has everything needed to create a new model and the insert tab has tools for the ability to add and manage things such as images and CAD files This allows for quicker learning which has lead to a wider acceptance among the construction industry. Conversely, Bentley has a more complex system based on their lut ion when they came out with their new V8 software. As a result architecture software the user must learn how to use the architecture specific software along with the ir existing MicroStation platform and Triforma extension. Bas ed on this information it seems that the learning curve for Bentley Architecture is steep er than the learning curve for Revit Architecture. Therefore, it is more likely for Revit to be used more often as it continues to be improved User friendliness see ms to be one of the main reasons for choosing and learning a new software because time is money and nobody wants to waste time learning new software. Based upon this information, it seems that Revit Architecture is a more superior software choice than Bent ley Architecture. The next two software applications that this article is going to discuss are Autodesk Ecotect and Autodesk Green Building Studio. Using B IM simplifies the entire design process, however, it does not end there. Using one simple computer fi le allows one to have access to a complete set of electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and structural files off of one architectural model. The architectural model can be
modified to construction specs allowing for thin gs such as wall types and their mate rial s to be modeled exactly how the final product will be built. A fter all of this information are inputted schedules and quantities can be generated allowing for a more precise shopping list for purchasing materials. The ability to generate schedules and qua ntities is where the sustainability aspect of BIM bec omes i mportant Less construction waste on a job can be a direct benefit of using B IM Ecotect is a piece of software created by Autodesk that performs Analysis requires spatial information it is essentially a simulation of energy movement in, out, and through rooms and vo 4 This shows which surfaces are exposed to sunlight and how much heat is gained. A few things must happen i n order for the sustainability analysis to be most advantageous. First, create a Revit model early in the design process. Second, model floors, slabs and ceilings in addition to walls and windows. Lastly, make sure to connect all walls, roofs, slabs and ce ilings. 4 Ecotect will then analyze the building and study the shading effects of the building components. Ecotect software only analyzes sunlight and the effect of natural lighting in a building. AECOM architecture used Ecotect on the NASA Research center at Moffett Field and agreed that the use of the software cut down on costs and materials used. ure that what we created worked for the benefit of the building from both an engineering and cost stand poin t. Ecotect Analysis helped us study the impact of potential design changes faster, more effectively, and earlier in t 5 Another sustainability software that Autodesk has on the market is Green Building Studio. Autodesk Green Building Stu dio links the architectural model and other 3 D CAD designs in order to analyze energy, water, and carbon consumption. This piece of software is especially easy to use and has been catered to architects who may not know much about green building. This web based service was created in 2004 and by 2007 it had met all AHRAE 140 standards and was certified by the United States Department of Energy. 6 This energy analysis is based on the building s size, type, and location. The service will then determine the be st material, construction system, and equipment by using regional standards and codes. Using drop down menus architects can change any of these aspects such as building orientation and window U values. Green Building Studio uses hourly weather data, as we ll as historical rain data that are within nine miles of the buildings location. 6 This web based program will then compute within minutes the building s carbon emissions, estimated energy and cost summaries. The output will also show water usage and cost s and electricity and fuel costs. Between these two pieces of software Green Building Studio seems to be the more rounded piece of software. Each piece of software is equally easy to operate. H owever, Autodesk Ecotect only analyzes day lighting while Gre en Building Studio analyzes water, energy, and carbon uses; t hus making Green Building Studio the better software of the two for analyzing sustainability within BIM. The next two sets of software this article will analyze has to do with operational managem ent. During the process of construction many transitions occur. From design to procurement to construction to turning the building over Technology study undertaken to e stimate the efficiency losses in the United State s
capital facilities industry, it was reported that the annual cost (in 2002) associated with inadequate interoperability among computer aided design, engineering, and software systems was 15.8 billion. 7 Data quality is of ten glossed over and brushed of; however, when handing a building over to a non sophisticated owner accurate user manuals are needed. The number one quality of Building Information Modeling is the ability to produce coordinated, consist ent, computable information about a building. Therefore, the first program to analyze is FM Interact Workplace Management Suite by FM Systems. With FM an organization can: Manage a facility across multiple locations Access property information with a simple point and click map based interface Run live reports, view floor plans, search archived drawings and critical documents Share facility data with management, partners and internal customers via your corporate intranet Dynamically search for employee s and related information Streamline the help desk, work order and move processes Provide responsive and efficient service to the organization 8 FM has three main modules consisting of: Space Management which allows the user to view each space within a bui lding check its occupancy and manage your ability to make a profit off of each space in your building. Strategic Planning which allows the user to enter estimates such as a headcount and space needs T he n the Strategic Planning module will create f in the future. Asset Management which allows the user to track multiple types of assets office equipment, furniture, lab equipment, or corporate artwork. FM also has many interactive extensions consisting of Move Management, Real Estate Portfolio Management, Facility Maintenance Management, Project Management, and Sustainability. Facility Planner. Facility Pl anner is a powerful piece of software for facility managers and owners. Facility Planner has the ability to: Calculate area based on floor plan data Provide scenario planning for both graphical and database information of spaces and assets See and quantify the effects of changes without altering the as built data 9 Bentley Facility Pla nner also has an add on called Facilities Inquirer which allows you to share information through the web. This gives you the opportunity to edit and change facilities data, pu blish floor plans, locate equipment, and submit work orders. Both p ieces of software are incredibly useful for managing a building once constr uction is complete. In this situation, it is hard to choose which piece of software has better performance. FM is more useful for a commercial buildin g that
is going to be rented for a profit FM has more capability to access each space individually, monitoring its occupancy a program that would be more useful for Univers ity buildings or facilities of this nature. The ability to view the equipment within the building, submit computerized work orders, and view floor plans along with the 3 D models is an extremely useful tool. If future expansi on or renovation is likely to take place, the ability to view the as built drawings is very handy with FM. The last two pieces of software this article is going to analyze deal with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing s ystems. The MEP sy stems within a building are the most important systems and the cause of most change orders. Usually the MEP system within a building has to fit in a very tight space. The problem is that each system must closely coordinate with other systems to figure out which subcontractor will hug the ceiling and which will be the closest to the floor. However, because subcontractors usually just want to do their part and get paid, there is not a lot of communication among trades. This causes change orders in the field, time wasted, and extra money spent. However with the use of BIM all of the coordination can occur in the preconstruction stage with one meeting while looking over a 3 D model. With the use of M EP software the MEP systems can be modeled and check s for cla shes can conducted before they occur in the field. This allows more coordination between the subcontractors before anyone enters the jobsite. The first software to be discussed is Bentley Hevacomp Mechanical Designer V8i. Mechanical Designer allows you t and material lists, size pipe and duct systems, and choose the corre 10 Mechanical Designer is an intuitive, easy to use program. There is a database in which yo u choose all the components and place them into the model. This allows f or ease of use and accuracy in choosing the right equipment. The second piece of software is Revit MEP. Revit MEP enables a holistic design approach where other The Electrical Engineer can look at the mechanical drawings and track t he electrical requirements needed for the HVAC equipment. Revit features automatic sizing and system layout tools along with flow calculations for maximum performance and efficiency. Another advantage is avoiding interferences between the architectural, structural, and MEP m odel s All of these features make the constructio n process more accurate and fluid. Based on the analysis of these two pieces of software they both seem to be co mparable with each other. Both Hevacomp Mechanical Designer and Revit MEP software have a database along with the ability to size and choose the correct equipment needed for the building. Hevacomp and Revit MEP both have the ability to produce an equally u seful model and thus both are a good choice when constructing an MEP model. B IM is a powerful tool when used to its full potential. The software has become widely used and is more frequently used on the West Coast than the East Coast of the United States. However as time passes and owners require stricter deadlines and tighter budgets B IM will be used more often. BIM allows architects, engineers, and construction firms to communicate earlier on in the construction
phase which causes less adversarial relat ionships along with a more fluid construction process. Many large firms are already implementing this software into their everyday contracts. Multiple large project s such as the Minnesota Tw ins Ballpark in Minneapolis along with the Baltic Arena Sports Sta dium that will host the 2012 World Cup Championship used BIM to ease the construction process of these elaborate projects. T here are many software packages to choose from to create a Building Information Model. Some are more useful than others and some hav advantage to learn the software and process of BIM and use this ability as a marketing advantage for acquiring future projects. Works Cited 1. Lintault, Marcus. "BIM History." BIMechanics Home BIM Mechanics. Web. 20 Sept. 2011. . 2. Building Smart Alliance. "Out the National BIM Standard United States." BuildingSmartAlliance.org Building Smart Alliance. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. . 3. Aragon, Greg. "California Construction | Working the Way Architects Work." ENR California | McGraw Hill Construction Web. 20 Sept. 2011. . 4. Autodesk, comp. Using Autodesk Ecotect Analysis and Building Information Modeling Print. 5. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. "Capitalize on Green Design." Rev. of Autodesk Software Print. 6. Kelar Pacific "BIM and the Autodesk Green Building Studio." Rev. of Autodesk Green Building Studio White Papers Kelar Pacific. Web. 27 Sept. 2011.
. 7. Arc Corporate. "BIM and Facilities Management." Web. 28 Sept. 2011. . 8. "FM:Interact Flexible and Open Integrated Workplace Management System." Facility Management Software from FM:Systems. Specializing in IWMS and CAFM Software Web. 29 Sept. 2011. . 9. "Facilities V8i Construction Solutions." Construction Solutions Web. 29 Sept. 2011. . 10. "Mechanical Design and Analysis Simplified with Bentley Hevacomp Mechanical Designer V8i." Bentley Web. 04 Oct. 2011. .