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BIM for Smart Cities – Why is it a necessity?

BIM for smart cities- this is no more an option but a necessity. In any infrastructure project, several teams work together. One team looks after planning, another takes care of designing, yet another does the construction, and another takes care of the maintenance. In such scenarios relevance of BIM is increasing.

The most important advantage of BIM is that it facilitates collaboration and management of information and communication among teams involved in a construction project. In traditional process of functioning, some of the asset knowledge is lost every time one team hands over the project to another. This leads to wastage in terms of revenue as well.

BIM overcomes these shortcomings by embracing information mobility and making everyone use the same set of standards and processes. As a result, asset knowledge consistently increases over the lifecycle of the project. Implementing BIM enables architects to make informed design choices, and constructors minimize waste and complete their projects on time, saving on expenses incurred due to avoidable delays.

With BIM, a city is never seen in isolation. A building is always integrated with other infrastructure such as the transport system, utilities, etc. This is a challenging task to achieve, but that’s the beauty of BIM. Projects that implement BIM open up doors for collaboration and a free flow of standardized information across disciplines.

BIM for smart cities and bim for infrastructure - role of bim in smart cities
Use of BIM is now seen across the whole infrastructure lifecycle

3D modeling and BIM for smart cities

3D modeling and BIM are a boon for smart cities. 3D software enables constructors to even model infrastructure to be built underground. While building a city, the workers can know how deep to dig to not crash into a fiber optic cable or a gas pipe or a sewerage line. Drainage, pavement and bridge designers can work with the same immersive model. Since all this is geo-referenced, true geographic representation is a bonus.

A host of BIM and GIS-enabled solutions are available for smart cities, including
MicroStation, ProjectWise and AssetWise. In terms of buildings, the 3D GIS capabilities of Bentley Map and Descartes allow the companies to design, model, edit and analyze 3D solids. Even analysis for line of sight, shadows, lighting, skyline studies, are also possible. Intelligent models enable more informed decisions that impact the longevity and performance of the structure.

Adoption of BIM

With the UK mandating the implementation of Level 2 BIM on all government projects, governments across the world are getting serious about BIM. In Europe, countries such as France, Spain and Germany have expedited the adoption of BIM standards. Singapore has published a roadmap for BIM. And just like the UK, New Zealand has also mandated BIM for major infrastructure projects. BIM adoption is also gaining momentum in India because of the government’s ‘100 Smart Cities’ project. However, the Nordic countries of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are pioneers in this field because they adopted BIM as early as 2005.

In the age of IoT and Big Data, taking BIM to city planning and management only seems to be the logical next step. Once adopted, opportunities in BIM are limitless.

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