BIM, 3D Design

The BIM (Building Information Modelling) technology is a method for designing and executing investments based on a three-dimensional digital building model. It improves the investment process at every stage of its execution - design, scheduling, cost estimation, execution and managing a completed building. The cohesive collaborative model makes it possible for us to predict and avoid many costly collisions already at the design stage. The model also facilitates faster and simpler communication between all investment process participants (Designer, Contractor, Investor, Manager).

Charles River Software was established in Newton / Massachusetts in 1997, by the creators of PTC’s Pro / Engineer - product development software with a view of achieving parametric modelling. The company employed a number of programmers and architects and began developing Revit in C++ for Windows environment. Right from the outset Revit was created in order to make it possible for architects and engineers to design and document a building through the creation of a 3D parametric model, which entails an exchange of geometric and non-geometric information, which subsequently became known as building information modelling or BIM. The name Revit is inspired by the ease with which changes could be applied: Revise-It. At that time a number of other software suites such as ArchiCAD and Reflex facilitated work with a 3D virtual building model, where it was possible to control given components using parameters (parametric components). Creation of parametric components using a graphical "family editor" rather than programming language are the two primary differences in Revit. All relations between components, views and notes are captured by the model so that a change to any element is automatically propagated and held in cohesive models, so that for example moving a wall results in a change to the neighbouring walls, floors, roofs and a position correction changes dimension values and notes. Revit adapts the surfaces indicated in breakdowns, redraws cross section views, etc. so that the model remains cohesive and the whole documentation remains in synch. The concept of two-way associations between elements, views and descriptions was what made Revit stand out across numerous versions. Autodesk, best known for its AutoCAD line of products, purchased the Massachusetts-based Revit Technology Corporation for 133 million dollars in 2002. The purchase allowed more research, development and improvement of the software. Autodesk has released several versions of Revit since 2004. In 2005 Revit Structure was introduced, then in 2006 Revit MEP. After the 2006 release Revit Building was renamed Revit Architecture. Since Revit 2013 the different disciplines have been rolled into one product, simply called Revit. With their Revit platform, Autodesk is a significant player in the BIM market together with Nemetschek (makers of ArchiCAD, AllPlan and Vectorworks), and Gehry Technologies with CATIA based Digital Project.

IPD (Integrated Project Delivery), based on social cooperation skills and on technological know-how within the scope of handling data formats, delivered by all designers part of the process is responsible for the distribution and evaluation of multi-dimension information modelled within the scope of the BIM process amongst all investment participants. At the design stage, access to a wide database of BIM objects is used: files, models, drawings and product specification. However, one should remember that the standard in place on the Polish market are chaotic, with the same elements duplicated in many places and do not yield to digitisation with a view of mapping to abstract computer standards, such as a cohesive and logical IFC (Industry Foundation Classes). It is necessary to use mapping that would ensure continuity of naming of construction objects leaving design computers, enabling unambiguous identification with physical elements to be built into building objects, i.e. understanding of designer models by all executive team members at the construction site, manufacturers, suppliers and later end users. BIM advantages in the design and construction process deliver a significant cost reduction in the entire building development and lifetime. Savings are generated at the survey, budgeting, design and construction stage as well as during building use.

For existing industrial facilities requiring modernization or implementation of new industrial installations, performance of a documentary survey of the facility (usually required in CAD files) without which the design process cannot be started, becomes a significant problem. Just as the laborious surveying using traditional methods will allow to draw up 2D design basis, the preparation of documentation in 3D is impossible. The investor is therefore doomed to inaccuracies and survey errors, collisions resulting from separate industry projects with all participants of the investment incurring the resulting significant costs. 3D scanning facilitated the process of transition from the real building to a 3D model, while maintaining the precision of mapping impossible to achieve by traditional methods. It enables quick and trouble-free drafting of documentation entailing complex geometry of industrial plants, elevation of buildings, non-invasive documentation of valuable items, historic objects, etc. and allows an integration of 3D data with the BIM system. The 3D scanner acquires information regarding distance within its field of view. As a result, we obtain a cloud of points with X,Y,Z coordinates, describing the scanned building and the surface colour of the building as an option. In most cases a single scan will not suffice to generate a full model of the building. To gather information about the entire building it is usually necessary to perform numerous scans from many directions. 3D scanning greatly speeds up the building or its surroundings surveying process, facilitating 3D data integration with the BIM system. Top quality 3D scanners deliver HDR imaging with a speed of 1 million points per second up to 270 m from the scanner. This is used as the basis for acquiring highly detailed, 3D colour point clouds with a realistically modelled transparency and It enables quick and trouble-free drafting of documentation entailing complex geometry of industrial plants, elevation of buildings, non-invasive documentation of valuable items, historic objects, etc