Building Information Modeling (BIM) is shaping the future of MEP Design, providing accurate and cost effective solutions for Design Engineers. Often BIM specialists work closely with design engineers during the design development stages with several inputs like drawings, hand-sketches, data sheet, design excels, mark-ups and more. Accurate BIM Modeling helps to validate design for constructability, performance and maintenance. 3Dvisualization through BIM helps to bring clarity in design objectives pertaining to performance parameters, tolerance, clearance and ease of maintenance.
The Process of Working with Building Information Modeling - Different design options are simulated to choose the most efficient solution. Often design software applications like ETAP, Pipenet, Elite, Dialux are used for flawless integration with BIM models. Major software applications such as AutoCAD, Revit, Fabrication, Navisworks, Bentley and SolidWorks are also used as per project requirement.
Building Information Modeling Solutions for Design Engineers
1. Design Development Support & Coordination
2. 3D Model Creation
3. Design Validation
4. Construction Documentation
5. Quantity Take-off
1. Design Development & Coordination - BIM offers the competence to assist Design Engineers in the design development process. BIM specialists understand the design-intent of the engineers and provide support for the design engineers which evolves from conceptual stage to construction stage. BIM professionals translate designer’s thoughts into buildable information in the form of 3D models as well as 2D Drawings.
Stages of Design Evolution:
· Schematic Design: It is an initial design scheme which defines the general scope of the project, including scale and relationships among building components. The BIM models are the dominant tools to provide a description of proposed system.
· Detailed Design: Detailed Design is the stage following schematic design where the schematic designs are worked out in greater details. This enables client to visualize the project, performing analysis based on specific Systems and extracting quantities of all materials from the model.
· Construction Documentation: This acts as a bridge between building design and physical building form, encompassing the preparation of drawings and specifications that set forth detailed requirements for the construction of a building. The Models include elements that are flawless in size, shape, location and orientation with comprehensive fabrication, assemblage and specific information. During the stage, the Model includes non-geometric (3D) information like text, dimensions, notes and 2D details and it is a complete representation of all proposed elements.
2. 3D Model Creation – This identifies constructability or design issues accurately. 3D visualization brings clarify in design pertaining to clashes, clearance and tolerance. Moreover, it helps to communicate ideas effectively. 3D BIM also provides the opportunity to improve efficiency in the existing work flow of design firms. The central BIM model ensures that all plan, elevations and sections are coherent as they are generated directly from the model. In addition, revision management is simplified as the central BIM model is current, ensuring data integrity.
3. Design Validation - Intelligent BIM model helps to design building systems with greater efficiency. This gives stakeholders a clear idea of design intent, enabling them to modify the design to achieve their desired outcome, minimizing risk of costly changes later.
· Mechanical Ducting includes Load Analysis, Duct Sizing, ESP Calculation and Pressure Loss Reports, Equipment Capacity Design, Duct Routing Optimization and more.
· Plumbing includes Assigning Fixture Units, Layout Generation & Pipe Flow Calculations, Designing Drainage, Rain Water & Storm Drain and Pump Head Calculation.
· Fire Fighting includes Sprinkler Design & Layouts, Designing pipes as per pipe schedule, checking obstructions to sprinkler spray pattern, providing flushing valve & auto air release valves and more.
· Electrical includes Lighting and Small Power such as Power & Lighting Circuit, Calculating Voltage Drop & Cable Sizing, Load Balancing, Energy Analysis, Cable Tray Routes, Electrical Single Line Diagram Creation, Short Circuit Current Calculation as well as Firm Alarm like System Connection & Equipment/Fixture Schedule, Layout & Looping Fire Alarm Speakers & more.
4. Construction Documentation - Construction documents are generated from the information provided into BIM models. The Models represent the most comprehensive drawings, depicting component with technical information. Often 2D Drawings are released with the information of Floor Plans, Schematic Drawings ensuring continuity of services with design intent and providing Riser sizes with branch connections, Block out/Penetration Drawings with major structural openings coordinated with MEP and other details.
5. Quantity Take-Off - Quantity take-off or Bill of Materials can also be prepared using 3D BIM model in a project. It is precursor to make a cost estimate for determining whether the design meets the project budget. Accurate and timely estimate controls costs and helps dispersed team members to collaborate effectively. The design engineers get the option to explore design alternatives with BIM and can reduce cost and make energy saving options.
BIM helps to re-route utilities, change elevation & re-size elements. Implement BIM in design engineering workflow and eliminate rework during the project phase, saving time and money.