Monday, 29 September 2014

BIM and Civil Engineering

At Siscín we work with all disciplines on both the 3D visualisation side of our business and on the BIM consultancy side of our business.

Often we hear the comment “civil engineers are not using BIM”.  Just because they are not using Revit it does not mean they are not using BIM.
Revit is a product to support building design not Civil design.

The Wikipdia definition of BIM  is“Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition”

The modern day Civil software’s on the market such as Civil 3D, Bentley products, Novapoint and many more all answer that definition of BIM or CIM (Civil Information Modelling) is a term I’ve heard used recently.

During early stages of a project you hear a lot of talk about the Building aspect of the project but the Civil aspect also needs to be taken into account. At the BIM kick off meeting the civil BIM team need to be included, plans need to be put in place about integrating the Civils with the buildings. If Revit is the preferred software for building design plans need to be put in place as Revit and Civil products use coordinate systems differently. The Revit shared coordinate system need to be coordinated with the world coordinate system of the Civil products. The process of sharing data between the different system needs to be documented in the Project Execution Plan.

When the BIM coordinator gets the initial survey and the concept model, they can start setting up the project base points. Coordination is very important between both the Civil team and the Building team. As the Building team are developing the buildings the Civil team will be developing the site, including calculating cut and fill, drainage, trench’s etc.

Constant communication need to be continued between the building team and the Civils team, similar to what goes on with the building team. This continuing dialog may not be just between the Architectural team and the Civils team. If district heating, electrical services, ducting are running between buildings or other assets on the site, communication will be needed between the MEP team and the Civils team. The MEP team will need to use trench’s provided by the Civils team or link into site drainage.

Remember the goal of the BIM project is to deliver a virtual model of the whole project not just the buildings.

If you have any questions on anything in this blog or any other blog please feel free to contact me at Dan Deery is a director of Siscín is a company specialising in BIM Consultancy, 3D modelling Animation and Visualisation. Siscín have worked on many different projects across the world. For more info on Siscín and their services check out their web site on

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