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BIM and the Future of Urban Construction

Vancouver is using BIM to preview how new construction will affect the city. Image via: http://www.hellobc.com/vancouver.aspx

In the construction world we tend to think of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in terms of the building process and how it can help the construction industry build smarter and become more efficient. But when it comes down to it, building smarter isn’t just about how we build – it’s also about how what we build affects the environment around us.

CNBC recently took an in depth look at BIM, presenting ways it will help urban planners imagine the future of building in cities. BIM allows architects, engineers and city planners to collectively view a model of a proposed building and then virtually test what sort of impact it will have on its surroundings. For example, how will the new structure affect the city’s wind pattern? And how might that consequently affect pedestrian traffic for store owners?

This excerpt from the article discusses how the city of Vancouver used BIM in a major construction project:

“One example of BIM’s use in the Vancouver area is the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project, which includes the construction of a new bridge, the widening of the existing highway and safety improvements. It made extensive use of BIM technology during the design process. Using huge amounts of data, BIM allowed engineers to create models and see how existing infrastructure would be affected by the new project.

Using software such as BIM, cities such as Vancouver are no longer ‘building blind’ – as well as saving money.”

In a day and age where sky scrapers can melt cars, the ability to forecast undesirable side-effects of a new building is a trend we’d like to see everyone catch on to.

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