Building information models (BIMs) are files which can be extracted, exchanged or networked to support decision-making regarding a building or other built asset. Current BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain buildings.
When working on a project that requires BIM, Tower Engineering’s standard approach is to make use of Autodesk’s REVIT software program. We have been using REVIT for years, have become proficient in its use and do not charge a premium for its use. Autodesk Revit is a building information modeling software for architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers, designers and contractors. It allows users to design a building, a structure and its components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the building model’s database.
Why do we use BIMs? Using building information models has the potential to reduce conflicts and changes during construction, saving time and money associated with change orders and spatial conflict resolution. It’s perfect for modeling larger elements such as duct systems and air handlers, as you see in the pictures above and below of this narrative. It helps simulate and visualize how the systems will be configured, increasing the team’s understanding of the MEPFP systems. All MEPFP system components (equipment, piping, ductwork, etc.) are shown within the model as an abstract 3 dimensional object. The object’s overall dimensions will, in general, be consistent with the actual overall dimensions. Specific variations of each component will not be shown, but are taken into consideration for overall dimensions and access requirements.
Tower Engineering’s approach to BIM goes far beyond the use of REVIT for clash detection. An important part of Tower Engineering’s interaction is to properly visualize how systems are integrated into a building’s architectural design. BIM allows for our team to fully consider aesthetic concerns such as rooftop equipment size/location, pad mounted equipment size/location and exposed piping/ductwork.There are multiple levels of detail for BIM, as defined within the AIA Document E202. Tower Engineering’s MEPFP standard model complies with Level of Detail 300.