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How BIM has changed Façade Design

Posted by Geoff Haines on 07-Nov-2016 17:00:00
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2D or 3D CAD

“Change or die” is the shorted version of Charles Darwin’s famous quote.


A little while ago I was in a meeting with a director of a major developer in London, trying to convince him of using 3D CAD (or BIM) models to help in construction projects and one comment put forcefully to me was

“I’ve built many a building with a pencil, paper and a fax machine so why should I spend money on 3D CAD information?“

I think we have all met these dinosaurs and we know what their future beholds!

So, what is the value in changing to a 3D modelling world, as it does require a more accurate definition of design intent and so will cost more?

Firstly, anyone who has drawn in 2D, either on a drawing board or in a 2D CAD systems knows that you can hide, or obscure detail where you don’t know what to do, and so pass a problem further down the chain for someone else to solve – usually during construction which inevitably incurs cost. Also, in more complex buildings, how do you ensure that there are no clashes?  In the oil and gas industry, they used to have model makers building process plants to scale from drawings to confirm this detail. Even in recent times, Roll-Royce Aerospace used to build a wooden model of prototype engines to understand the complex pipework that encases a jet engine.

It should be clear then that if you can create a digital twin of any building design, then these issues can be identified before construction.

Key other benefits flow for the façade engineer:

  • Faster decision-making with all participants collaborating on a single project view speeds overall time to completion and reduce waste
  • 3D visualization improves exchange of ideas and allows rapid simulations including volume, shapes, facades and exteriors within an integrated system
  • Compliance with global architectural, engineering, materials and environmental standards reduces errors and re-work
  • There’s no doubt that BIM can help you improve profitability, deliver projects more quickly and develop and buildings that are more beautiful and sustainable.

Technological changes brought by BIM to Facade design whitepaperLearn More by Downloading our Technology Changes brought by BIM in Façade Design White Paper

This expert white paper discusses challenges in façade design and the emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology as a game-changing approach that can eliminate costly errors and speed time to project completion while developing sustainable, elegant and modern buildings that define skylines of a modern metropolis.


Topics: 3DEXPERIENCE, Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC), Building Information Modelling (BIM), BIM