#BIMfor Structural Engineers




We continue our #BIMfor series, and we highlight seven (7) benefits of BIM to another group of specialists and stakeholders involved in building and shaping the built environment, giving them the context as to how it relates to their work.

In this post, we will highlight the benefits of BIM to Structural Engineers.
Here are 7 benefits the Structural engineer will gain from BIM.

1. Faster Analysis and Design

Using BIM softwares (for example Revit*, ArchiCAD*, Bentley MicroStation*), Structural Engineers are able to model structures containing details of the load, loading type, material properties and any other information required for analysis, then exchange data with common structural engineering analysis and design software (for example Riser*, Robot*, ETABS*, SAP2000*) which carry out design and the change updated back in the BIM model.

2. Optimized Design

With BIM, the structural engineer can obtain the best design that satisfies different criteria such as cost, sustainability and efficiency. This is possible as the engineer can iteratively design using different combinations of parameters, unlike 2D based design, where the structural engineer settles for the first design that conforms to code requirements.

3. No duplication of data

In 2D based design, where designers and detailers begin their work at the same time due to time constraints, they have to work separately, thereby duplicating data. This makes overall coordination harder and prone to error. With BIM, both the physical (shown in 3D in the BIM software and used for printing drawings and schedules) and the analytical model (used in analysis in 3rd party software) are fused into one, therefore preventing duplication. If the structural engineer carries out changes in his own model and this is uploaded back to the main model, only the changes are uploaded and structural documentation can be done straight from the model.

4. Increased productivity

When producing construction documents, multiple drawings are created in minutes from the BIM model when needed, creating far more in much less time. Also, team members in different geographical locations can still contribute to the project as they can access it from the cloud and make their input. As such, international design teams can work together without even seeing each other.

5. Time and Cost Savings

A major time and cost consuming activity in traditional 2D based structural engineering analysis and design is documentation. By using BIM, documentation activities such as drafting, preparation of schedule of quantities, etc are automatically done by the BIM software from the model. The design firm, therefore, saves money that would have been spent on specialist CAD draftsmen as well as time that would have been spent, ensuring projects are delivered on time. Less time spent also means less costs incurred and more bonuses.


6. Error free design during preconstruction

With 2D based design, errors are likely to occur because two (2) different people are in charge of designing and drafting. If the designer carries out any change and forgets to inform the draftsman, maybe due to pressure brought about by time constraints, the drawing to be used is automatically defective in this case.
Also, in cases where structural steelwork and electrical work were designed to pass through the same place, such errors will be corrected when the information is updated to the main model and checked, therefore preventing much more costly change on site, which usually happens with 2D based designs.

7. Access to Online libraries

With BIM, the engineer can access libraries of online elements (for example, bimobject) to use for modelling in the software. This is helpful when a designer may not want a generic type of object (for example, a door) but does not have the time to create a custom object from scratch. This way, the engineer can use those customized by others in the past.


You can also also follow other posts in our #BIMfor series. For those that are Electrical Engineers, Click here, For the Mechanical Engineers, Click here


*Use of a brand name does not intend or attempt to endorse one BIM platform/package over another. This post is not affiliated to, or sponsored by any BIM software provider.

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#BIMfor Structural Engineers #BIMfor Structural Engineers Reviewed by Izu Obi on 11:14:00 Rating: 5

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