Appendix B-15: Model Use: Analyze Structural Performance

Structural Analysis

A process in which analytical modeling software utilizes the BIM design authoring model so to determine the behavior of a given structural system. With the modeling minimum required standards for structural design and analysis are used for optimization. Based on this analysis further development and refinement of the structural design takes place to create effective, efficient, and constructible structural systems. The development of this information is the basis for what will be passed onto the digital fabrication and construction system design phases.

This BIM Use does not need to be implemented from the beginning of the design to be beneficial. Often structural analysis is implemented at the connection design level to make fabrication quicker, more efficient and for better coordination during construction. Another application is that this relates and ties into is construction system design, examples include but not limited to: erection design, construction means and methods, and rigging. The application of this analysis tool allows for performance simulations that can significantly improve the design, performance, and safety of the facility over its lifecycle.

Potential Value:

  • Save time and cost on creating extra models
  • Easier transition BIM authoring tools allowing new firms implementing this use model
  • Improve specialized expertise and services offered by the design firm
  • Achieve optimum efficient design solutions by applying various rigorous analyses
  • Faster return on investment by applying audit and analysis tools for engineering analyses
  • Improve the quality of the design analyses
  • Reduce the cycle time of the design analyses

Resources Required:

  • Design Authoring Tools
  • Structural Engineering analysis tools and software
  • Design standards and codes
  • Adequate hardware for running software

Team Competencies Required:

  • Ability to create, manipulate, navigate, and review a 3D Structural Model
  • Knowledge of constructability methods
  • Structural design and analysis experience
  • Experience in structural sequencing methods

Selected References:

  • Ikerd, W. (2007) “The Importance of BIM in Structural Engineering: The greatest change in over a century” Structure Magazine, Oct. 37-40
  • Burt, Bruce (2009) “BIM Interoperability: the Promise and the Reality” Structure Magazine, Dec. 19-21
  • Faraone, Thomas, et al. (2009) “BIM Resources for the AEC Community” Structure Magazine, Mar. 32-33
  • Eastman et al (2010) “Exchange Model and Exchange Object Concepts for Implementation of National BIM Standards”, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, (Jan./Feb.) 25-34. ASCE.
  • Barak et al (2009) “Unique Requirements of Building Information Modeling for CIP Reinforced Concrete”, ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, Mar./Apr. 64-74.


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