BIM in Structural Engineering
The importance of the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) by the structural engineering profession cannot be emphasized enough because the structure is the key component of buildings and all other disciplines are built on and scheduled around it. The BIM enabled process for structural elements maximizes the potential for construction schedule optimization which can result in significant savings on projects. Trades related to architectural finishes, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, fire protection, curtain wall, stone, masonry, and other facade systems must all follow the critical path delivery of the structural frame.
However, for the building industry to experience the value of BIM to its fullest, the structural engineering profession must first assess where it is with BIM so that it can then choose the best path for the profession to transform into a BIM delivery process. This first step began last year with one of the first national surveys of the structural engineering profession and BIM. The BIM and Structural Engineering survey was a collaborative effort of the Structural Engineering Institute’s Committee on BIM (now the Joint SEI-CASE committee on BIM) and the Structural Engineers Association of Texas (SEAoT).