The digital transformation in the construction industry is driven by technology that aims to improve productivity, collaboration and workflow efficiency. In order to avoid being left behind as their peers are able to increase operational efficiency and deliver new services, many structural engineering firms now view tech-driven innovation as critical.
As Building Information Modeling (BIM) has progressed, its supporting technology has improved and the 3D digital models it uses have become more advanced. However, the inability to easily transfer a model from analysis and design tools to a BIM software program diminishes the benefits of using a 3D model in the first place, and often causes structural engineers to expend necessary time recreating the model so they can use it in BIM software.
That’s why more structural engineers are switching to analysis and design software with industry-leading interoperability. When engineers are able to integrate the 3D BIM model into the analysis and design process at the very beginning, they’re able to identify potential errors before they become more serious issues, test out the strengths and weaknesses of different designs and collaborate more effectively with other project participants, saving a considerable amount of time and effort.
With an integrated model approach, engineers don’t have to model things twice, and when changes occur in one model, those changes don’t need to be manually communicated because they’re automatically integrated, resulting in less error and a much quicker process. This means you can be certain that any design changes made in one system are automatically updated in the other, eliminating manual data transfer and reducing the chances of errors and discrepancies.
Additionally, an integrated model approach allows structural engineers to not only transfer members between applications but also important analysis & design data beyond just member sizes. This allows engineers to automate things like concrete rebar schedules and end-force reaction drawings.
Easily Detect Errors
When BIM models and analysis models work together, it becomes easier to identify and resolve clashes between structural elements and other building systems. This proactive detection reduces the need for change orders during construction, ensuring greater efficiency on the project as a whole.
BIM technology also allows engineers to test various designs and analyze their strengths and weaknesses before the actual construction process begins. They can then make necessary design changes at an early stage of the project without having to increase project costs by modifying an actual structure.
Effective collaboration among structural engineers, architects, MEP designers and other project stakeholders is made much easier through BIM integration. Using a 3D model with a high level of construction data allows project participants to reference and update the model as needed across every phase of the construction workflow. Additionally, being able to integrate this 3D model between analysis and design software and BIM software enables even more real-time information exchange and shared access to project data, fostering a truly collaborative environment that leads to more efficient project coordination.
Now that structural analysis and design software has made it possible for 3D BIM and analytical models to be fully integrated on projects, there’s no longer a need for engineers to manage multiple models separately, increasing their productivity and the profitability of their projects. This change facilitates better collaboration with other project parties and seamless integration of the design model with leading BIM software, helping companies continue to innovate their processes and work more efficiently.