Create a More Efficient Process: Substation Design with BIM is Faster, Cheaper and Better Quality
By Arnold Fry, P.E.
Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is changing the way we design, construct, operate and maintain utility facilities and assets.
In this article, we’ll look at how using an efficient BIM workflow puts the latest advancements in technologies at the fingertips of the professionals responsible for each of those tasks. Using these modern technologies, they can access the documents, how-to manuals and other pieces of data and information they need, when they need it to do their jobs more efficiently and accurately. Consider the following benefits of using BIM:
- Designers no longer need to visualize how a device will fit into a substation. Designers can create a 3D model to mimic precisely how the device fits, complete with visualizations of the final design.
- Construction crews can view and update drawings to reflect as-built conditions, view assembly videos for complex equipment, etc. Workers can access equipment manuals from a mobile device in the field.
- Crews can download historical maintenance data to compare equipment tolerance trends. They can then instantly transmit out-of-tolerance issues back to the office for investigation and tracking until the issues are resolved.
- We can create realistic renderings for public hearings, project team review and approvals. What once took a graphics design department several weeks to produce, can be generated with just a few mouse clicks.
The BIM philosophy has the potential to improve every aspect of the lifecycle of utility assets. BIM is an intelligent-model-based process that gives professionals the tools to more efficiently plan, design and construct facilities and infrastructure. Intelligent modeling means using software to make the best decisions based on the data available.