Building Information Modeling

Building Information Modeling

Since 2006, SDL has embraced Building Information Modeling (BIM) to aid in the process of developing and coordinating construction documents. To date, SDL has successfully modeled over 60 projects utilizing the Autodesk Revit platform. SDL has found BIM to be valuable in the design process.

SDL has a long history of utilizing technology to provide innovative structural solutions for our clients. As an early adopter, SDL began using computers to design structures in the 1970’s – long before such practices were common. Often times, software was not commercially available and the firm wrote many of its own programs. Then in 1983, SDL began using Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) to produce construction documents thrusting SDL to the leading edge of the Architectural/Engineering industry. In the early 2000’s as BIM started to become a viable technology to produce construction documents, the firm recognized that it was the future of the Architectural/Engineering industry just as CAD had proven to be in the 1980’s.

SDL’s BIM project experience encompasses a large variety of project types – from minor renovations and additions, to new healthcare facilities, to high-rise structures. By utilizing BIM, SDL and our clients have realized the many advantages including better coordinated projects, fewer conflicts during construction, and reduced Requests for Information (RFI) and Change Orders.

Throughout the design process, the Structural Engineer and BIM modeler work closely with the rest of the design team. SDL assists the architect and the other disciplines in conflict checks (clash detections) to create well-coordinated projects. The firm also provides advice, tips and lessons learned from previous experiences to other design team members. SDL can provide the contractor and structural detailer with a BIM model. The model aids the contractor by providing a way to automatically create material take-offs, as well as assist other trades with coordination. By providing the Revit structural model to contractor and fabricator, SDL is able to help reduce the amount of time to create shop drawings with the potential to shorten the construction schedule.

SDL emphasizes the use of technology to aid in the design as well as preparation of construction documents. As opposed to using BIM only as a drafting tool, SDL is dedicated to linking the analysis and design models to the BIM model. This effort increases efficiency and reduces errors throughout the design process. In addition, SDL is continually developing new libraries and tools to increase our efficiency and capabilities with BIM. We have developed a complete library of BIM elements and families to allow for the modeling of various structural components.

SDL sees BIM as the future and encourages the growth of knowledge. Employees are active in local user groups and regularly share tips and tricks with clients. In addition, SDL provides education to clients by making available seminars with “lessons learned” throughout the firm’s experience implementing Revit.

SDL remains on the forefront of technology in the structural engineering industry by utilizing BIM to successfully create structural models and associated construction documents.

Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center is a 250-bed, 450,000 square foot acute-care hospital located in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The structure is a seven-story plus partial basement structural steel frame. The project is classified to be high seismic; therefore, Buckling-Restrained Braced Frames (BRBF) are used as the primary lateral load resisting system in the tower structure. Rammed Aggregate piers are used to reinforce the existing soils to allow the building to be supported on a conventional spread footing foundation system. The project is designed to accommodate a future 46,000 square foot, three level vertical addition.

The 120,000 square foot, one-story Convention Center is designed with an exhibit hall, ballrooms, meeting rooms, and pre-function areas which provides approximately 78,000 square feet of usable space. The team designed the facility to achieve LEED Certification. Rainwater is collected from the roof into a cistern that provides for landscape irrigation. Strategically located solar panels provide water heating and electricity for the outdoor, turtle friendly, lighting system. The integration of the building design with the natural beach front location minimizes the facility’s impact on the environment.

NASA Building 4220 is a five-story replacement office building with approximately 150,000 square feet. The steel framed structure is comprised of a composite floor system supported by steel wide flange columns which bear on steel H-piles.