No BIM Experience, No Problem

Posted by Pete Hicks on 3/22/16 11:53 AM  |  3 min read time

For many architecture students around the world, there is no chapter in their textbooks that describes how to execute a BIM workflow. Much of the information that they receive comes from different sources and can even be contradictory. That’s why Carlo Galatioto, a recent graduate student from the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland with no experience with in-depth BIM workflows, decided to break the mold, using his final thesis as an opportunity to explore the practical use of BIM.

Galatioto's thesis project Galatioto's thesis project

With the help of his professors, Galatioto’s thesis aimed to design a functional project based on realistic criteria using BIM workflows. His assignment thus required him to incorporate the information necessary for contractors and engineers to understand his design, as well as use multiple software products with an extensive data exchange. The Level of Detail (LOD) required for this project was high, so Galatioto had to make use of open BIM workflows to ensure a successful grade.

Galatioto used Solibri model-checker software in conjunction with his 3D model, designed with Vectorworks Architect software, to test his project’s technical and functional feasibility. In doing so, he was able to retain his creative vision while also discovering that he needed to leave more space for ventilation shafts and verifying that the exit routes in the building would meet local regulations.

This workflow was enabled by IFC export. While Galatioto’s design made use of many smart objects within Vectorworks Architect that are preloaded with IFC export data, the unique geometric shape of the building meant that more detailed work was required. To maintain the originality of his structure, Galatioto used Vectorworks Architect’s built-in BIM capabilities to manually assign IFC information to an object, enabling his project to meet the requirements for BIM data exchange. Galatioto’s final design subsequently held information ranging from building sustainability and fire resistance to materials information from manufacturers, which could help potential construction teams and facility managers into the future.

Galatioto's thesis project Galatioto's thesis project

With IFC data used to coordinate building data, Galatioto’s thesis was more than just a great design. His project included building costs, scheduling data, and spatial information, all of which could be easily passed on to his professors for evaluation.

Galatioto’s project proves that anyone, even someone with little to no BIM experience, can design an entire project using open BIM methodology if they’re willing to put in the effort to learn how. And if you’re wondering if Galatioto made the grade, you can rest assured. His thesis received an exceptional score from his professors, experts in the Swiss BIM community, and he earned his bachelor’s degree. Potential employers, be on the lookout!

Topics: Education, Open BIM, Solibri, Solibri Model Checker, Vectorworks Architect, 3D Modeling, Bern University of Applied Sciences, BIM, Carlos Galatioto, Community, data exchange, IFC, IFC export, inspiration

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