Oct 26, 2011

PCI BIM Committee Presents the Benefits of openBIM to the Precast Industry

Nemetschek Vectorworks, StructureWorks, Tekla and Nemetschek Scia Team Up to Demonstrate Interoperability.

The Precast Concrete Institute's BIM Committee, along with software developers Nemetschek Vectorworks, Nemetschek Scia, StructureWorks and Tekla, presented a new integrated model based workflow for the precast industry that promises to streamline the design and production of precast structures. The effort was coordinated by Chuck Eastman, Professor and Director of the Georgia Tech Digital Building Laboratory, and Rafael Sacks at the Technion, and their teams.

The presentation, which took place at the 2011 PCI Annual Convention and National Bridge Conference, illustrates the benefit of openBIM and how the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) file exchange is allowing architects, engineers and precast manufactures using preferred software applications from multiple vendors to leverage today's BIM process to increase efficiencies, reduce errors and ultimately deliver higher performing precast structures.

"The demo is just an initial stepping stone to deal with all the major exchanges facilitating precast workflows," said Eastman. "We expect other companies aspiring to support precast work will be joining later."

This educational session demonstrated how a design model created by an architect using an IFC-capable BIM authoring application can be imported into a structural analysis software for optimization and code checking. This optimized IFC model can then be moved downstream and converted into a detailed precast fabrication model. The parts and Bill of Materials of the fabrication model can be used as the inputs into the fabrication process and ultimately to manage the scheduling and project completion on the job site.

Founded in 1954, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) is the foremost developer of standards and methods for designing, fabricating, and constructing precast concrete structures. PCI also operates the world’s leading certification program for firms and individuals in the precast concrete structures industry. Institute members include firms comprising the precast concrete structures industry as well as architects, consultants, contractors, developers, educators, engineers, materials suppliers, service providers, and students.

PCI develops, maintains and disseminates the industry's body of knowledge and publishes a broad array of periodicals, technical manuals, reports, and other informational documents, including an award-winning technical journal. Additionally, PCI offers a variety of continuing education options, technical conferences, conventions, exhibitions, and awards programs

The Georgia Tech Digital Building Laboratory intends to become one of the leading building-related research organizations in the United States, championing advancements that not only benefit the members of the DBL, but also impact architectural design and construction for all owners and clients.