Building Information Modeling (BIM) can be a beneficial platform for structural engineers.

Working as a structural engineer is already a challenging career, and no doubt you’re always looking for ways to make certain tasks easier. Working with building information modeling can bring a lot of new ways to do your engineering work.

We use Revit Structure as well as Tekla Structures for structural BIM services. These platforms allows for more consistent and coordinated engineering projects. Both help streamline all of your projects from the design concept phase on up to fabrication. You’ll discover both also help with installation accuracy during construction.

Our team has years of experience working on projects that use concrete, steel, timber, and composite structural systems. Tekla helps you work with all these materials and fully realizes how they’re going to work through the software’s high level of detail. For integrated design, there isn’t a better BIM software available. They bring a single model to enhance communication behind the intent of your design.Part of this occurs from Tekla’s easy ability to convert 2D drawings into 3D representations. Being able to fully realize how certain materials are going to look and integrate before construction begins is essential to avoid delays.

Structures like bridges, industrial plants, and silos are good examples of what we can work with using Tekla.This is perhaps surprising to you if you’re used to thinking that BIM software only works with buildings. The easy coordination with your project contributors is what makes using BIM software such a great collaborative program. We already work through a collaborative process with engineers. However, being able to easily share your BIM data with others involved in the project makes for faster fabrication during the final phase.

One strong Tekla feature is its ability to analyze your structure even before it’s built. You can conduct simulations and interference detection early in the design process. For structures like bridges and industrial plants, this is obviously invaluable to avoid expensive engineering repairs later due to design errors.

Being able to design, model, and document building systems so you and your collaborators visualize exactly what it’s going to look like is why BIM brought a revolution to engineering and architecture. Through our use of Tekla and Revit, we’ll handle all of your construction drawing stages so you and your team of engineers fully realize each phase. We’ll even add in load analysis and reinforcements to help you visualize things in further detail. With BIM software having seven different levels of data input, a 7D representation will give a visual picture of your structure’s entire life cycle. When the time comes to make repairs or fix an engineering problem, you’ll have all pertinent data in the software available for reference.

Get a Free Quote

Design Challenges of Structural Steel Superstructures

When considering the many challenges of designing structural steel superstructures, from high-rise complexes to sprawling single level industrial facilities to open-air (column free) arenas, one fact has remained consistent (even in today’s high-tech realm of computer-aided design and drafting (CADD)) – a huge amount of structural members, steel design and fabrication documentation is required to move the project successfully from engineering to design layout to detail drafting to fabrication shop drawings and finally, field erection.

Every steel pile, girder, beam, column, joist, truss, plate, channel, tube, and bar must go through a multitude of raw material transformations – cut, punched, formed, machined, bending, finished, welded, drilled, bolted or riveted to precise specifications for assembly by third-party metal fabricators. To reach a successful construction phase, each piece will be piece marked and tracked in multi-level advanced bill-of-materials and erection sequencing diagrams.

The point being made is, with such a massive design documentation feat – how can a 3D structural steel model-centric approach help A&E firms better manage the engineering workflow and enhance the three challenges for design team to designing steel superstructures – cost, speed, and quality .

Creating Steel Shop Drawings With Revit

Steel project design drawings are often used for contractors to base the bid for construction projects because these drawings will show both the material and dimensional requirements of each steel piece or assembly. But, they tend to be generic and not show slight variations between similar pieces. Shop drawings are required for the fabrication shop and sometimes to provide the necessary information for field erection sequencing. Work with INDBIM we can not only produce steel layout and detail drafting but shop or fabrication drawings also.

Revit is uniquely designed to assist in piece mark designations for shop drawings in which each element is uniquely labeled to assist in the erection process. Shop drawings will also require specific material information such as the grade of steel, fastener specifications, cleaning and coating requirements, and any pre-construction testing required. Additionally, detailed geometry for each member is necessary to ensure quality structural fabrication which will meet the engineer’s critical load requirements.

Additionally, an advanced bill of material is required for steel purchasing. The detailed quantity takeoffs will show the amount, sizes, and thickness of raw material required to fabricate each steel member. A steel structure can have 300,000 individual pieces, and it is up to an experienced drafting team to ensure each piece is properly marked and listed on the bill of material.

Additional information for drilling, cutting, welding, bending, shearing, and grinding are all requisite information for a properly drafted shop drawing. The number of drawings in one structural steel project can total in the thousands.

Revit software is equipped with specific tools to address all these steel shop documentation needs – and also rebar and precast concrete detail drafting. Preparing the technical documentation for shop fabrication and site erection of steel structures can be a time consuming task. But Revit assists drafters with the ability to automatically generate elevations and section, complete with descriptions and dimensions.

A benefit in partnering with INDBIM  Revit drafting service for your steel documentation needs is the fact that our drafters are well acquainted the tools which increase productivity, saves time, and will meet your scheduling deadlines.

Fabrication Solutions with Tekla Steel Structural Models

Developers of the Tekla Steel software application recognized and responded to fabrication challenges in structural steel superstructure design. Increased flexibility and powerful productivity tools support steel detailing and assembly drawing processes. The result is minimized steel fabrication rework – an issue which promotes costly field delays, engineering change notifications, or less than optimum on-site welding and punching operations as quick fixes.

The company deliberately built-in software enhancements strategically aimed at creating detailed 3D models that are fabrication-ready. Detailing efforts are maximized and mistakes are minimized by removing drafting redundancies. Every detailed 2D drawing is a manipulated view of the single 3D structural model; a model which can incorporate CNC machining processes, robotic welding parameters, or important material handling information.

Coordination and communication between engineering and construction can also be accomplished through the 3D BIM model’s project file. Imagine field change requests happening in real-time, with engineers able to review and analyze the request, provide engineering approval, and automatically update all affected components and assemblies – in one day.

Tekla offers an Open AP programming interface for seamless data transfer between vendor and/or fabricator software through standard file formats including IFC, DXF, DWG, and DSTV-NC. A Tekla Structure model can be utilized for engineering analysis, as well as detailing, estimation, fabrication, and erection – and the software offers mobile solutions for portability.

Special structures

Bridge Structure

BIM services are essential towards safe bridge construction. If you have ever heard of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure of 1940, you will remember that having the right mix of building materials and structural formats is necessary to keep a bridge’s structural integrity sound. To engineer the proper materials and shapes necessary to build a modern, structurally sound bridge, BIM services are essential parts of building a bridge to withstand the forces that nature will through against it.

Before doing additional computer testing on hurricane resistance, earthquake resistance, or flood resistance, accurate BIM models need to be developed and imported into your simulation systems. Good information modeling creates a system that demonstrates structure in a more comprehensive manner than any CAD drawings while also presenting you with an accurate file for creating simulations to determine if the bridge will meet structural requirements for the location it is going to be built.

Tower Engineering

Radio towers and cell-phone towers all require intense engineering in order to submit an application to broadcast in many countries, including the United States. Getting accurate portrayals of antenna location, power supplies, power and communication lines up the tower, is difficult work to do without an accurate 3D model of the tower. Creating a quality tower model requires more than just a description of the tower, but often uses 3D modeling of the surrounding structures and terrain as well.

Tower planning requires specific engineering and construction principles. These principles are best demonstrated to other businesses and to regulatory agencies through 3D graphic illustration. Quality models showcase requirements regarding radiation, regarding terrain, and spacing on the tower.

For businesses looking to build a tower as a portion of their business plan earnings, for businesses looking to lease space on current or planned towers, and for businesses who specialize in creating applications for radio or telecommunications companies, BIM services for tower engineering is an essential part of your business plan.

Water Containment Structures

Combining fluid and structural mechanics is always a difficult chore. Planning for the unique situations that arise when a fluid is held within a solid structure requires systematic engineering and modeling before committing any resources to a project. Common structural elements that include water containment issues include water towers, cooling facilities, certain HVAC systems, and other systems require modeling to ensure that they are strong enough and well-designed so that they can work without leaking and provide the best quality structure.

With water containment structures, simulation programs need to simulate pressure and weight differentials that is difficult to mathematically define from 2D representations. With 3D, 4D, and 5D virtualizations of the system, your engineering team can predict the behavior of the liquids in the system with a higher degree of accuracy.

While some of these are simple systems, like a water tank, even simple systems get complicated when combined with other projects. For example, an office restroom is not a complicated system to design, but when it becomes part of an 80 story building with restrooms and kitchens on multiple floors and a storage tank on the top of the building, predicting weight distribution and water flow becomes a more complicated process.