Saturday, August 28, 2010

Don’t put your BIM in a Box!

What can a BIM be used for? Think outside of the Box.

A better question is how can I use BIM for <insert use>?  I ran across an interesting use yesterday.

How can Emergency Response Services use a BIM?  It doesn’t take much thought to think of dozens of ways.  Mostly they are related to visualization.

  • Cameras placed in the model can simulate planned security cameras and validate the coverage.
  • Animated crowd simulations can identify bottlenecks.
  • Visual reports on threats/emergencies overlaid on the BIM can help leadership evaluate the location, extent and magnitude of the incident so that they can plan an informed response. A related example would be the interconnectivity of the  US Army’s Land Warrior
  • Sensor driven data can visually report conditions of the environment in a visual manner that is quicker to conceptualize and easier to understand than just raw data.

When President Obama visited Kalamazoo Michigan, the Secret Service was “blown away” by the information they could extract from Western Michigan University’s BIM. I don’t know what exactly the Secret Service does when they scout a venue for the President, but can you imagine the time saved and the quality of the information available in a BIM compared to either walking the whole venue (time intensive) or typical FM CAD plans (limited amount of information and limited display of spatial relationships)?  Of course with a mission as critical as the protection of a dignitary, the Secret Service must still visit and verify the identified trouble spots.  Can you imagine the liability if the the BIM was taken for unquestionable fact.  But, that said, As-Built should be As-Built.

Anyway, check out this article about how WMU’s “Bronco BIM” project helped the Secret Service prep for a President’s visit and the plans they have for it’s future.

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