ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/295658
10 | ASPIRE , Spring 2014 P E R S P E C T I V E Bridge information modeling (BrIM) has become an important industry tool since it was first introduced to the transportation sector. BrIM is an innovative approach to bridge design, construction, operations, and project delivery. It allows for the creation of an information-rich data model that can be used during the life of the bridge, connecting design, construction, operations, and maintenance. More than ever, bridge professionals are seeking methods to: • reduce construction costs with more economical designs, • improve quantity take-offs, • model the step-by-step construction process in 4D, and • realistically visualize projects with imagery and virtual drive-throughs. The Federal Highway Administration MAP-21 compliance requirements, and the growing popularity of design- build and Public-Private Partnership projects, have set the stage for greater owner expectations for faster and more- efficient methods of constructing our transportation assets. Bridge designers need to be prepared for this shift in workflows. The BrIM design environment has b e e n a h e a d l i n i n g d i s c u s s i o n a t conferences and committee meetings, in articles, and on social media. These discussions are an opportunity for research results and best practices to meet new contractual requirements to select the best solution to design, build, maintain, and operate these assets. While the infrastructure needs increase, new methods to expedite projects, manage funds more wisely, a n d m e e t t h e d e m a n d s o f t h e public—who want minimal disruption to their traffic patterns—are needed. C u r re n t t re n d s i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e transportation industry is slow to adopt BrIM workflows and methods. It is unclear whether the industry is waiting for industry standards, if it is uncomfortable with change, or both. The perceived challenges associated with implementing a BrIM approach are: • a c h a n g e i n w o r k f l o w w o u l d detract from billable design time, and • whether it is worth it. Considering the benefits versus the r i s k s , a t r a d i t i o n a l w o r k f l o w c a n be best described as a fragmented flow of information and it is likely approached from a 'data ownership' perspective. Those responsible for their component of the project own their information and minimal data are sometimes shared. For example, the highway engineer designs the alignment, profile, and superelevation of the structure based on a typical bridge section. The bridge e n g i n e e r t a k e s t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n and re-enters these data into the structural design software to design the bridge. Following completion of the design, the work is turned over to the detailers who draw the structural sections and reinforcement details based on the engineer's preliminary drawings or even paper sketches. In this non-automated workflow, any changes or updates to the design are left to the engineers to inform their peers of modifications made. The documented effects of this current workflow translate into project risks, including errors introduced with data re-entry and scattered data across an organization or organizations. Each person only knows where their piece of the workflow is—and the same data may be held in different locations. BrIM Environment W o r k i n g i n a B r I M e n v i r o n m e n t eliminates these gaps in shared data. A lot of the information generated during a typical design workflow can easily be adapted into a BrIM workflow with increased productivity and efficiencies. The key components by Barbara Day and Shri Bhide, Bentley Systems Inc. Bridge Information Modeling Are We There Yet? Fully augmented models transfer structural component data directly to field inspection technology. Interactive inspections allow for collection and reporting of condition data at the component level. Information modeling allows more time for evaluating different alternatives, simulating different scenarios, and optimizing your eventual design. All images: Bentley Systems Inc. AspireBook_Spr14.indb 10 3/21/14 2:20 PM