4D BIM for Construction

Using BIM Technology in Construction and Engineering Education

Posted by Dr. Gregory Wilson, P.E., M. ASCE on Dec 4, 2013 6:51:31 PM

Having been in construction and engineering education for almost four decades, it has been an incredible ride on the technology and software “roller-coaster” from Apple IIe’s and Lotus 123 to the tools we have access to today in terms of educating young people for careers in construction and engineering.


            While the mathematics, humanities, and related university studies continue to be as demanding, time consuming, and as boring as ever…(no offense to my colleagues in these related fields of endeavor) programs such as Synchro Professional and all of the related BIM “machinery”  have transformed not only the industry but those of us responsible for educating and preparing our students to be successful in such a rapidly changing environment. 

            Personally, I have found it demanding but most rewarding to be able to introduce such concepts within the classroom and watch students immerse themselves with what I see as a new-found intensity into this environment.  SYNCHRO is THE one single tool which has permitted me to introduce a new method of visualizing the construction and engineering process as well as provided me a link to multiple other software systems to enhance, and further amplify, this process.  SYNCHRO is the centerpiece of our estimating, scheduling, and project management courses for many reasons. It provides students with the tools to visualize, organize and plan the multitude of details necessary to pull a project together of an ever-increasing level of complexity.

            For example, our three dimensional structural analysis software, RISA 3D, permits students to ROUND-TRIP between the structural design model and Autodesk REVIT and return.  New designs can be checked, modified and sent back to REVIT for modeling.  A RISA 3D structural model can then be sent to Autodesk STRUCTURE for the preparation of shop drawings as needed. This same REVIT model can also be imported into INNOVAYA, our three dimensional visual estimating package for quantity surveys and pricing.

            We have other applications including laser scanning that we are developing but SYNCHRO was the tool that let us begin this educational transformation.

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