Advanced building information modeling (BIM) technology is quickly becoming standard procedure for bridge design and construction projects. This change is sure to stick, as stakeholders continue to find value in dynamic 3D design that promotes efficiency and collaboration through the entire bridge workflow. This shift away from traditional 2D paper plans, or CAD drawings, to BIM provides unprecedented benefits; advanced parametric modeling capabilities now allow for dynamic design modifications throughout the drafting process.
Parametric modeling is the process of building a model by specifying parameters, and then editing those parameters to dynamically modify the design. Parametric modeling tools use equations to develop a design that will meet any needs specified. Adjustments made to the model’s parameters automatically flow into all documentation, saving time with reworks, eliminating oversights and errors, and holistically aligning all design and construction information for the bridge. When a 3D BIM model is enhanced by a comprehensive, dynamic, data-sharing platform (also known as a common data environment or CDE), all project members know precisely what is happening every step of the process.