New perspectives offered by BIM technology for the development of telecommunications infrastructure projects.

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The arrival of BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a revolution in the development of construction projects. But how will it affect telecommunications designers?

In this article we will see how BIM technology has created a change (for good) in the design of telecommunications infrastructure projects.

What does it mean to work with a BIM model?

The main characteristic that BIM technology implies is the realization of a digital (3D) model of the building. This virtual model is shared and generated from the information provided by all the project contributors involved in the development of building projects.
Therefore, the BIM project brings together all project data (not only geometric, but also includes calculation data and supporting lists).

Three-dimensional (3D) design.

Prior to learning about this process, it is essential to know that the concept of work with floor plans must be left aside, moving to three-dimensional work, so the location of the elements can be created, taking into account the spatial position. It will create a much more precise design since the elements will be placed in their exact position in the installation. In addition, the measurement of materials and calculations will be improved since the lengths of the pipes will be more realistic.

Collaborative work.

Collaborative work will mean that information flows naturally among all project members. For example, to locate our telecommunications sockets we must make this location known to the electrical project engineer in order to locate the electrical sockets in the immediate vicinity. Also, being able to determine the position of the pickup system so that the lightning rod installation contemplates the grounding for this element, among other uses. Why not make a home installation knowing first-hand the equipment to automate?

In addition, given that the same virtual model is working together, the possible incidents (collisions) will be recognized at an earlier stage. You can create the design of the telecommunications installation while also taking into account where the electrical pipes, water pipes, air conditioning ducts are situated.

One step to point out is the update of the installation in the project phase. Imagine that there is a change somewhere in the project. So far, what should be done is to modify the plans and send them to the different collaborators that are affected. This leads to wasted time in carrying out this whole process, with errors associated with version management. However, with BIM technology, it is sufficient to update the BIM model, being notified of the changes made automatically, in real time.

Other additional uses.

As the work is done with computer tools, the development of the project will allow you to keep track of the changes made without having to use external programs.

Most platforms for the development of BIM projects in the cloud have a mobile application, so we can receive real-time notifications of modifications made in the project.

When working with a virtual model, it allows us to make use of augmented reality, to know exactly the position of the elements to, for example, perform the maintenance of an installation or to look for where certain pipes run to make a modification.

Technical implications for the telecommunications designer.

The telecommunications designer will not be able to assume a major technical knowledge of the fact that he began to develop BIM projects. Perhaps it is the group that has the least involvement (or that is what it has been so far) has with the rest of the disciplines of a construction project. The effort to be made will focus on the knowledge of these new tools that are emerging to carry out this task (Autodesk Revit, Allplan, Archicad, CYPE, ACCA Software …), and knowing how to take advantage of the potential offered by this technology.

Obviously, it may take longer to complete the project because of the accuracy required by BIM technology. But it is an effort that will lead to the implementation of projects more efficiently, with fewer problems in the execution phase.

It is a change, and we are all reluctant to change, but we would benefit making this transition in the long run for the obvious advantages that it entails.

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Óscar Alcón Peña

Óscar Alcón is a Telecommunications Engineer. His mission is to make telecommunications bigger in BIM technology. In charge of "connecting" with people and "transmitting" good vibes.