Automating Communication Through Building Information Modeling

My old boss had a favorite saying for occasions when our team failed to keep each other informed. In exasperation, he’d bellow: “All communication… is a miracle!” He’d deliver the last three words with a dramatic flourish. It stuck with me as a simple truth; that we, as engineers and managers, struggle to keep our stakeholders (owners, financiers, managers, engineers, craftspeople, etc.), fully updated with the latest project detail and status.

Technology has recently come to our rescue in the form of Building Information Modeling (BIM). This new technology-based approach promotes collaboration, communication and integration of knowledge through a coordinated digital 3D-model between all stakeholders, leading to higher efficiency, fewer mistakes, less talking, and more doing!

CPMBIM now allows us to visualize and coordinate the design-construction process with their corresponding time of execution in four dimensions (3D plus time) versus in an assemblage of 2D CAD drawings and project task charts.  Besides the obvious advantages of visualizing the integration and fit of the various design elements, each BIM element can be assigned attributes. such as:

  • Dimension and material specs
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Supplier information
  • Due dates
  • Delivery dates

The BIM is not just a design database but also the “go to” data resource for real time project status, selectively accessible to all stakeholders with a need to know.

Building Information Modeling is an integral course of the WPI’s Master of Science in Construction Project Management. Add this and many more new capabilities to your CPM tool belt.


Pop quiz:  What do you do if you have a heavily used athletic ball field but you need a 500 vehicle parking garage?

  1. Tear out the backstop and pave over the field?
  2. Seek an alternative site? 
  3. Click here to see a Building Information Model of WPI’s novel approach.

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