BIM stands for Building Information Modelling, a comprehensive system for modelling information (or data) for buildings.

More than anything else, it is a working method, a collaborative process between construction operatives based around a digital model. This 3D database contains smart and structural data that can be used for analyses, checks, plans, visualizations and the optimization of projects, with the scale ranging from the smallest details to whole neighborhoods, including buildings, bridges and infrastructure connecting them.

Complete Building from Reinforced Concrete

BIM is used with great success for conventional building projects.

The real estate project for students and senior citizens at avenue Châtelaine, Geneva (by the architectural firm Amaldi Neder), benefited greatly from using BIM. The BIM process was used to support the planning of prefabricated construction. The technical solution resulting from this method allowed the construction process to be rationalized, with a full floor ready every 10 days.


Framework with Complex Geometry

It is judicious to produce a 3D model of framework with complex geometry, so it can be integrated to BIM.

The Artlab building by the architect Kengo Kuma gathers several pavilions of EPFL under a single roof. This unifying roof is supported by a mixed wood-steel structure of 56 frames of varied shapes. BIM was used for this project to optimize computer design, data harvesting, prototype manufacturing, laboratory tests and analyses, off-site manufacturing and the final execution of the structure.

Contemporary Architecture with Complex Geometry

Contemporary architectural projects are free from the constraints of form. This results in projects with complex geometries, in terms of both plan and elevation.

The new Hôtel des Horlogers in Brassus, developed by the architectural firm BIG, is a project that includes complex geometries, with the hotel rooms located along a rampway that has a varied design in terms of both plan and elevation. The geometry was managed with BIM in order to prepare the execution plans and to ensure continual geometry.


Infrastructure and Urban Planning

A dynamic and parametric model is designed to research alternative versions, perform analyses and prepare visualizations. With the support of emerging integrated technology, a dynamo script has been developed for instant and efficient transition from DAO solid model to BIM digital model, and from BIM digital model to CIM infrastructure model. This working method fosters the exchange of information between participants at various stages of the process. The digital model can thus be used throughout the full process of developing the structure and its surrounding environment.

The PortBrügg cable-stayed bridge in Biel provides a point for crossing the Nidau-Büren canal, also spanning over a hydro-power station and a waterway lock. On the port side, the bridge adjoins a tunnel, with the tunnel portal acting as the sole transition from the plain to the hill, between the bridge and the tunnel. BIM allowed comprehensive planning of the project from a holistic perspective.