How did ‘Structural BIM’ help improve McElroy’s projects?

Structural engineering company McElroy Associates are the latest company touting success after adopting Building Information Modelling.

The Irish firm explained to AEC Magazine why they decided to begin using ‘Structural BIM’; what BIM allowed them to improve on; future projects they’ll take on using the pioneering modelling and what they’ve learned from the experience – one they have credited to making the company “more profitable”.


“Acknowledging that BIM was fast becoming the norm and with a desire to capitalise on its proven benefits, structural engineer Will Norton spearheaded McElroy’s first ever BIM project using Fastrak, CSC’s [Civil & Structural Computing] steel building design software, and Autodesk Revit,” notes the article.


Norton explained how the company’s first BIM project was a “relatively simple” extension to an existing building used by the Teva Pharmaceuticals Group (seen in the image to the left) so the process of adopting BIM was as seamless as possible. The Dublin-based company used a plug-in called Integrator, allowing the same model to be passed through Revit and Fastrak to work off each other, constantly sharing newly updated data between the structural engineer and technician.


Engineer Norton spoke of how much easier the sharing of data between Revit and Fastrak models made the process. He said:


“Integrator gave complete control when synchronising models. We could choose whether to include or exclude different member groups and geometry settings and it provided logical colour-coding so we could visualise the design changes. It was abundantly clear as to which members were new, modified or deleted.


“Without Structural BIM integration we would have had to re-model the structure twice for each design change, once in Fastrak and again in Autodesk Revit. The implementation of Structural BIM has streamlined our design approach, reduced the risk of errors, provided huge time saving and improved communication enormously.”


So what’s next for McElroy? They are going to be working on two more projects for Teva and use BIM for all medium to large size projects.


“It has made McElroy more competitive, increased productivity and enabled us to deliver a better service. Those who adopt BIM place themselves at a distinct advantage in the market.”


Are you a structural engineer? What are your experiences of BIM?