Report: Are Landscape Architects ready for BIM?

Credit: Beck Group
Credit: Beck Group

Although adoption of Building Information Modelling is prevalent within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector, are landscape architects ready to get to grips with BIM?

In his latest blog post on Land 8, Jason Packenham uses the case study of a tree to look at how a 2D drawing version can transition into a 3D BIM model.

BIM is not just exclusive to man-made materials and objects, as even natural resources such as trees can be turned into a 3D model on software from the likes of Autodesk and Bentley.

Explaining the 2D to 3D transition process, Packenham said: “BIM can help transform a tree symbol in 2D CAD from a bundle of polylines and hatches into an intelligent tree ‘object’. The smart tree object is now documented in a database for easy scheduling, procurement, costing, maintenance requirements and so on. Not only do we< know it's a tree, the tree "knows" it's a tree and can offer up its height, width, whole-of-life performance information, sustainability impact, etc. without us inputting or knowing that information beforehand." He continues by offering advice to landscape architects possibly thinking about using BIM and learning more about the practice. "First and foremost, don’t rush into committing to a particular software package believing it will be the all-in-one answer you’ve been waiting for. "My advice is to stay tuned to those already engaged in the BIM revolution. The Landscape Institute is proactively involved in ensuring that the requirements of landscape architecture are considered as the UK’s AEC industry moves towards compulsory BIM project deliverables." Referring back to his earlier point about not rushing in to choosing a particular software package, Packenham re-iterates that the constantly evolving nature of the AEC industry means that finding a software that provides all that landscape architects need probably doesn't exist. He writes: "What landscape architects ‘do’ can vary so significantly that finding one particular program to suit all of our needs is highly unlikely, so engage with all your options. The BIM world is a business after all, and if landscape architects express their interest and need, business-savvy developers will be sure to fill the BIM gap." Read the entirety of Jason Packenham's thoughts here.

Are you a landscape architect using BIM?