BIM and geospatial data: Working together for sustainable planning

A recent magazine article has examined the way Building Information Modelling can act as a tandem with geospatial data to help cities make sustainable development plans for the future.

Geospatial World Magazine believes that geospatial data is “particularly important” to the development of cities and enabling them to be sustainable. It is often assumed that BIM is only used in the design stage of a building yet obviously, laser scanning or other similar means can be used to scan any object or area already constructed.


When geospatial data is partnered with BIM, the data and the 3D models become one with each other and allow city planners to make sure they are cutting costs and driving sustainability. The article states:


“Combining the two [geospatial data and BIM] serves as a perfect canvas on which a city’s planners and engineers can answers the two fundamental questions of building a sustainable future: are we doing the right projects; and, are we doing the projects right?”


Furthermore, BIM and geospatial data’s coalition can inform city planners of the environmental impact existing or proposed buildings have, meaning the right decisions on replacement and new-build projects can be made.


“As planners sketch new transit lines and draw new swales, they immediately see how much carbon is displaced and water is retained. These non-cash impacts provide a more comprehensive view of infrastructure value beyond just capital cost.”


The article also discusses BIM teaming up with Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) datasets. SROI data examines a project’s “financial, social, and environmental impacts in comparable, monetary terms” yet can take a vast amount of time to collect the data. Within a 3D BIM model, this information is gathered at a much quicker pace. Geospatial World elaborated on this:


“Known as CBA-BIM, this design process harvests the rich geospatial and design data straight from the model to inform the economic analysis. With this new paradigm or data-powered design, cities will be able to easily prioritise the projects that meet the most pressing needs and offer the greatest long-term benefits.”


Read the entire three-page article focusing on BIM and sustainable cities here.


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