Georgia Institute of Technology studying BIM for health & safety

Credit: US Chamber Foundation
Credit: US Chamber Foundation

The positive pay-off from utilising Building Information Modelling for health & safety is being measured by the Georgia Institute of Technology across two research projects.

Dr. Yong Cho and his team believe BIM is the key to unlocking a US construction industry with fewer fatalities. According to a report from LINE//SHAPE//SPACE, 828 workers died as a result of construction-related deaths in 2013, a figure that the Georgia Institute of Technology believe is far too high.

“There’s no such thing as ‘perfect’ construction safety, so even with safety regulations, three people die every working day in the United States, and 60 to 90 people get injured,” explained Cho. “Unfortunately, people view safety as separate from construction planning—project managers and safety experts don’t work together—so safety is not included. If it were, safety issues could be identified automatically and addressed in preconstruction planning.”

This is where BIM comes in.

In the first of the pilots, a “BIM-safety integration framework” will be created, a concept built up of various algorithms that will be implemented into a BIM model to point out potential hazards related to various products and scenarios listed on construction plans. The report notes that “the number and size of work crews, the spatial movements of workers within jobsites, and the existence of temporary structures like scaffolding” will be taken into account as part of the framework.

Cho elaborates on his mission, stating: “As researchers, our goal is to validate technology and demonstrate its potential benefits. We believe that integrating construction safety into BIM can reduce construction injuries and fatalities so we’re working with software developers like Autodesk to create products that will do that in the future.”

To view information on the second research project Mr. Cho and his team are working on, click here.

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