Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Building Information Modeling (BIM)


BIM is not just computer-aided design software or the latest industry trend. It’s a process that produces a digital representation of a building’s physical and functional characteristics. The days of working from flat, paper-based two-dimensional drawings are coming to a close. Today, a 3D representation of a facility delivers exacting design criteria, points out potential clashes, and helps Walbridge eliminate conflicts, while saving time and money.

We have been utilizing BIM for more than 15 years – long before current software was readily available. That means we’ve had plenty of time to become incredibly adept at using it to resolve design discipline conflicts, as well as link to the project schedule in order to improve and visualize the construction process and logistics.

Benefits of BIM


  • Determines if the proposed design is financially feasible
  • Creates a new design within the appropriate time/cost framework
  • Facilitates architecture/engineering documentation


  • Visualizes the design at any stage of the process
  • Allows accurate extraction of 2D drawings at any state of the design process
  • Ensures that the 3D model can be constructed in the field
  • Provides information for sustainable building design performance analysis and evaluation
  • Analyzes the building design in detail and corrects design flaws
  • Provides reliable information regarding the building, structure, site and proposed materials
  • Allows for more accurate cost estimates and budget control

Construction & Fabrication

  • Visualizes the building and site with accurate, real-time design schematics
  • Improves coordination in construction sequencing
  • Informs the team of building conflicts or clashing through detailed visualization of each part in relation to the entire building
  • Operates on a digital database and design changes made to the database are reflected throughout the drawings
  • Produces construction documents that contain information regarding the structure, quantities, materials and other data that can be used for both construction and facility management


  • Provides a single access point to multiple sources of information for different building management systems, including preventative maintenance scheduling, space planning and moves, energy modeling and analysis, and as-builts and document control

Project Examples

Oakwood Southshore Medical Center

The expansion and renovation of this 213,000-square-foot medical center in Trenton, Mich., required complex planning and coordination to ensure operational continuity during construction. Completely designed using 3D technology (created from a 2D source), the project team relied on it for clash detection of the HVAC, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems. Additionally, 4D was used to orchestrate the construction schedule and 5D was used to quantify material take-off and pricing.

The 3D model detected more than 4,000 clashes within the systems; with three percent of them involving three or more trades. The result of utilizing BIM was mitigating more than $2 million in potential unanticipated costs.

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Twin Creeks Technologies Solar Cell Manufacturing Plant

Walbridge constructed the first renewable solar technology production plant in the state of Mississippi for Twin Creeks Technologies South East LLC. The use of 3D technology was prevalent throughout the design and construction process. More than 60 percent of the program budget was dedicated to elaborate mapping of the HVAC and electrical utility system.

The project team utilized 3D BIM to identify pipe routing clashes and ensure optimal performance for each system.

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EnviroFocus Technologies

Walbridge is providing construction management services for the modification and expansion of EnviroFocus’ existing 65,000-square-foot Tampa, Florida facility. The company uses the plant to recycle and process lead, plastic and other components from lead-acid batteries and other lead-bearing materials. The lead is then used in new automotive and industrial batteries.

Original documents were in 2D line drawings and had to be converted into 3D models. The architect, engineers and field team utilized the same 3D modeling of all the architecture, foundations, slabs, roofs, as well as conveyors and a portion of the processing equipment. Utilizing a web-based site, models were updated and transferred between team members. Updates posted on Fridays were incorporated into the master model and were ready to utilize on Tuesday mornings at coordination review meetings.

During the coordination process, more than 1,200 clashes were identified with approximately seven percent having significant cost associated with materials or re-work time. The review models were used by the field team to assist with constructability concerns, visualization of design intent, resource planning, detailed dimensional data and progress verification.

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