Design Technology: Taking BIM Underground

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Building Information Modeling (BIM) is alive and well in the AEC Industry, and McMillen Jacobs Associates has made significant inroads incorporating its value on our underground projects. Traditionally reserved for the vertical market, we have extensive experience adopting BIM’s potential to streamline our design and documentation process as well as to simulate construction. Unlike a building’s geometry, underground projects tend to be flowing and organic. To address this, our Design Technology Practice Group has developed a wide range of techniques and employs a variety of technology platforms to achieve the geometry found underground. However, regardless of technique or application, the value of BIM remains the same: Digitally simulating reality increases visibility and therefore predictability in the design and construction process.

Our Design Technology Group is currently implementing this approach on the Atlanta Plane Train West Extension project. With it, the design-build team derives the value of BIM at every stage of the design and construction process, including the ability to identify change where change is less expensive to make. The project consists of an approximately 700-foot (213 m) tunnel extension of the existing Plane Train Automated People Mover system at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. McMillen Jacobs (along with STV Architects, Newcomb and Boyd, and Long Engineering as the critical subconsultants) is responsible for the overall project design as part of the Clark/Atkinson/Technique design-build team.

For more information about our Design Technology services, please contact Eric Westergren.

Related: BIM Has Left the Building: Going Underground on Hydroelectric Development in Australia