• Six advantages of using BIM in dams

    Six advantages of using BIM in dams

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Avatar de autor Mario Losañez
Published 23 de July de 2019

BIM (Building Information Modelling) technology is a work methodology that is based on the creation of a 3D model that incorporates a large database of attributes for each element of a built asset.

It has a lot of advantages, among others, the facility to incorporate in the model all the existing information captured by different ways (aerial photography, digital terrain models, drones, lidar, laser scan); an easy viewing of designs facilitates better and more well-informed decision making and consultation and a total access to the information, with models stored in a cloud server.

We explore how this methodology can be deployed for the management of dams throughout the asset life cycle integrating the information related to

  • Preliminary studies and visualizing in a simple way the different alternatives, as the type of dam or different heights considered. It helps to measure the earth movements or concrete necessary for the construction, the volumes and surfaces necessary for the reservoir, as well as an approach to their landscape integration
  • Design: BIM model can act as an integrator, being the central design tool, and using analytical capabilities in different engineering disciplines involved: geospatial, hydraulic, civil, mechanical or electrical
  • Construction: the constructor and the other agents involved can exercise greater control over the work, minimizing associated risks, and facilitating the tasks of programming, planning and monitoring the execution times.
  • Operation: it integrates all the information related to the operation of the infrastructure, such as the actions in valves and gates, flows discharged by spillways or outlet elements, thresholds stablished in operation rules and emergency action plans, etc.
  • Auscultation and surveillance: BIM model incorporates the measures of the instrumentation, providing the values and the graphic representation of actual and historical data, as well as a tool to analyses the threshold exceedance warnings. The model also integrates information on surveillance recording the date of inspection, checking the anomalies and documenting the inspection in graphs.
  • Maintenance: BIM facilitates the Programming of activities, and establishing, for each task, the resources and necessary means, and the procedures or instructions.

To conclude, with BIM it could be possible to gather in the model all the information that until now is included in the different documents considered in the design, construction and regulation, related to dam safety (geological and hydrological campaigns and models, safety plans, construction incidents, commissioning, first filling, operating rules, Emergency Action Plans, safe access,…) and improve the capacity to manage these interrelated items using one platform. These functionalities must be complemented with the incorporation of mobile devices (tablets or smartphones) for the personnel in charge of carrying out the multiple tasks.

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