ITcon Vol. 27, pg. 223-239,

A framework for architecture and structural engineering collaboration in BIM projects through structural optimization

submitted:April 2021
revised:November 2021
published:March 2022
editor(s):Turk Ž.
authors:Cristiano Saad Travassos do Carmo, Adjunct Professor (corresponding. author)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, PUC-Rio

Elisa Dominguez Sotelino, Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, PUC-Rio
summary:There has been an increasingly global tendency in the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) paradigm in Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) projects. At the same time, Structural Optimization (SO) has received a lot of attention in the construction industry to reduce material and to enhance structural performance. However, the lack of communication between structural engineer and architect is a well-known problem discussed in the literature. This can lead to inefficient projects, thus increasing cost and time. The purpose of this work, thus, is to understand how SO can be inserted in a BIM project, specifically analysing the information exchanges between architects and structural engineers, to mitigate the problem related to lack of communication. The investigation included a systematic literature review to comprehend the current scientific scenario in these areas. It identified that there is still a research gap related to the adoption of SO to facilitate the communication between architects and structural engineers in a BIM environment. To help answer this question, an Information Delivery Manual (IDM) structure was developed which maps the information flow to connect architects and engineers through SO in a BIM environment, aiming to optimize the information exchanges. By applying the methodology to three experiments of increasing complexity, the proposed framework proved to improve the collaboration issue beyond other project benefits, such as reduction of material consumption, improvement of sustainability indexes, and structural performance. Thus, the main finding of this study is that the connection between BIM and SO can improve the collaboration between these two players in the early design stages and, thus, it can potentially lead to a more efficient design process. More studies are still necessary to solve technological barriers related to software interoperability.
keywords:architecture, BIM, information exchanges, lack of communication, structural engineering, structural optimization
full text: (PDF file, 0.725 MB)
citation:Carmo C S T, Sotelino E D (2022). A framework for architecture and structural engineering collaboration in BIM projects through structural optimization, ITcon Vol. 27, pg. 223-239,