In The Media

Inside the Trend Toward 3D-Only Transportation Project Plans

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HDR Is a Leader in Using BIM Deliverables to Replace 2D Plan Sheets

More and more transportation projects are being designed, bid and built using only 3D models. As transportation agencies increasingly adopt building information modeling technology and explore its capabilities, a growing number of pilot projects have begun across the U.S. to evaluate the possibility of abandoning paper plans in favor of solely using 3D BIM models.

“The market is exploding,” HDR Transportation BIM Program Manager Connor Christian told ENR recently. “I can think of a dozen projects only using 3D models.”

HDR has been a leader in developing 3D deliverables, working on projects that incorporate them in Utah, Iowa, Illinois and more. We are also the lead consultant on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ BIM for Bridges and Structures project. The five-year effort, scheduled to be complete in 2022, is a collaboration between AASHTO, the Federal Highway Administration and 18 states to develop national, open standards for the design and construction of bridges and structures.

For now, 2D plan sheets remain the deliverable and binding reference document for most projects. But as pilot efforts continue and technology advances, 3D models are showing their value, providing more efficiency and less redundancy. Ending the traditional reliance on paper plans offers added value in the form of higher quality, less-expensive changes and better coordination, says Christian.

And for owners, a major long-term benefit is better asset management. A model can be updated throughout the life cycle of a structure, from design to in-service inspections, for instance.

Read more in the article by Engineering News-Record.