The BIM-M Initiative – Building Information Modeling for Masonry – is well on its way toward its mission to unify the masonry industry and all supporting industries through the development and implementation of BIM tools for masonry.
I have been fortunate to chair the BIM-M committee for The Masonry Society (TMS) since 2013 and am excited to see how far we have come. So, what are the top things you should know about BIM-M?
1. Where to Find Us
We have a website at www.bimformasonry.org where you can find all kinds of free information and downloads, including past presentations.
2. LOD Development
One of the early BIM-M accomplishments was to develop a standard for Level of Development (LOD) for masonry.
After meeting and listening to masonry experts in the AEC community, we established a series of LOD recommendations for developing masonry systems. We then took our recommendations to the BIMForum. The BIMForum publishes the LOD Specification that defines the LOD for building systems in a similar fashion to how the AIA G202 document defines LOD for project deliverables. The BIMForum was extremely receptive to the suggestions from the BIM-M TMS Committee and incorporated our recommendations in the 2014 edition of the LOD Specification. In fact, they even put masonry on the cover!
3. BIM Guides for Masonry
During our development of the LOD recommendations, we realized that some of the model development that was highly recommended by the TMS Committee was difficult to achieve using current Autodesk Revit tools.
Due to these types of modeling difficulties, the BIM-M Initiative set out to develop a guide for designers to present tools and tips for modeling masonry using Revit. In order to create the guide, we first reached out to firms as consultants with advanced modeling expertise: Integrus Architecture and CTC Design Software Solutions. With the help of Russell Gentry, a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, we presented a challenge to each of these firms: advance a masonry model to a high-level LOD. Among the items that we requested to have modeled were bond beams, vertical reinforcing, brick ties, stone accents, and masonry arches. Each firm submitted an independent report including their tips and suggestions for modeling masonry and also submitted the Revit model that was used.
The two reports have been compiled into the document “BIM for Masonry: Modeling Masonry Buildings in Autodesk Revit,” which is a free download at www.bimformasonry.org., as well as the BIM Deliverables Guide for Masonry Contractors.
We recognized that some folks would rather ‘see’ the modeling tips instead of reading about them. So we put together a series of videos highlighting some of the modeling tips provided in the “BIM for Masonry: Modeling Masonry Buildings in Autodesk Revit” publication. These are available on YouTube, and you can find the link to all the videos here on the BIM-M website.
The most exciting result of BIM-M has been the development of plug-ins – real solutions to masonry modeling in Revit.
Masonry Content Pack for Autodesk Revit
Check out the new “Masonry Content Pack for Autodesk Revit”, available as a free download from the BIM-M website and from https://ctcexpresstools.com/bim-masonry/. Our experts have created such content as bond beams, vertical reinforcement in grouted cells, movement joints, arches, wall types of numerous conditions, various generic unit profiles, wall hatches for bonding patterns, flashing details, and more.
We are thrilled to announce that in July 2017, a new plug-in for Revit was released that addresses many of the modeling challenges. Check out the website http://3diqinc.com!
Jamie Davis is a Masonry Society Board member and Chair of The Masonry Society BIM-M Committee, part of the BIM-M Initiative. Jamie presents at many professional society conferences on topics of masonry and BIM-M, and her work with the BIM-M Committee has been published in national publications.