What is next?



Building Information Models or BIM for short, and LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design are the keywords used in everyday in the cad design world Whether you are an architect, civil engineer and now even in the geospatial world. Any GIS tech worth his weight knows that if the data it there we can query, filter and analyze it to our heart’s content. So how far will it go?

The technology is there to take those LEED designed models with their BIM information and add them to the infrastructural designs with it’s BIM into a Geospatial environment and have all the data accessible. With today’s software we can take a building modeled in Autodesk Revit software add it to a site plan or take multiple homes designed and add it to subdivisions designs created in Autodesk Civil 3D. We can even take those same building designs and subdivisions designs then add those into a GIS system. Create a 3D city with all the data behind the buildings, pipe sizes for the water systems, run off of rain water, and any of the data the designers and cad operators add to those designs. So as we fly over the 3D City model we can stop select a window in one of the buildings look at the data attached to that window, is it a Pella or Anderson window, what’s the insulation R factor to the glass, is it tinted and low light emitting? What light fixtures are used in the building, how much energy does it draw off the electrical lines from the civil model that’s in our 3D City? Are the toilets low flush in the buildings? Are the waste water lines in the area able to handle it?

Most of these questions get answered during the design process, but what about the existing buildings? As the 3D City models are created those existing buildings are added to the model with some of the information as it comes available. The maintenances departments of larger buildings are gathering that information for their records today. Some one in the management see the need for it and sees how useful it can be. The same with the street departments and utilities companies, they do see where that information is useful for their own use and are gathering it to add to their maps and drawings. It’s only a matter of time before it trickles down to the Geospatial departments and added to the City models. Residential homes are a different story, not many home owners can see the benefit of gathering a list of what windows they have or what the insulation factor is in the exterior walls. ( I said not many, the geeks reading this may have that info in an Open Office database stored on their Linux server someplace.) So where will that data come from? I don’t see any government agency knocking on your door with a distro laser and Netbook, I think the civil liberties union will keep that from happening. However what about when you sell that home and an audit is done or the tax guy comes by to assess you for property taxes. Even those building permits that get issued for replacing the leaky roof will contain some of that BIM contents. It may take years but most of the attributes needed for the City model will be available somewhere. It may be the tax assessors office that updates it in the tax records or it may be in a cardboard box in the back room of the permit department but that data will be recorded some where.

So the question is how long before you will be able to open up a 3D City model of your neighborhood and see if that house down the street meets your environmental needs. Will you be able to estimate what your neighbor’s light bill is based on the BIM/LEED data? What’s the traffic count in the gated community and do they have a better storm drainage system than your neighborhood? Then take advance of the 3D and check to see if you can see the planet Venus at 10:00 PM on the 23rd of March from the empty lot at First and Main or if any tall buildings and the street lighting will block your view.

The bigger question is once all the data is compiled will it be open to the general public or locked to only certain government entities. Will it be used to decide if your community gets federal aid for certain projects, will it used to determined utility rates based on the environmental impact of your community? What impact will the 3D City Model have on you?



1 Response to “When will it happen?”

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