BIM Earthing Design – What Does the Future Hold?

BIM Earthing Design – What Does the Future Hold?

BIM Earthing Design - 6th Dimenion

In a previous post, we introduced BIM earthing to Electrical Earthing Design and cleared up a few misconceptions. In this post, I’m going to suggest where I believe BIM might be going.

Where is BIM Earthing Design heading for Lightning & Earthing?

Currently, most projects operate at BIM level 2. Where each trade has its own 3D model, stored locally on various engineers’ computers, or perhaps on a network folder. This folder is accessible to all (authorised) staff within the organisation. In some organisations where BIM better developed, oven combining these models for the purpose of clash detection. This ensures that, for example, the Earthing contractor doesn’t intend to install BS7430 earth electrodes in the same place as a civils contractor’s ducting/drainage.  All of these exist only in 3 dimensions.

BIM Earthing Design
Ian preparing for Earthing Design to BIM 6D modelling

4D – Back to the future

The future of BIM for earthing design is to add further dimensions to the model. Thus, capturing more and more relevant information. So, the BIM model is the first point of call for the whole project team. The next step is to add in schedule information to the model. Then the team involved in project sequencing can easily see the dependencies between various trades. For example, ensuring the appropriate roofing infrastructure is in place before scheduling the installation of a lightning protection system to BS EN 62305 or NFPA780.

5D – Cost control

Next up is the 5th dimension, estimating. Therefore have the model calculate the quantities of parts (Bill of Materials) required on site. Thus, reducing errors. So, exactly the required amount of parts and equipment arrives on-site Just in Time. Hence, avoiding problems with either having to store excess parts, or not having enough to complete a job. Therefore, affecting the project schedule.

6D – The Sixth Element (future intelligence)

BIM Earthing Design 6th Element

The 6th dimension, which is more relevant after handing the building over to the client. It is facilities management and ongoing condition monitoring of the lightning and electrical earthing design. For this, we bring live information from building management systems into the existing BIM model. So that facilities managers can easily see where problems are happening. We also bring in information about the attributes of installed equipment. This makes it easy for facilities management teams to order replacements for any broken equipment. A good example of this is GreyMatters inSITE product. inSITE continually monitors the status of the electrical earthing system, immediately reporting any damage. Allowing facilities managers to easily identify any long term trends and plan maintenance before dangerous situations occur.

BIM and the Cloud

In addition to these added dimensions, BIM, moves onto the cloud (iBIM). So, on large projects, with geographically distributed design teams, everyone can access and contribute to the BIM model. In a lot of companies, the word “cloud” appears to cause fear and worry. Mostly around security. But this need not be the case. The cloud isn’t necessarily on the public internet. The cloud simply refers to moving the computationally intensive tasks away from your desktop PC, and onto a dedicated resource, available to many people. This is something a lot of companies already do because of the cost savings involved. Also, by centralising the information storage for projects, therefore realising further cost savings, because this leads to increased efficiency, as well as Business Continuity advantages.

Be Proactive

Why not get ahead of the BIM curve, and see how inSITE can improve your electrical earthing condition management. You can reach us through the live chat below, or by the Contact page on this website.

Engage with us…

  • Earthing Design Services & Lightning Protection Design – If high voltage power systems and lightning are causing you concern why not see how we can help with a quick ‘live chat’ below as a start.
  • XGSLab – A complete software tool for the simulation of  Power, Earthing, Grounding and Lightning Systems, get in touch to request a free demo.
  • Get Certified – Start your journey to become certified in Power Systems Earthing & Design.

6th Element Image Source: Film The 6th Element (20th Century Fox)

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Ian getting ready
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