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Most Impressive BIM Projects in the USA

Saumya Verma

9 min read

March 14, 2023


Table of Contents

What is BIM?

Exploded view of a building

BIM (“Building Information Modeling") is a methodology to create and manage a digital representation of a built asset with the integration of multidisciplinary-level data throughout a project’s lifecycle. To better understand BIM, let us break it down alphabetically.
  • ‘B’ in BIM stands for “building”. It refers to any ‘built form’ and covers the construction aspect in the AEC industry, from residential and industrial buildings to bridges and roads.

  • The key word in BIM is the ‘I’ – “information”. BIM is centred on models made up of objects. The data in the model defines the design elements and establishes behavior and relationships between model’s components.

  • Lastly, ‘M’, which stands for “modelling”. BIM models are known to be condensed with data. Most of this data is collated through the modelling stage. 

Adoption of BIM in USA 

BIM, initially, saw slow growth in the USA. However, today, BIM software is nearly accepted as an industry norm, leading to a growth in BIM projects in the USA. As hard copy drawings proved to be inefficient and sensing a need for a better alternative solution, BIM grew in the USA.

Over time, BIM began to be accepted as a standard, and momentum gathered for government bodies to implement mandates for its use. The most notable mandates include:

  1. 2006 - BIM Mandate on all contracts offered by the US Army Corps of Engineers

  2. 2009 - BIM Mandate on all publicly funded structures in Texas and Wisconsin

Today, BIM is maximizing its impact in the USA. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2020 Firm Survey Report states that 100% of large-sized architecture firms and nearly 33% of small-sized firms are using BIM. However, it should be noted that while many countries have nationwide regulations that mandate the use of BIM, the USA does not.

Examples of BIM projects in USA

Below, let us look at a few examples of notable BIM projects in the USA.

1. Oakland International Airport

Central Utility Plant, Oakland International Airport, USA

Location: California, United States

Benefits of using BIM
  • BIM helped streamline the workflow
  • Better field visualisation

The construction of the Utility Plant at the Oakland International Airport was handed over to the Turner Construction Company, based in New York, in 2012. This facility spans an area of 8,300 square feet and was to house an extremely intricate network of electrical, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. BIM softwares like Autodesk BIM 360 Glue, Autodesk Revit Architecture, Autodesk Revit Structure, and Autodesk Navisworks were used to model and analyze the project.

2. Silver Oak Winery 

Silver Oak Cellars, USA

Location: California, United States

Benefits of using BIM
  • Early Clash detection
  • Use of BIM helped to achieve LEED Platinum certification

Ten years after a fire severely damaged Silver Oak Cellars winery in California’s Napa Valley in 2006, the winemakers decided to rebuild and rethink their business. The family built another winery, which went on to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Incorporating sustainability into the design’s fabric was given foremost priority at this winery. Water is one of the most crucial elements in wine production, therefore, its conservation and reuse were some features that the client considered incorporating. BIM 360 Glue was used to ease team collaboration.

3. St Louis Aquarium 

St Louis Aquarium, USA

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Benefits of using BIM
  • BIM software also helped with the layout of complex piping and life support systems throughout the building.
  • VDC & 'Integrated Design Delivery' helped meet shrinking timelines

The St. Louis Aquarium, designed by PGAV Destinations, is an excellent example of a BIM project in the USA. The structure is a part of a former train station and National Historic Landmark that has been converted to become a mixed-use entertainment destination. The two-storey aquarium is housed in the facility’s retail hall and spans an area of 11,000 square meters. The Aquarium is home to about 13,000+ sea animals. The project also used BIM to model how visitors would view fish tanks. 

4. Emerson College Los Angeles Center

Emerson College Los Angeles Center, USA

Location: Los Angeles, United States

Benefits of using BIM
  • Encouraged stakeholders to visualise in 3D
  • Project completion on-time

Emerson College brings student housing, instructional facilities and administrative offices to one location. The 10-storey frame-like design stands tall as a welcoming sculptural space in Los Angeles. It accommodates 220 students, event spaces, mixing studios and loads more on an area of 11,000 square metres. Imitating an artistic form, it weaves through the central space, housing classrooms and administrative offices. BIM can be credited for much of this project’s success. 

5. Good Samaritan Hospital Expansion

Good Samaritan Hospital Expansion, USA

Location: Suffern, New York, United States

Benefits of using BIM
  • Optimisation of the design process
  • Cost reductions

The Good Samaritan Hospital expansion project is a nine-storey addition that includes three new buildings: a patient care tower, a parking garage and a central utility plant. The ABJK design firm added more than 300 beds to the campus. The design firm used BIM softwares Revit and Civil 3D. This project utilized integrated project delivery (IPD) and collaborative LEAN principles for optimizing the design and minimizing construction costs.

6. Stoneham Central Middle School 

 Stoneham Central Middle School, USA

Location: Stoneham, MA, United States

Benefits of using BIM
  • Enhanced Collaboration
  • Seamless MEP design of the facility

The Stoneham Central Middle School is a large-scale addition and renovation project in Massachusetts, USA. It consists of the renovation of existing spaces such as the gym, media center and cafeteria. BIM modeling was used for the MEP design of the school. For this project, MaRS, a building information modeling company, consulted with the architectural and engineering teams of the project.

7. New Orleans International Airport 

New Orleans International Airport, USA

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Benefits of using BIM
  • Navisworks was used for clash detection and incorporating RFI responses.

  • BIM helped to manage technical glitches

New Orleans International Airport consists of two Buildings – a terminal (3 floors spread over five zones) and a concourse (2 floors spread over six zones). Pinnacle Infotech was responsible for creating the BIM models for the project. These models helped with 3D coordination, clash mitigation, quantity take-offs, visualization, and 4D capabilities for scheduling, phasing, sequencing, and digital mock-ups.

8. UMBC Performing Arts & Human Facility 

UMBC Performing Arts & Human Facility, USA

Location: Baltimore, United States

Benefits of using BIM 
  • Effective project coordination
  • Project completion on-time

The Performing Arts and Humanities Building (PAHB) provides state-of-the-art facilities for theatre, music and dance. The edifice houses a 250-seat proscenium theater, a 125-seat black box theater, two rehearsal studios, design studios, a costume shop, a scene shop, dressing rooms, conference rooms and classrooms. 3D BIM modeling came in handy while finalizing this project, and softwares like Revit, Navisworks, and AutoCAD facilitated the successful completion of 3D BIM models.

USA has been able to foresee future demands and through incorporation of BIM in its projects, retaining its position as a leading world economy. With its current industry practices, there lies an opportunity for you to upskill your career and take a leap of faith.

Interested in getting started with BIM?

Oneistox’s BIM Professional Course allows learners to explore BIM with industry-relevant subjects and projects, taught in both live and recorded sessions.

The learners can:

  • Become BIM experts in just 6 months of part-time, online study.
  • Master 7+ BIM software and industry workflows.
  • Learn from AEC professionals leading BIM at top-tier firms worldwide.
  • Work on a live, RIBA-structured capstone project to practice your skills.
  • Get placement assistance to land jobs in globally operating BIM firms.
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