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AEC Mechanical BIM Design Hardware Collaboration
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Building bridges
Feature | June 2023
Nemetschek's Allplan has recently been used to design and construct some of the most stylistic...
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The industrial metaverse
Feature | June 2023
Bentley's Innovation Lab (iLab) takes digital twins into the metaverse using 3D and 4D immersive...
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A school for the future
Case Study | June 2023
Careful 3D modelling brings the design of a community school for people with special...
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XYZ Reality expands into the United States
News | June 2023
XYZ Reality, the leading provider of augmented reality (AR) solutions for construction and engineering...
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A community view of urban planning
News | June 2023
A pioneering British tech startup aims to improve urban planning for towns and cities by helping...
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Preserving the Golden Thread
Technology Focus | June 2023
GIIG consultant Nicola Pearson explains why interoperability is needed as a foundation for...
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Building design in the cloud
Tehcnology Focus | June 2023
David Chadwick looks at the first instalment of Autodesk Forma, a cloud-based environment which...
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Build my Talent
Recruiting | June 2023
Building a successful career in the AEC industry can be a challenge without the guidance of a...
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Latest Issue


So, what's new?

Humans were averse to getting their feet wet long before Dunlop Wellington boots were invented and started to build bridges where once they trundled through river fords. Early examples, built by the Romans were massively over-engineered and many of the stone structures they erected still exist today. The constraints they had to work with, though, are uniquely different to building a house on a stable bit of dry land, and massively complex as the forces they deal with are not just the weight of the structure itself, but the forces of inclement weather, heavy traffic and long construction spans. That is compounded by the aesthetic designs of the bridge designers who try to balance slimness and elegance with strength.

A collaborative effort is needed, therefore, by all technologies involved, and whilst the use of BIM has facilitated such an approach in building construction and infrastructure development, it is not until recently that it has been introduced into bridge building. This has been rectified by Nemetschek who are showcasing some bridges designed and constructed using Allplan, their headline application.

It's not the first use of BIM in bridge building – and maintenance – a touch of asset management here - as a mediaeval footbridge in Exmoor on the River Barle is currently being rebuilt in its original form. It's a regular occurrence, as the autumn or spring floods sweep down tree trunks which dislodge the large slabs which constitute the bridge. To make it easy to re-erect, each stone is numbered and mapped, so that when the river subsides they can be replaced exactly as they were before. Have our mediaeval forefathers robbed modern bridge designers of the first instance of BIM technology being used in bridge design?

David Chadwick

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