Using BIM 360 to Bridge Civil Engineers, Architects

25 September 2019All, BIM 360


Using BIM 360 to Bridge Civil Engineers, Architects

Architects and civil engineers have certainly waited long enough for a technology advancement that can improve coordination between the workflows of their separate disciplines. Design professionals in the mechanical-engineering-plumbing trades and structural side of the AEC industry have been utilizing clash detection to their advantage for years to reduce waste, reduce rework and improve coordination. Why not have a similar workflow that bridges the workflows for civil engineers and architects and takes away the pains of coordination? It is time to simplify collaboration and coordination between the civil engineering and architectural disciplines. In addition, that process needs to be robust yet user friendly at the same time.

There is a process which can address civil-architectural collaboration and utilizes Revit, AutoCAD Civil 3D, BIM 360, Autodesk Desktop Connector apps, and may even include Esri and InfraWorks. The top benefits are:

  • Seamless interoperability among multiple Autodesk applications.
  • Generating topo and infrastructure using InfraWorks Model Builder.
  • GeoReference of data from InfraWorks into Civil 3D.
  • Establishing a shared reference point between Civil 3D and Revit.
  • Leveraging Link Topography from BIM 360 to Revit.

The good news is, it’s a straightforward six-step process:

  1. The process starts with generating an infrastructure file utilizing the InfraWorks Model Builder. This will include topo, roads, buildings, imagery, and elevation information.
  2. Next the model is imported into Civil 3D in order to generate terrain and other civil data. Other civil apps may be used to augment the geo data. The civil engineer can then proceed to upload the terrain surfaces into BIM 360 Docs cloud storage and sharing.
  3. Once uploaded to BIM 360 Docs, the terrain will show up as having a “.shared.dwg” extension (note: modifying this file extension will disable the linking process). A shared reference point is then established between Civil 3D and Revit.
  4. Revit will import shared coordinates from the XML file provided by the civil engineer. This will ensure proper alignment between the Revit building model and the topography model, including the angle to True North.
  5. The architect will then be able to link the topo surface utilizing the Revit “Link Topo” command directly from BIM 360 Docs.
  6. To finish out the workflow the user may want to add the following elements:
  7. An aerial image or vicinity map imported into Revit.
  8. Parking lot, curb and gutter, and hardscapes.
  9. Survey point spot elevations.
  10. Contour labels.
  11. Topography schedule.
  12. Visibility/graphics settings as appropriate.

Applied Software will be sponsoring a webinar in October to explore the way BIM 360 can provide the bridge between civil engineers and architects. Check the Applied calendar after October 1 for the registration link.

If your team is ready to put BIM 360 to work for you in building the bridge between civil and architectural workflows, contact Applied Software today to help you get started. The industry-seasoned experts at Applied are specialists in cloud collaboration and coordination. Don’t waste another day on rework and coordination pains. Start building that bridge.



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