Using BIM for infrastructures design

Although BIM technology is gradually spreading worldwide, in the field of infrastructure it is still not very common.
Air Alliance is among the few design consultants to adopt the BIM environment for the design of aeronautical infrastructures. This technology is being used for the modeling of flight infrastructures such as runways, taxiways and aprons, as well as for the MEP design of lights, signs and storm water drainage systems.
The application of the Building Information Modeling methodology has had a very positive feedback from the perspective of the coherence checks of the various parts of the design (e.g. civil, electrical systems, plumbing systems, etc.). By use of specific software, BIM modeling allows the creation of real digital prototypes of the whole project, containing all the detailed information required for its full realization.
The positive side of the BIM approach to the design must certainly be stressed, as it has enabled the resolution of problems related to clash detection both on existing facilities and on new design from the very early design stage. Through the model checking operations, the project can be made consistent in all its parts allowing a perfect fusion of the MEP design with the civil one.
The approach described proved to be successful also to support an effective team working with the various stakeholders involved in the overall design and also with those not directly involved in the design phase, such as Clients and other consultants who are  able to actively take part in the concept design stage, effectively sharing their requirements, thus enabling the resolution of all foreseeable problems well before the construction stage.
With a view to optimizing design time, a definitely more demanding commitment is required in the first phase, which mainly concerns all decisions related to modeling, the specifications of materials and the resolution of interference. Thus, the three-dimensional model, complete with all the information required for the perfect execution of the work, enables the creation of the aforementioned digital prototype that can be easily modified according to the needs of the various stakeholders.
Through this design process it was possible to dramatically reduce the time spent on the design changes that usually happens during the revision and verification phase of the project, fulfilling the need of consistency between the various  specialists.