The following is the introductory section of “Technological Changes Brought by BIM to Façade Design”
With the continuous progress of building industry technologies and people’s constant pursuit of sustainable buildings, Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been a new subject heatedly discussed and explored in the building industry.
Thanks to its advantages of visualization, coordination, simulation, optimization, and drawing-making, BIM has sparked great changes in engineering construction, and is becoming widely popular in Asian countries.
Countries including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, South Korea, and Japan have issued BIM guidance standards for the application and development of BIM.
BIM has played a huge role in the construction of many complex projects, such as Shanghai Tower (the world’s second-tallest building with a height of 632 meters), Shanghai Disney Resort (wining the U.S. AIA 2014 award for BIM application), and Tokyo Sky Tree (the world’s tallest tower at 634 meters).
Architectural envelopes are the coat of a building, organically integrating building aesthetics, building function, building energy efficiency, building structure, and other factors.
Today architectural envelopes of different materials and in different structural forms have been seen all over the world. Architectural envelopes are synonymous with grandeur, elegance, and modernity, and become an important symbol and outstanding feature of a modern metropolis.
Although central to the building industry, façade fabrication has roots in the machine manufacturing industry, and is the most cross-disciplinary branch in the AEC industry.
In design, manufacturing, and installation, the architect’s tireless artistic pursuit and the continuing emergence of urban complexes and super high-rise buildings give façade design technology plenty of space to play its role, and the advent of BIM brings good opportunities for the development of façade design engineering.
This paper will mainly analyze the application of BIM in façade design, discuss the advantages and challenges of BIM, and give the prospects for the technological changes brought by BIM to the whole industrial chain of façade design, fabrication, and installation.