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Expanding BIM to Buried Construction Zones

Unanticipated structures beneath the surface of a construction site can quickly become costly and dangerous surprises. Underground utility networks for water, sanitary, storm, gas, communications and other subsurface facilities can be problematic for project teams when poor record keeping prevents construction crews from being aware of existing assets that have been in place for more than 100 years or have been abandoned over time.

By expanding traditional BIM technology to incorporate intelligent, 3D feature-based models of underground utility networks, engineers can have a reliable strategy to help mitigate risk when building in utility-congested subsurface environments. Breakthrough technology enables immersive modeling that combines active plans with 3D modeling of buried construction zones to provide additional context for real-time decision-making. Accurate modeling of underground utilities requires that civil and GIS information are synchronized to access, modify, analyze, and update data. Virtual reality tools with augmented reality capabilities are also becoming more prevalent in infrastructure design. 

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