LOS ANGELES — AECOM Technology Corp., a provider of professional technical and management support services for government and commercial clients around the world, is implementing building information modeling (BIM) across its global business lines to improve the efficiency and quality of project delivery and long-term project performance.
“BIM-based design and project implementation results in higher quality work, greater efficiency, and lower costs to the client,” said Jim Walsh, AECOM chief technology officer. In addition, BIM yields a tremendous amount of data that can be used over the lifetime of a project, which provides the owner/operator analytics-based information to monitor performance, perform preventive maintenance, detect critical variances, and improve operational efficiencies.
One of AECOM’s marquee projects for which BIM was used is the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California. The $20.6 million sustainability base was designed with William McDonough + Partners acting as design architect and AECOM acting as architect of record, to achieve LEED Platinum sustainable design certification and to approach net-zero energy consumption. The project presented several challenges including managing the communication of AECOM team members based in San Francisco, Moffett Field, and Orange County, Calif.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Phoenix; as well as meeting strict budgetary restrictions from NASA that accelerated the project timeline.
“A common BIM software platform helped the architects to quickly see how structural changes impacted the architecture,” said June Grant, AECOM project manager. The building’s design challenges included a complex radial geometry, an innovative steel-frame exoskeleton, and numerous sustainability features, such as geothermal wells, natural ventilation, high-performance wastewater treatment, and a photovoltaic roof, which will provide 30 percent of the building’s power.
Based on the results of BIM studies in each market sector, AECOM’s technical leadership established a comprehensive roadmap that defines the necessary requirements needed to meet the client’s expectations and maximize its capabilities.