Tracking Bridge Health Using BIM
In addition to facilitating the design and coordination of complex building projects, BIM is also being used by engineers to better monitor the health of vital pieces of infrastructure such as bridges. Zhigang Shen, a professor at the University of Nebraska’s School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, has developed a BIM-style software program for the express purpose of monitoring the condition of bridges.
BIM[i]（Building Information Modeling建筑信息模型）不仅有助于复杂建筑的设计和协调，还能够帮助工程师做好重要基础设施（比如桥梁等）的健康监测工作。近日，内布拉斯加大学建筑与结构工程学院的沈教授开发出了一种用于监测桥梁健康状况的BIM软件程序。
The program creates a 3D model of real-life bridge structures in exacting detail based on data amassed via on-site inspections. According to Shen, the use of BIM enables the huge welter of data concerning the myriad components and aspects of a bridge to be incorporated into single, easy-to-access simulation, vastly expediting the monitoring process for transportation officials and inspectors.
“An enormous amount of data was being generated by bridge inspectors over the years, especially for complex steel bridges,” Shen said. “But you can imagine how difficult it is to track conditions in small, individual, structural critical pieces of each bridge. Even if reports are in the form of electronic PDF’s, it’s a daunting task.
Shen believes BIM’s ability to incorporate multiple-aspect data into a 3D model makes it ideal for bridge inventory management. The 3D bridge model created using his software enables users to access information relating to bridge conditions in a variety of formats simply by clicking on a specific component within the visual simulation, as opposed to fossicking through a trove of files consisting of dense numerical data which can be hard to comprehend. This enhanced data access makes it far easier for transpo...