Geometrically accurate structural analysis models in BIM-centered software

Hasan A.M.M.
Torky A.A.
Rashed Y.F.

Current BIM models impose restrictions on the geometry of building members in their analytical models, where components are fitted to wireframe representations. This unnecessary reduction in geometrical representation drives the loss of structural details and may lead to defective structural analysis. The present paper addresses the current shortcomings in the semantics of analytical models within BIM environments and recommends enhancements. An explanation is given of a BIM-centered structural analysis system based on coupling finite elements for vertical and horizontal elements, and boundary elements for slabs and foundations. The hybrid analysis system requires a more geometrically accurate BIM structural model, one which could eliminate the dimensional reduction of the physical structural model and can be used as an accurate pre-processor. To demonstrate the need and provide an intermediate solution, an add-in software is developed and integrated within a BIM platform (Revit). The developed generic add-in modifies the current analytical model from the BIM-authoring tool, to overcome the highlighted restrictions and satisfy the hybrid BEM-FEM system. The add-in software is verified with practical problems to justify the need for enhancements to BIM analytical models. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.