BIM for Disaster Management


So much of what is in the future is based on planning, sometimes, decades in advance. Today it is not unrealistic to imagine brains connected to chips, but in 2005, it was almost unimaginable. Pandemics were always a real danger, and philanthropists like Bill Gates have been warning about this and working on solutions for years. To get back to BIM though, how do we plan for responses to future pandemics? Would it not make sense to run emergency scenarios using digital twins even before the model’s physical existence?

BIM is not an unknown to us. All the way through planning, construction and facilities management, the solutions are readily at hand. As BIM practitioners, are not going to the moon, and we are not going to mars, we are building buildings. Prepare quick responses for hospitals for the next pandemic? How? Are we not just be building castles in the sky?

We are connected to each other like never before. How we collaborate is going to be key to the future of building the required infrastructure for humanity in a sustainable way.

I do not think it is possible for a BIM process to complete in the time it took them to respond. I believe they planned ahead, knowing how to respond to a variety of disaster scenarios, and were able to deliver right through the supply chain on one that presented iteself. A masterly feat. Even so, is it that special for anyone else to do the same with any building or emergency of interest? Just-in-time construction can be a reality if the response of the supply chain to a specific input (disaster) is known.

In America, another route was taken, and is much the same idea, but concerned with the transformation of existing buildings to serve a different purpose.

I have read with interest that the construction of Elon’s Giga Factory in Germany has stopped due to environmental concerns.  This is fair, to my mind, as one does not want the destruction of ecosystems for profit. Nevertheless, the construction of his factories is one of the more noteworthy construction stories of our time.

In the near future, the big data that is going to be generated by 5G and IoT will be crunched by AI platforms like Deep Mind and will help us manage our cities.

Even more exciting, the nascent science of Quantum Computing will put this process into overdrive, using quantum circuits to manage risk and uncertainty in the financial markets and climate. While not directly of interest to the AEC community, it will have an effect on how the industry is directed globally.

I readily admit that this kind of technology is above my paygrade and relatively poor mental capacity (I am no physicist). I am one of the worker bees in this machine (at best I can ask questions of the models using Dynamo), but this I know: unless the industry understands how to invest in these technologies, we will be left behind. If you believe you can meet the challenges of the modern era, have a look at the Autodesk AEC Collection, the Construction Cloud, Dynamo, and Refinery. The tools are there, waiting for us to wield them. This should be taken very seriously. Autodesk has wonderful software that helps us to mitigate our footprint on the planet.

If you need help adopting Autodesk technologies in your collection, please contact Micrographics so we may be of assistance.