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April 20, 2011 2:30 PM CDT

BIM to be Required on Some Federal Projects

U.S. Air Force now requiring a BIM design approach


Following in the footsteps of the GSA (General Services Administration) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Air Force is now requiring a Building Information Modeling-based (BIM) design approach for all vertical military construction projects in fiscal year 2011 and beyond.

This week, the U.S. Air Force announced it has signed a blanket purchase agreement with DLT Solutions, Herndon, Va., for access to the complete portfolio of Autodesk, San Rafael, Calif., products.

Today, nearly every civil engineering squadron in the Air Force is using some combination of Autodesk products. The products also are standard for engineering design across the architectural, engineering, and contractor community.
With between 100 and 150 unique projects valued at more than $250 billion, the technology helps operate and maintain the mission-critical portfolio of sustainable assets.

The technology will help connect the entire team working on the project. For example, Air Force personnel dealing with managing building construction, operations, and maintenance will have access to the 3D building models that are being delivered to design contractors.

From the GSA, to the Army, to the Air Force, several arms of government are using technology today to enable improved workflows across construction projects and facilities operations.

Organizations working with the government also find technology can help save a significant amount of time on typical facility-management tasks. Take for example, the Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna, Va., a personal credit union, which serves all Dept. of Defense military and civilian personnel and their families.

The company had previously tracked activities using disparate spreadsheets, which made analysis and planning of future branches challenging. As the Navy Federal began to grow, it knew it needed a system to help share information between all the various construction and maintenance groups.

The company selected facility-management software from Skire, Menlo Park, Calif. Using in-house resources, the Navy Federal was able to go live in just 14 weeks.

The software has a time savings of more than 80 percent. Rent projection reports that used to take four days now only takes four hours, and lease reports that used to take one to two weeks now only take four hours. The company is also able to audit and control the use of space in the branches and reduce the number of help desk calls since the information is available readily online.

The government is typically on the leading-edge when it comes to technology adoption, and those working with the government will find using technology can provide a competitive advantage. Not only that, but in some cases modeling and other technologies are becoming required on government construction projects.

Originally published in Masonry magazine.

About the Author

Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at


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