In a world in constant technological evolution, new terms appear all the time to codify the performance of the different branches of economic activity. This is the case of BIM, the acronym for the Anglo-Saxon expression Building Information Modeling, which literally translates to Building Information Modeling. This simple acronym, however, is a set of technologies, processes and policies that allow several areas of activity to collaboratively design, build and operate a building or installation.

This information is essential because, in practice, no work is the same and there are always changes in progress to meet the needs of the activity and customers, hence the importance of BIM. It is this type of modern and bold platform that Sondotécnica has used to ensure that all aspects of a project can be in tune with its execution at all times. This is what makes the difference when the work is completed and BIM becomes your diary, where all the information is recorded.

The most common misconception is that BIM only fits 3D design (although 3D models are in fact at the heart of BIM). BIM is a set of technologies and procedures that aim to create and manage the information that integrates all aspects of the physical project – such as budget, materials, risk mitigation, etc., resulting in more safety and lower cost at construction sites.

For Renato Casado, a project engineer at Sondotécnica, the idea that BIM is mainly associated with the project is wrong. “It benefits all phases of the construction lifecycle, even after completion. BIM allows projects to be built virtually within a 360° view before being physically carried out, eliminating many of the inefficiencies and problems that arise during construction. This is very beneficial”, he explains.

According to him, space use simulations and 3D visualizations allow technicians and engineers to anticipate how the final design of the project will look, bringing the possibility of making changes even before construction begins. Having an overview from the start minimizes costly and time-consuming changes in the execution phase.

Within this BIM technological universe, Sondotécnica has been developing a pilot project in BIM for sanitation, which in Brazil has vast growth potential due to the Federal Government’s National Basic Sanitation Plan. “In this case, as it is an area with many specificities, BIM can help improve construction safety by identifying hazards before they become problems, avoiding physical risks by visualizing and planning site logistics in advance”, he adds.

For the engineer, sanitation works bring greater complexity than other sectors, for example, due to various factors such as being exposed to weather phenomena. In the sanitation area, there are two structures that talk to each other and are controlled by a single system: the localized works (water and sewage treatment station, lifts, etc.), and the linear structure (comprised of water mains and collectors). In this case, BIM allows monitoring 24 hours a day through geolocation of points with the potential to generate conflict. In the case of the linear structure, it is possible to assess risks from excavation sites, for example – a problem faced by many cities.

For the Sondotécnica engineer, the system has become an invaluable tool due to the universe of possibilities it represents. Having the underground map of a large city in 360° perspective, being able to monitor 24 hours a day the points most likely to generate a crisis and carry out maintenance in a more preventive way, is the future. By designing, detailing and building in a controlled environment, cities will be able to reduce waste, increase efficiency and reduce the costs of maintaining their structures. This will allow for projects with lighter and less costly infrastructure.