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3D-4D Building Information Modeling

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In 2003 the General Services Administration (GSA), through its Public Buildings Service (PBS) Office of Chief Architect (OCA), established the National 3D-4D-BIM Program. OCA has led over 30 projects in its capital program, and is assessing and supporting three dimensional (3D), four-dimensional (4D), and Building Information Modeling (BIM) applications in over 100 projects to date across the nation. The power of visualization, coordination, simulation, and optimization from 3D, 4D, and BIM computer technologies allow GSA to more effectively meet customer, design, construction, and program requirements. GSA is committed to a strategic and incremental adoption of 3D, 4D, and BIM technologies.


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There is a progression from 2D to 3D, 4D, and BIM. While 3D models make valuable contributions to communications, not all 3D models qualify as BIM models since a 3D geometric representation is only part of the BIM concept.

Critical to successful integration of computer models into project coordination, simulation, and optimization is the inclusion of information—the “I” in BIM—to generate feedback. As a shared knowledge resource, BIM can serve as a reliable basis for decision making and reduce the need for re-gathering or re-formatting information. GSA is currently exploring the use of BIM technology throughout a project’s lifecycle in the following areas: spatial program validation, 4D phasing, laser scanning, energy and sustainability, circulation and security validation, and building elements.

For all major projects (prospectus-level) receiving design funding in Fiscal Year 2007 and beyond, GSA requires spatial program BIMs be the minimum requirements for submission to OCA for Final Concept approvals by the PBS Commissioner and the Chief Architect. At the same time, all GSA projects are encouraged to deploy mature 3D, 4D, and BIM technologies—spatial program validation and beyond—at strategic project phases in support of specific project challenges.

The following are highlights of the GSA National 3D-4D-BIM Program:


BIM Champions

BIM Program in the News

BIM Library

BIM Mailing List

GSA's Journey into Building Information Modeling (BIM Video)

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3D,4D,BIM,building information modeling