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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The American Institute of Architects - How BIM Can Help Japanese Disaster Recovery Efforts, Practicing Architecture

Wow. WTF. a 3 letter acronym expression about a 3 letter acronym entity finally talking about a 3 letter acronym that they mostly have never even heard of. I hope this article helps shed some light.

The American Institute of Architects - How BIM Can Help Japanese Disaster Recovery Efforts, Practicing Architecture

How BIM Can Help Japanese Disaster Recovery Efforts

Two months after the disasters in Japan, architects are digging out of the rubble and planning emergency shelters with BIM

By Mike Singer

On May 11, the two-month anniversary of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, the statistics are sobering and may well get worse: The largest earthquake in Japanese history (9.0 on the Richter scale) has resulted in 14,337 dead, 11,429 missing, and 8,830 injured.

The power of BIM (Building Information Modeling) to help rebuild Japan’s ravaged northern landscape was also highlighted on May 11 at the AIA Convention in New Orleans, by two of Japan’s leading architectural voices.

Ryota Itiera, a Japanese architecture writer who is a leading proponent of BIMSTORM Japan, and Yoshihiko Sano, International Assoc. AIA, and Acting President of the Japan Institute of Architects, showcased ways BIM’s open standards, real-time communication tools, and collaborative data sharing can be useful in responding to national disasters.

Itiera and Sano were speakers at the sessionTAP Revolution: Better Design and Higher Value Driven by Process Innovation and Technology.” The afternoon program was sponsored by the AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community (AIA TAP), which provided a live simulcast of the meeting to more than 100 attendees worldwide.

BIMSTORM technology allows experts to collaborate in decision making in real time, accelerating communication among design professionals and helping all relevant parties visualize the implications of Japan’s temporary shelter and rebuilding projects on the fly.

Itieri, who served for 20 years as editor of Nikkei Construction Magazine, discussed how buildings that were destroyed or damaged in the area are being mapped, recorded, and managed. He showed, using examples from his BIM blog, as well as data from the Disaster Research Institute at Kyoto University, how technology is allowing architects from around the world to help in the effort. He displayed hundreds of maps that were made online to show locations of damaged buildings, distributions of isolated people, people 65 or older, and the strength of leaked radiation. Satellite photos of flooded areas were transmitted online, allowing for a better handle on how needs in a disaster area could be met, including the number of shelters needed and possible location for them. Japan is currently in need of about 100,000 emergency shelters.

Sano, president of Yasui Architects & Engineers, Inc., described how technology is fermenting new ideas on how buildings can better resist earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and floods. Bringing together disparate information for emerging housing, energy, and regional opportunities, he underscored the need for effective databases at times of crisis. He defined a database as a practical map for tracing past and present activity, a platform for future creative activities, and a meeting place that integrates different strands of information.

Prior to the two speakers from Japan, many U.S.-based building owners and developers provided rapid-fire insights into how they are using BIM in non-disaster building scenarios. The owners also shared their expectations of architects and other building professionals. Speakers included representatives from the GSA, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, U. S. Coast Guard, McGraw-Hill Construction, Holder Construction Company, ArtSpace, Optima, and the California Community Colleges System.

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