1-2-3 REVIT: BIM in Brazil10 Mar, 2006 By: AIA ,Rick Rundell Cadalyst
Building information modeling offers competitive edge in Latin America's largest economy.
In previous articles I've examined the adoption of BIM (building information modeling) by architectural firms in Africa, Asia and Australia. This month I'll look at how BIM is being received in the largest country and economy in Latin America: Brazil. I'll explore the reasons why BIM is attractive to Brazilian firms, compare their adoption of BIM with firms in other parts of the world and show what lessons you can learn from their success.
Brazilian Building Industry
After a shaky financial start to the millennium, Brazil's fiscal reform measures have led to the return of economic growth. Brazil's stable diverse economy is once again healthy and growing -- as is its building industry. All sectors are on the rise, particularly hospitality (on the relatively underdeveloped Atlantic coast) and commercial in the large urban areas such as Sao Paulo and Brazilia.
Architectural firms in Brazil are experiencing competition from all fronts: foreign firms competing for very large commercial projects; national firms competing for public projects and large private-sector projects; and emerging firms using intense price pressure to get business and establish a foothold in the market.
BIM in the Brazilian Market
In this competitive crucible, Brazilian design firms look to innovation -- both architectural and technological -- as a means to distinguish themselves over their competition. Architectural firms must respond and react quickly to win business, and they're turning to BIM for time savings and competitive advantage.
AutoCAD software is the predominant design tool in Brazil, but it's used primarily for 2D drawing production. As a result, architects have less experience with design tools for 3D modeling. For BIM adoption, this situation is both a disadvantage (from a training point of view) and an advantage: there's no intermediate technology investments or legacy data issues complicating the move to BIM. In fact, 2D AutoCAD data integrates seamlessly with Autodesk Revit Building, so firms with an investment in AutoCAD drawings can easily migrate to BIM. To import files into Revit Building, select File / Import/Link / DWG, DXF, DGN, SAT (figure 1).
Figure 1. Import and Link options in Revit Building.
Navigate to the file to import, select the import settings as desired and then click Open (figure 2).
Figure 2. Select your desired import settings.
After importing, you can view and edit AutoCAD geometry, as well as control or override the layer visibility (figure 3).
Figure 3. Viewing and editing the AutoCAD geometry.
For examples of BIM's adoption in Brazil, let's examine two firms at opposite ends of their transition to BIM: Contier Arquitetura, early adopters of BIM and Aflalo & Gasperini, which is just embarking on its implementation of BIM.
Contier Arquitetura is an architecture and urban planning firm headquartered in S