86582 - Building Information Modeling

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course aims at training students on the broad and expanding field of BIM applications by providing a general lexicon, the concepts and techniques of this wide set of tools for management, representation and construction. Starting from a short summary of consolidated modelling techniques (CAD, 3D geometric modelling tools), the course considers both the "pillars" of BIM Technology (datum, contents, views, management) and the innovations introduced in the construction process by this approach to design. The course also provides a comprehensive overview of the main BIM applications currently in use, in order to develop a critical approach to these techniques and evaluate the most suitable solution to design issues.

Course contents

This course addresses the fundamentals of Building Information Modeling (BIM), developing a conscious overview of the many key concepts related to the discipline and their relationship to digital design, detailing, and construction. Lectures and in-class works are meant to give students a practical, hands-on introduction to BIM and related computer‐based techniques for the documentation and modelling of designed structures. Students will learn how to efficiently implement the BIM process to coordinate and communicate design intents as well as to convey data necessary for further building analysis such as materials take off, MEP design and structures.

The course will be focusing on the processes involved in developing a full 3D design object model, not for visualization only, but more importantly as a tool for understanding and documenting the building design and how constructions will perform during use. The principles of components modelling and the process of assembling them will be explored, in order to produce a digital model from which traditional documentation (such as plans, elevations, sections and 3D views) can be derived.

This course will focus on the following educational outcomes:

  • ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs or intents,
  • ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems through the use of BIM technology,
  • understanding of professional and ethical responsibility connected to multidisciplinary design fields,
  • knowledge of contemporary issues and critical aspects of BIM implementation in a practice or in a firm,
  • development of conscious and critic behaviors towards BIM uses.

The main topics addressed include:

  • Introduction to BIM fundamentals,
  • Codes, regulations, laws and best practices in Europe,
  • Bim as a process, Bim as a language,
  • Modeling exterior and interior walls, creating floors and roofs, adding doors, windows, footings, columns, and beams,
  • Building Envelope: modeling wall types and design features, working with doors, windows, and wall openings, creating roofs with different shapes and slopes,
  • Curtain Systems: designing curtain grid patterns, adjusting grids and mullions, creating and using curtain panels types.
  • Interiors and Circulation: creating stairs and ramps, customizing stair shapes, modeling elevators,
  • Custom families creation
  • Model Sharing: internal and external sharing,
  • Site features and analysis,
  • Conceptual Massing,
  • Shop drawings editing and authoring,
  • Sheets production, including some visualization techiques such as renderings,
  • Teamworking and multidisciplinary environments: IFC fundamentals.


Eastman C., Teicholz P., Sacks R., Liston K., BIM Handbook: A Guide to Building Information Modeling for Owners, Managers, Designers, Engineers and Contractors. John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2007.

Kymmell, W., Building Information Modeling: Planning and Managing Construction Projects with 4D CAD and Simulations (McGraw-Hill Construction Series). McGraw Hill Professional, 2007.

Krygiel, E., Nies, B., Green BIM: successful sustainable design with building information modeling. John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

Aubin, P.F., Renaissance Revit: Creating Classical Architecture with Modern Software, G3B Press - Createspace Independent Pub., 2013.

Kensek K., Noble D., Building Information Modeling: BIM in Current and Future Practice. John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2014.

Hardin, B., McCool D., BIM and construction management: proven tools, methods, and workflows. John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2016.

Wing E., Autodesk Revit 2017 for Architecture: No Experience Required. Sybex - John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2016.

Kirby L., Krygiel E., Kim M., Mastering Autodesk Revit 2018. Sybex - John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2017.

Moss E., Autodesk Revit 2018 Architecture Certification Exam Study Guide, SDC Publications, 2017.

Teaching methods

The course will be introduced by a strong theoretical framework that will be then experienced with a focused operational approach, taking advantage of wide spread BIM software.

After an overall introduction to BIM methods, introduced using PowerPoint presentations, a face-to-face design process will be offered during class activities, developing a small residential building from the concept stage to the building site preparation.

While no previous experience on BIM software is needed, students have to be prepared in terms of design activities, technical drawing and architectural detailing, since practical lessons on BIM strategies will considered those themes as well established.

During lectures, students will be invited to take an active role, discussing methodologies, approaches and results.

Assessment methods

Students will be examined to assess their learning outcomes, with a final PowerPoint presentation due to introduce their work, developed following a personal design theme assigned at the beginning of the class activities.

Student are asked to author a digital BIM model at a specific Level of Development, whose output will be traditional technical drafts (prepared following sheets templates), data schedules and graphic render views.

Every students have to introduce his work in the presentation preparing also technical sheets including:

  • all plan views at a proper representation scale (1:100 - 1:50), with annotations and room tags,
  • all elevations at a proper representation scale (1:100 - 1:50), with technical shades,
  • at least two section views on specific building portions at a proper representation scale (1:100 - 1:50),
  • at least two architectural details at a proper representation scale (1:10 - 1:5), with structure rebars or MEP components modeling,
  • at least three perspective or axonometric views, properly shaded in order to show materials and finishes.

Final assessment will be discussed by students during the final examination answering specific questions on their works and the topics introduced during lectures.

Teaching tools

During the course teaching materials of various kinds will be distributed from time to time, such as handouts, slides discussed and presented during lectures, files supporting the selected modeling software environment and tutorials aimed at the proper development of exercises.

An extensive use of the university distribution resources and the most widespread social networks will be made to allow a real-time information exchange on the issues addressed during the course.

Since software by Autodesk will be primarily introduced, educational versions can be accessed through the online Autodesk Education Community: http://students.autodesk.com/. Students will need to register with their university email to gain access to the community.

Office hours

See the website of Simone Garagnani