86582 - Building Information Modeling

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2020/2021

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, such as Autodesk Revit 2021.

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

Usually, like all the other courses at the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, many examination rounds are scheduled all over the academic year. This BIM course offers an initial scheduled date at the very end of regular classes, usually the first week of June, in order to let students take the exam and gain their final evaluation quickly. Then, other two dates are generally scheduled for the summer session (usually at the end of June and in mid-July).

Many other sessions are scheduled for students who have already attended the course.

It is not possible to take the final examination before having the course regularly assigned in personal learning agreement or study plan.

It is forbidden to take the exam by e-mail, without oral presentation in person.

During classes, methodologies and software procedures to design federated BIM models for a building (in terms of architectural, structural and systems design) are extensively presented. The final exam is the students’ proof they have learned how to properly deal with a BIM process, individually or in team.

The examination consists of an oral presentation in which students will present and discuss their achievements according to their assignment (BIM project work).

At the end of the presentation some questions will be asked individually to every student, even if he or she is part of a team: questions will be mostly related to the BIM theoretic approach, modeling strategies, process definition, workload balance and so on.

The final evaluation is the result of many criteria (also expressed in the table below) which primarily follow the “three C’s rule”: Completeness, Correctness and Care. These criteria are conceived as follows.

Completeness (up to 10 points): the work is complete, everything was modeled as requested, mandatory views are properly presented, federated models are completed with essential building components and information attributes linked.

Correctness (up to 10 points): Revit models and views are representing a feasible project, with semantics structured in a proper way (it has not to be confused with numerical analysis and structural design that are not requested).

Care (up to 10 points): Views and schedules are properly formatted, with a lot of detail (annotations, colors, tags), also not mandatory elements or views were modeled with care. Each detail of the project was carefully developed.

After a reasonable number of presentations, the final ranking and evaluation will be proposed to students.

To better understand evaluation criteria, please consider the following table, in order to have also a general scenario for self-evaluation.

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