One of the largest municipal bond-financed construction projects in the United States has mandated building information modeling (BIM), targetting not only design and construction, but as a permanent record of college assets for use during operations and maintenance. The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) is the largest community college district in the United States and serves more than 250,000 students annually at nine colleges, spread throughout the greater Los Angeles area. More than 70% of LACCD students are underserved minorities and over 40% of students are over the age of 25.
LACCD has received funding through taxpayer-approved bonds and the State of California to launch its BuildLACCD sustainable building project. BuildLACCD is a $9.5 billion building program is funded mainly by bonds approved by Los Angeles voters in 2001-2016. The objectives of the project is modernizing and improving campus facilities to enhance opportunities for students from lower-income communities and involved designing and constructing more than 65 new buildings, as well as remodeling many others. The LACCD consuders itself a leader in environmentally responsible construction. The BuildLACCD Sustainable Building Program is enabling LACCD to not only modernize its colleges but to build more than 40 new structures that will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. LACCD is generating solar power on its campuses and taking other steps to reduce the colleges' carbon footprint. The final phase of the project has mandated a building information modeling (BIM) approach, requiring that each building be modeled in 3D and managed using BIM processes.
I have blogged about the innovative BIM program at LACCD. About twelve years ago it was decided to capture 3D BIM models of all the buildings on the LACCD campuses. One of the most important motivations for creating these models was that BIM models would facilitate energy performance analyses of LACCD buildings - which supports the current building program, which targets zero energy usage. The models include interior power, water, mechanical, and lighting systems together with 2D models of underground infrastructure on the nine LACCD campuses.
There are interesting and unique aspects of how these models were captured. Perhaps most importantly, the models were created entirely by LACCD students. Existing structures were laser scanned and BIM models were developed from the point clouds by students. In addition to creating the models themselves this has created a large BIM skilled labour pool in Los Angeles.
The second important aspect of capturing BIM models of college buildings is that to ensure a uniform representation of all the buildings across all of the campuses and interoperability with various applications, standards should be used wherever possible. The initial standards adopted include Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure, and (SDSFIE), OMNIClass, and COBIE. The BIM models were stored in a spatially-enabled relational database using real world coordinates. Real world coordinates and spatial SQL enabled the models to be easily integrated with geospatial data from a variety of sources. The models could then be used for a variety of purposes including visualization, energy performance modeling, predictive maintenance, and safety and security simulations.
The final phase of the BuildLACCD project involves more than 500 participants representing nearly a thousand different trades. The plan targets capturing data associated with assets in the planning and design phase so this information can later be utilized by facility directors and campus project directors for maintenance and operations. For the widespread community college with nine campuses this requires a common geospatial coordinate system so that all facilities can be viewed on a map and users can see each building spatially in reference to other facilities including utilities and roads and vegetation. The LACCD database buildings currently houses more than 3 million files totaling five terabytes of data. The data is stored in Bentley Projectwise which provides a common interface and foundation for a standardized, collaborative BIM approach. ProjectWise is the central repository for all information, including models, drawings, specifications, photographs, and all other project data.