It has been close to seven years that I first wrote about the extension of the BIM concept of model-based design from the building domain to the infrastructure domain. At that time, Autodesk had recently launched InfraWorks as a “BIM-from-the-ground-up” infrastructure design application and was transitioning its flagship civil design application, Civil 3D, from being more CAD-like to BIM-like. Since then, there have been several developments in the field of BIM for infrastructure, including the software that is available for it, the implementation of BIM by infrastructure firms as well as government agencies, and the expansion of the IFC open standard for BIM to include infrastructure elements.
This article is focused on capturing the developments along the software front. As we will see, the field for BIM in infrastructure has expanded beyond the initial offerings that were limited to Autodesk and Bentley solutions. Let’s start by exploring these more recent offerings before going back to look at the solutions from Autodesk and Bentley for infrastructure design using BIM.