Danielle Dy Buncio
VIATechnik, LLC, Chicago

Connected, convenient, and digital—this is the city of the future. There is a proliferation of technologies—such as autonomous vehicles, IoT, robotics, and more—that is fundamentally changing not only the way cities look, but also the way people interact within them. The design and construction industry must respond with a data-driven approach that allows success in this rapidly changing environment.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the digital enabler to smart buildings and smart cities. Through BIM, the physical assets of buildings and infrastructure are transformed from analog to digital which opens a myriad of possibilities. Today, facilities connecting BIM data to other sources of data, such as sensor or IoT data, historical facilities management data, and building usage data, are beginning to become more common. This data is helping enhance the building operations and predictive maintenance. In the near future buildings will become more than passive spaces for their tenants; they will transform into an active service that improves the tenant experience, through support such as facilitating teamwork, helping employees decompress after a long day at work, and improving commutes.

If the future vision of achieving super structures that enhance daily living experiences is to be achieved, the digital representation of the analog environment, the BIM, must be treated as a co-equal in importance to the analog, physical environment.