Keeping up with innovation: LA SIA AND BIM

Keeping up with innovation: LA SIA AND BIM

In recent years, the AEC industrial sector has been invested by an important general innovative process, especially regarding the methods of managing information during all the design phases, and La SIA, in line with its innovative spirit, is fully in step with this evolution.

The concept of sustainability linked to rigorous attention during all stages of the life cycle of a work is increasingly widespread, from its conception, design, construction, to management in the operational phase, to demolition and possible reuse. It is therefore essential to become competitive and take part in this innovation, which has introduced a new working method based on a process of generating and managing the data of the building during all its phases.

The company has adopted this methodology called BIM (Building Information Modeling).

The term BIM indicates a methodology for using a shared knowledge resource, i.e., a virtual model made intelligent, which contains all the information necessary for the project and management of a work.

Therefore, BIM should not be confused with a particular type of software, nor with the simple possession of information!

From CAD to BIM

BIM marks the transition from the traditional drawing system and 2D and 3D CAD, in which two and/or three-dimensional entities are used as a support for visualizing the geometries of the building, to a system in which the geometries are parametric constructive components: these have a precise code of rules, variables and information stored within a database and in which the graphic aspect is only one of the attributes that a component possesses.


We can therefore say that a BIM model is a multidimensional model in which the following can coexist:

  • 2D: For the production of documentation and drawing documents
  • 3D: For architectural, structural and plant modeling
  • 4D: For scheduling and time management
  • 5D: For cost estimation and economic management
  • 6D: For facility management
  • 7D: For energy sustainability

Such an approach has inevitably improved the efficiency of the company workflow allowing for significant advantages, at a technical and procedural level:

  • better coordination and collaboration between different disciplines, which can be integrated into the same model;
  • interference management and error elimination already in the design phase;
  • automatic extraction, quickly, of all the two-dimensional views of the model;
  • greater accuracy of metric calculations and cost estimates by correlating them to the virtual model with mutual acquisition of changes in real time;
  • possibility of creating and implementing libraries of parametric elements, reusable in multiple projects;
  • improved project control through energy, environmental and structural simulations and analyses;
  • simplification of communication and project evaluation processes with informed choices by customers;
  • improved construction site management at every stage;
  • faster delivery of projects and documentation without errors;
  • creation of convincing graphic representations.


All these aspects are becoming a standard in the way of designing at La SIA.

Exemplary is the use of BIM within the renovation project of the headquarters of the Telecom offices in Acilia (Rome). The control of the project in the detailed and final proposals phases, being a complex of 50,000 square meters, would not have been possible without the use of BIM. The virtual model and the information it contains have allowed, in a limited time and resource ratio, the study of various design hypotheses based on the client’s requests, with the rapid extraction of all the 2D and 3D drawings, the automatic generation of bills of quantities, management of interferences through clash detection between architecture and systems, integration of energy evaluations through studies of solar radiation, natural and artificial lighting of environments and the ecological impact of selected materials. Last but not least aspect is the integration of virtual reality tools for immersive visualization with the communication of the design choices to the client.

La SIA is also at the forefront in the field of BIM for the rendering of available spaces, through the use of laser scanner survey technology. The advantages brought by the integration of the data provided by this tool within a virtual model are evident, the experience of modeling the imposing commercial structure of Soratte is proof of this.

New figures

The transition to the BIM method is also leading to a change in the traditional working methodology both in terms of software and, above all, in terms of skills. The first step is, of course, becoming aware that the process of implementing theBIM method  requires an initial investment of time and money as well as involving all resources in this change. And it is precisely for this reason that SIA has created a young working group, training the resources, to be included in the processes, in matters of procedures, contents and knowledge useful for understanding the objectives to be achieved.

For further information regarding the regulatory status on BIM: