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Technology in Construction: Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

Although BIM has brought modeling and some virtual reality to our industry, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) paved the way to its adoption. CAD  streamlines the design process and helps create faster, more precise, more consistent and more effective designs for projects by allowing for 2 and 3-dimensional design to scale.  To put this more plainly, CAD has allowed designers to build the actual building on the computer.

What is it? CAD is software used by engineers, architects, designers, detailers and construction managers to create designs, which can be used at all stages of construction. These designs are precise 2 or 3-dimensional drawings or illustrations of new buildings or plans using geometrical parameters. They can be readily altered by changing relevant parameters.

CAD has helped our industry with better details of hidden areas, better dimensional information for complex structures, and the ability to have the designer’s computer designs to communicate with the contractor’s equipment.

At BLHI, we use CAD to build our layout points on the CAD drawings developed during design. These layout points are then loaded into data collectors in the field and used by our Total Stations to layout the physical location of the building elements. For example, by using a CAD foundation plan, we can precisely locate the foundation’s walls of the building we are building to ensure the structure we put on top of these walls matches what the designer has intended.


*This is part of an on-going series celebrating the advancements of Technology in Construction as part of our 20th Anniversary celebration. Check back next week for our next installment on Drones.

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