Building Better Security

AECOM advocates “building information modeling and management” to increase efficiency, security at IC facilities


To collect, analyze, and distribute information effectively, the Intelligence Community (IC) needs not only talented and dedicated people, but also secure and efficient facilities, according to multinational engineering firm AECOM (Booth 425). At GEOINT 2017, AECOM is showcasing the tool it says is best positioned to help the IC optimize its physical infrastructure: building information modeling and management, otherwise known as BIM.

“A BIM model is the digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a built facility or structure,” explained Stuart Harrison, senior vice president leading the Infrastructure & Engineering sector for AECOM’s Management Services Group. “The BIM model is therefore a drawing—usually three-dimensional—with a digital library of product information embedded within each element. Because the model contains such a widespread array of information, it creates a shared knowledge resource about the building or structure and forms a reliable basis for decisions not only during the early design and construction phases, but also during the operational stage.”

AECOM is illustrating BIM’s value to the IC by demonstrating digital models it has built for two high-value facilities currently using BIM to securely monitor, manage, and upgrade their infrastructure: Denver International Airport in Colorado and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

“Building a BIM model is not like drawing lines on paper or on AutoCAD and assigning information to them,” Harrison concluded. “BIM modeling is more analogous to constructing a LEGO model of individual bricks, each containing within them information on their size, connections, technical specifications, costs, etc. With AutoCAD you draw lines. With BIM you assemble components. And it is these components that contain a family of information.”

Photo courtesy of AECOM


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