Building Information Modelling

Graphisoft ArchiCad + Autodesk Revit

Plan3D can create 3D models and 2D plans using software such as Graphisoft ArchiCad and Autodesk Revit. Our office, located in the heart of Berlin, boasts up to four field measurement and surveying teams and over ten BIM-modellers and CAD-draftsmen from various fields of expertise, including surveying, architecture, carpentry, civil engineering, heritage conservation, and architectural drafting. We place a strong emphasis on transparent operations, fostering clear communication, and maintaining close coordination.

Our high level of performance is attributed to the collaboration of experienced and proficient BIM (Building Information Modeling) designers who efficiently handle even large-scale projects. Since 2012, we have been creating 3D models in Autodesk Revit and, since 2017, in Graphisoft ArchiCad. To avoid interface issues when transferring the existing model (As-Built-Model) to architects and specialized planners, it is advisable to generate the existing model using the Scan2BIM workflow within the same software platform that the design firm will use for developing and managing the design model.


The selection of modelling software should be determined by the client before commencing BIM-modelling. While many software solutions allow for export to the IFC format, it may result in varying outcomes when the data is imported into the target software. To ensure the most effective data exchange, the 3D model should continue to be used in the software in which the existing model was created (Closed-BIM approach).

Guidelines regarding component libraries and template files should be defined before the project commences, as they can significantly impact the effort required for the creation of the existing 3D-model (the "As-Is-Model"). When using an IFC model in software from a different platform (for instance, utilizing an IFC model created in Revit within ArchiCad), readability issues with component geometry and associated parameters may arise.

Approaches for the use of BIM for existing buildings

Due to the influence of the rapid advancement in laser scanning technology and photogrammetry, the documentation of buildings in their current condition has gained increasing significance over the past few years, particularly in the realm of 3D-modeling of architectural assets. Plan 3D primarily focuses on various methods for interpreting point clouds and developing Historic Building Information Modelling (HBIM) family libraries. The question of how to accomplish this has been somewhat ambiguous due to the absence of clear guidelines thus far.

Consequently, the objective of this endeavour is to establish a methodology for creating a BIM model from a point cloud through predominantly manual techniques. In practical daily applications, 3D laser scanning has proven to be the appropriate method for surveying buildings, forming the foundation for BIM model creation, and the ongoing development of semi-automatic methods is anticipated to streamline the process significantly in the years to come.

BIM (Building Information Modeling)

Since the term BIM (Building Information Modelling) was first coined in the early 1990s, numerous studies have made significant strides in methodology and technology. Present-day BIM systems have their origins in new construction, which has led to certain conventions in their functionality. Elements are often idealized rather than represented as deformed, walls are primarily depicted as orthogonal with parallel wall surfaces, repetitive structures are employed, and cross-sections are standardized.

To comprehend the essence of BIM, it is essential to analyse the meaning of its acronyms: The "B" stands for both "Building" and the "Building Process." The "I" signifies "Information" and describes the metadata that is introduced. The "M" stands for "Modelling," indicating that all this information is gathered within a comprehensive model representing the building throughout its lifecycle, from conceptualization to utilization, and eventually demolition or decommissioning. The operational phase of the building incurs the greatest effort.

BIM can be defined both as a technology and a working methodology. It serves as a technology as it constitutes a digital representation of a building's physical and functional attributes. Simultaneously, it functions as a methodology by facilitating collaboration among various stakeholders throughout the different phases of the building's lifecycle. BIM signifies a transformation in project management on multiple levels, including collaboration processes, organizational structures, and the technologies employed, ultimately ushering in a shift toward a more collaborative project management approach.