C+S May 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 5 (web)

Finally, imagine a standardization of roadway design data. While contractors use the same materials to construct roads crossing two states, the digital standards used to generate the plans are different. For the end-user of the roadway, all things being equal, the pavement looks the same at state borders. However, the construction plans in either state most likely follow different standards. A standardization data exchange would leverage existing tools and data to build a better A plethora of data describes the existing infrastructure. However, data remains archived in dusty file cabinets. Or they are housed on file serv- ers, remaining siloed and inert. We must think creatively to leverage and activate these data. In the software realm, several open-source initiatives have driven in- novative solutions. For example, the Apache foundation, over the past two decades, has hosted thousands of projects. Sun Microsystems, Google, and other software firms embrace the opensource movement to drive innovation and create new content. environment ultimately. Embrace Opensource Opensource platforms attract new talent to dabble in producing code or content. It provides an avenue for new user groups to learn and become proficient in BIM-related software tools. As more users become adept at existing BIM tools, software vendors have a more extensive user base to sell their products and services. Software vendors can use opensource platforms to incubate ideas before they develop them commercially.

Conclusion It is no secret that civil engineers have to maintain and transform the built environment with limited resources. Socio-political campaigns to increase financial infrastructure support are essential. However, as pro- fessionals, we must find various ways to leverage existing resources to accomplish our society's needs. In this article, taking a long-term view, I identified a few strategies for leveraging existing resources, namely increasing BIM adoption for horizontal design. We need to think of ways to incorporate In- formation Modeling into the civil engineering education curriculum. Secondly, as an industry, we need to continue to develop standardiza- tion for data exchange. As engineers, government officials, and aca- demics, we should encourage software vendors to establish and use data exchange standards. Finally, we need to embrace open-source platforms and philosophies.

ANAND STEPHEN, PE, CME, is a Civil Engineer with infrastructure design experi- ence across the U.S. He has over two decades of experience spanning engineering, software development, and sociology. He has led digital delivery and digital change in several AEC firms. Anand mentors and teaches engineers to use 3D design technologies. He has experience designing and programming enterprise software systems. Besides, he has taught courses at the univer- sity. For any comments or questions, you can contact Anand at astephen@gfnet.com.



may 2021


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