BIM and Tunnel-Forms

With the arrival of BIM and 3-D models, a totally new dimension can be given to the architecture of tunnel-formed concrete construction. More advanced architecture is possible as lasers scan and aid setting the formwork to match the BIM models.

With BIM it is possible to build designs where the actual form of the building itself, maximizes or minimizes sun exposure. Buildings can be designed curvilinear and it is relatively inexpensive to add balconies to create a more varied facade. The apartments can be set back or cantilever out by 10 feet, another way to create dynamic designs with lots of privacy.

BIM allows for a more Exciting Architecture


The ‘Markthal’ (Market Hall) by MVRDV architects is a building well known for its unusual design. Without the use of BIM and tunnel-form construction, it would not have been possible to construct on budget. The design has retail at the bottom, two apartment buildings built with tunnel forms and steel truss roof elements completing the arc over the complex.


The entire construction process for the project was BIM driven. BIM accelerated the design process, fully integrated all aspects of the construction, and the logistics of getting the material to the site. All aspects of construction were overseen digitally. For example, prefabricated elements were radio-tagged so that the system knew exactly where they needed to be placed.

Design Build consultant VERTIKAAL obtained the reproduction rights of several stunning apartment complex designs, which are fully adapted to tunnel-form and modular prefab, and can be adjusted and altered to a variety of looks. These designs come with accompanying BIM that enables the construction of the design to be fully digital at great overall cost savings.



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