BIM-to-FEM: Development of a Software Tool to Increase the Operational Efficiency of Dam Construction Projects

Michael Giangiulio, Andreas-Nizar Granitzer*, Franz Tschuchnigg, Jens Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


As the geotechnical engineering profession progresses into the era of
Building Information Modelling (BIM), projects are requiring an efficient integration of numerical simulations into the BIM workflow. However, there still
exists some large hurdles concerning the interchange of information between
BIM software and numerical analysis software. The embankment settlement tool
presented in this paper addresses these challenges by developing a multi-functional Python interface to link data sources from the geotechnical Finite Element Method (FEM) code Plaxis 2D and the alignment design software ProVI. The capabilities of the script are demonstrated based on a dam construction project executed in Germany, where the time-discrete analysis of settlements is of high interest in order to ensure a high level of collaborative efficiency between design and execution teams. The multi-functional Python interface improves the quality and the effectiveness of numerical predictions, not only during the design phase but also, and in particular, during the construction of dam construction projects.
Moreover, it resolves typical difficulties in establishing BIM-to-FEM links.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrends on Construction in the Digital Era - Proceedings of ISIC 2022
EditorsAntónio Gomes Correia, Miguel Azenha, Paulo J.S. Cruz, Paulo Novais, Paulo Pereira
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-20240-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventInternational Society for Intelligent Construction 2022 Conference: Trends on Construction n the Post-Digital Era: ISIC 2022 - Avenida D. Afonso Henriques, 701, Guimarães, Portugal
Duration: 6 Sept 20229 Sept 2022
Conference number: 3

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
Volume306 LNCE
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


ConferenceInternational Society for Intelligent Construction 2022 Conference: Trends on Construction n the Post-Digital Era
Abbreviated titleISIC 2022
Internet address


  • BIM-to-FEM
  • Dam construction
  • Case study
  • Interoperability
  • Python

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

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