BIM Software Streamlines Ductwork Design for the NYPD Training Academy

July 1, 2012

Change may be good, but it isn’t als easy, especially when technology is involved. In any industry, there are the tried and true methods of completing tasks, and when technology updates those processes, it can leave some seasoned workers behind.

At Blue Diamond Sheet Metal, Long Island, NY, draftsmen recently embraced the direction technology pushed and came out with a partial bid to design the ductwork for the new New York Police Department Training Academy. In fall 2011, the company switched from two-dimensional drafting software to three-dimensional Benchmark building-information modeling (BIM) software from the International Training Institute (ITI) Alexandria, VA, the education arm of the unionized sheetmetal and air-conditioning industry. 

As explained by Blue Diamond vice president Al LaBella, the three-dimensional software provides draftsmen more control over a project. “Additional visibility, as well as the ability to make easier changes to existing designs, allows every detail to be in view as if the designer was standing in front of a finished product,” LaBella says. “Working with mechanical contractors, three-dimensional building-information modeling is a must.” 

Blue Diamond Sheet Metal wasted no time placing bids on projects soon after training was completed. The company was one of five contractors who split the bid on the NYPD Training Academy. For it, the company is designing air-conditioning ductwork for three floors and a machine room, totaling more than 90,000 sq. ft.

Head draftsman Ed Wirth says everyone in the company has adapted to the software, noting that “the jobs are progressing, you need 3D. The whole job is coordinated in 3D, and you need everything where it belongs. We have no regrets with the change here.”

International Training Institute: 703/739-7200;


See also: International Training Inst.

Technologies: Safety


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