What is Building Information Modeling (BIM)?

Ruetschle creates a digital building model that is used for design decision-making, energy analysis, and the production of high-quality construction documents. This model can then be used by our construction partners for cost estimating and construction scheduling. Owners can also benefit from this model for facility management and operations.


Understanding how occupants and the public will react to a building’s design is a critical part of the design process. The best way to communicate the design is to allow the end users to experience the building by “seeing” it virtually in advance. In the past, visualizations relied on flat 2D drawings that were difficult to interpret, costly renderings, or physical models. Today with BIM, 3D views, photo-realistic renderings, and animated walkthroughs are utilized to describe and validate architectural design concepts. More precise conceptual design better informs decision-making and enhanced client understanding.


The building information can be exported to perform energy analysis to study building performance. Sun studies enable us to quickly analyze sun positions and solar effects while informing and influencing design strategy. Analyzing and quickly reacting to energy data greatly refines our sustainable design strategies to make sure dollars are spent on systems of maximum return to our clients. As more projects are seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the building information model provides a robust model for analyses.

The Revit platform contains several automatic visualization modes. Note the camera angle and location in the right view that shows “real-time” shaded and hidden line renderings.


Ruetschle uses a “Clash Detection” tool called Navisworks, which allows us to overlay plumbing, mechanical, electrical, structural, and architectural elements in a common digital model to identify and correct interferences before the building is built. Integrated systems ensure that conflicts between systems are resolved during the design phase and avoided in the construction phase, reducing change orders associated with systems coordination in the field. Every change we make to the building model is automatically and instantly updated across all plans, schedules, and construction documents, helping to greatly reduce conflicts in documentation. Better-coordinated drawings directly relate to more competitive bids, faster construction schedules, and reduced construction costs.