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Designing with 3D CAD & BIM

Number: BCT 420
Credits: 3
Format: In person, Online, UWW (CPE), Amherst, Mount Ida

Semester: Spring, Summer 1
Meeting Times: Mon/Wed 9:30-11:00 (spring)
Room: Olver Design Building 260 (spring)

LMS Link


Alexander Schreyer,
M.A.Sc., Dipl.-Ing.

Senior Lecturer and BCT Program Director

Office: Olver Design Building 318
Phone: +1 (413) 545-1976

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Course Description

Building upon skills acquired in “Introduction to CAD & BIM for Construction and Architecture”, this course presents advanced topics in architectural CAD & BIM software and its uses in design and construction.

Centered on problem-based tasks, topics such as 3-dimensional modeling, design for fabrication, parametric building design, building information modeling (BIM), material takeoff, energy-efficient planning and model analysis, rendering and presentation, and others will be explored.

Industry-standard CAD/BIM software such as Trimble SketchUp, Trimble Connect, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks, and Autodesk AutoCAD will be used to accomplish this.

View Student work from this course. Prerequisite: BCT 320 or similar introductory CAD/BIM experience.

Learning Goals

  • Ability to work in a 3-dimensional CAD / BIM environment and create 3D models of construction assemblies and buildings
  • Ability to create a parametric building information model (“BIM” = a 3D object-oriented model of a building where each component has “intelligent” behaviors and embedded data), and extract data from the BIM mode
  • Ability to use CAD/BIM-based tools to solve technical issues (e.g. fabrication, energy efficiency, lighting, structural etc.) during the planning process
  • Understanding of Autodesk Revit as an example of a parametric BIM building modeling software and Trimble SketchUp as an example of a general purpose 3D modeling tool
  • Knowledge of options to work collaboratively with BIM data on Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) projects
  • Knowledge of advanced CAD/BIM principles: Interoperability, software extensions, scripting/automation, texturing/rendering, laser scanning, workflow methods and others
  • Introduction to Trimble SketchUp Pro, Autodesk Revit, Trimble Connect, Trimble Realworks, and Trimble laser scanner


  • Architectural Design with SketchUp / 2nd Edition / Schreyer / John Wiley & Sons (Amazon link) My reference book for SketchUp, which covers modeling, plugins, rendering, making and scripting. We will use it for the first third of the course. You may have free access to the e-book via the library.
  • Commercial Design Using Autodesk Revit / Any recent edition / Daniel John Stine / SDC Publications We will use this tutorial-based book after the first third of the course. You can get any recent edition of this book.
  • If you don’t have one yet, get an architect’s scale. You can get one for a few dollars from the university store or from Amazon.

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