2017-2018 / ARCH0332-1

BIM, three-dimensional modeling and communication of the virtual model


12h Th, 36h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in architecture4 crédits 


Abdelkader Boutemadja, Carine Driesmans, Michel Pierre



Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The CAD and Three-Dimensional Modelling teaching unit fall within the Study and Representation of Space and Form teaching and research field (DER). The 'Study and Representation of Space and Form' unit brings together teaching and research in complementary fields relating to the study and representation of space and the forms which make it up. The DER courses provide knowledge and practice relating to means of expression (writing and graphic construction of space) and to digital culture. This knowledge and practice will raise students' awareness of these particular aspects of architectural issue involving perception of space and its representation, particularly through graphic communication, and will encourage them to seek a different understanding of their practice of the architectural project.
The Bachelors cycle is a basis for learning which is organised in a continuous and progress way from the first to the third year, with each year being characterised by a specific number of credits relating to the learning outcomes in question. Although digital culture is addressed in B2 and B3, the 'Graphic construction of space' (units 1 and 2) instil the basic concepts of graphic representation in B1 and go into further detail in B2, while the 'Space writing' (units 1, 2 and 3) is divided into complementary themes, which students continue throughout the three years.
'Digital culture' group of units : B2: Digital culture 2.1 'CAD and three-dimensional modelling'. B3: Digital culture 3.1 'BIM and communication through a virtual model'
The 'digital culture' courses aim to give students the means of better understanding how to use digital tools - in general - and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) - in particular as used in the field of architecture. Students will learn to take a more comprehensive view of the possibilities which digital tools offer to architects at all stages of developing an architectural project.
It does not, therefore, consist of training students in so-called 'client' software, often used in architectural offices, but rather consists of understanding the mechanisms by which a wider range of tools operate. This will give them the ability to build their own software environment according to their needs.
Course content
These classes address CAD and three-dimensional modelling as a support for the design activity of an architectural project. They also involve an approach to developing a data base, necessary for representing and communicating an architectural project. Initially, students will become familiar with the techniques of positioning objects in three-dimensional space. Secondly, students will address the organisation of information required to implement the modelling process in a comprehensive way. Thirdly, the course will raise students' awareness of the acquisition of data during their projects. It will also address the issue of insertion into context. Fourthly, students will be confronted with techniques around communicating the results of the three-dimensional model.
The following themes will feature strongly in this teaching unit :
The course program covers the 3-dimensional modeling and communication through virtual model.
1) General introduction. 2) The challenges of three-dimensional modelling in architecture. 3) The BIM in architecture. Integration of 4D into the digital model. 4) Modelling of the context and insertion of the BIM. 5) Communication based on the digital model.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Part 1: Connection with the competency framework:
All teaching units in the Study and Representation of Space and Form DER enable students to develop specific competences in the Faculty's competency framework, guiding them more specifically towards the development of the 'Developing a spatial approach through a synthetic approach' and 'Interacting with all stakeholders' competences.
Illustration of form:
Developing a spatial approach through a synthetic approach

  • Integrating structural and technical constraints and resources into the spatial design process' development trajectory.
  • Mastering graphic language as a means of designing, structuring, verifying and interpreting thought' development trajectory.
  •   Prescribing work at various stages of the project design process' development trajectory.
  • Thoroughly managing all issues being studied' development trajectory.
Interacting with all stakeholders

  • Mastering graphic language as tools for sharing ideas' development trajectory.
  • Producing reflexive documents designed for the healthy sharing of ideas' development trajectory.
Part 2: learning outcomes from the teaching unit described from an operational point of view

  • Recognise: become familiar with procedures and knowledge by using software to develop a BIM.
  • Understand: develop, construct and express elements of the instruction or project by using digital tools.
  • Analyse: understand the context and analyse information. Examining and subdividing into groups or components to reveal the organisational structure, and the functions and connections of the project.
  • Apply: conduct a mature analysis using 2D and 3D tools. Students should generate, imagine, and invent a relevant individual response within the context of the project and complying with the instructions and procedures.
  • Evaluate: students should be able to self-assess and self-criticise on the basis of the results on the screen. Make a relevant creative choice, adapt to the situation, develop, develop a graphic process.
  • Create: apply the procedures set out in theory classes and practice in the workshop with the aim of presenting a rich, individual piece of work.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

In order to begin this teaching unit, students must have already achieved the following credits:
Annual Block 2 :

  • ARCH0234-1 : CAO et modélisation tridimensionnelle
  • ARCH0241-2 : Projet d'architecture
  • ARCH0213-1 : Construction 2
We also insist upon knowledge of Windows 7, mainly in terms of handling files and understanding traditional techniques of producing (non-digital) plans.
In addition, students must also, alongside this teaching unit, follow the following teaching units:
Bloc annuel 3 :

  • ARCH341-1 : Projet d'architecture
  • ARCH0313-1 : Construction 3
We do not accept Erasmus students.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The 3rd Bachelors course is a continuation of the 2nd Bachelors. The working method is, consequently, the same. The course consists of 12 theory sessions and 12 two-hour workshops. Initially, students will carry out supervised work, organised in small groups and preceded by theoretical presentations given to all students. Each student will work for two hours per week on acquiring and applying theory. Students will then work on an exercise involving modelling and presenting a project and its context. In order to be able to finish the modelling work and presentation mentioned above, students must carry out additional work at home (see 'Total volume of hours'). Modelling work must be submitted the 15-16 november 2017 and communication work the 6-7 december 2017 or an usb key. WARNING: regular use of the IT tools is highly limited. The time set aside for this course in the overall syllabus is insufficient to acquire the degree of skill necessary for the professional use of the tool.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

The course is taught in French. Presence in class is compulsory.
In the first part of the course, students will use Webarchi to submit their work.
Webarchi is also the place where students can find information on the exercises to be conducted, the theory classes, videos, articles to read as well as all information required for the smooth operation of the teaching unit.

Recommended or required readings

The theoretical exam will test whether students have understood the content of the compulsory reading :

  • Jean-Charles LEBAHAR, Le Dessin d'architecte : Simulation graphique et réduction d'incertitude , 1983 Editions Parenthèses, 13360 Roquevaire- France.
  • Daniel ESTEVEZ, Dessin d'architecture et Infographie, 2001 CNRS Editions, ISBN : 978-2-271-05799-0.
  • Article présenté à Scan 14 : Abdelkader Boutemadja, Carine Driesmans et Sylvie Jancart, Le B.I.M. et la maquette virtuelle comme moyen pédagogique permettant le rapprochement entre les cours d'informatique et l'enseignement du projet d'architecture.
  • Article présenté à Scan 14 : Frédéric Delvaux, Romuald Bianchi et Sylvie Jancart, De la matière à l'espace : une voie d'intégration numérique et matérielle.
Recommended reading :

  • Les actes du colloque SCAN 14
  • Laurent Brixius, Sketchup guide pratique, Junod, 2016
  • Laurent Brixius, Créer avec Sketchup, Pearson (ed.), 2009
  • Laurent Brixius, Projets créatifs avec Sketchup, 10 cas réels d'utilisation professionnelle, Pearson (ed.), 2014
  • Olivier Celnik, BIM & maquette numérique : Pour l'architecture, le bâtiment et la construction, Eyrolles (ed.), 2014
  • Fabrice d'Orso, Le BIM et la maquette numérique : Dans la maison individuelle et le logement collectif en zone urbaine et périurbaine, PC (ed.), 2014
  • Karen Kensek, Manuel BIM : Théorie et applications, Eyrolles (ed.), 2015 Éric Lebègue,
  • Éric Lebègue, BIM et maquette numérique, 2015
  • Éric Lebègue, Conduire un projet de construction à l'aide du BIM, Eyrolles (ed.), 2015
  • Olivier Lehmann, Sandro Varano, Jean-Paul Wetzel, Sketchup pour les architectes, Eyrolles (ed.), 2014
- Sketchup software tutorials

Assessment methods and criteria

Continuous assessment will take place. Attitude in the practical workshop and the quality of student's approach will be taken into account as well as the results achieved. Presence during practical sessions is therefore compulsory and all work from the first sessions must be submitted on Webarchi as it is completed. This continuous assessment is completed with a theory exam in the 1st session, focussing on the subjects covered in the theory presentations and compulsory readings. The theoretical exam account for 30% of points for this unit. The main practical exercise counts for 70% of the points. In the second session, assessment will focus on knowledge of modelling and presentation techniques through a practical test (50% of points) and a theory test (50%). The practical and theory tests are inseparable.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks


Practise : Carine Driesmans : carine.driesmans@ulg.ac.
Michel Pierre : michel.pierre@ulg.ac.be

Théory :
Carine Driesmans : carine.driesmans@ulg.ac.
Abdelkader Boutemadja : aboutemadja@ulg.ac.be