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Book 2

Book 2 of Makers of the EnvironmentA Milestone in the Building Industry — Building Information + Facility Information + Geographic Information = BIG BIM Bang

The Coast Guard safeguards Our Maritime Interests and Form the heart of Book 2

The following outlines the content and chapters of Makers of the Environment Book 2:

The system is designed to allow nontechnical users to work with computer-aided design, building information modeling and geographic information system data. Integrated systems, such as the Consequences Planning System and the Onuma System, used to develop the design for CGSysOps allowed users to accelerate the decision-making process. In the early years of the twenty-first century, the Coast Guard started the process of mapping out how to use existing data and how to move forward in a world where data was becoming critical. The systems assist knowledgeable people by presenting data about the built environment and Coast Guard processes that were not readily accessible before. Up-to-date, real-time information and just-in-time imagery translates into actionable plans and goals that can be implemented effectively and support routine operations.

Princess Anne, MD and Portsmouth, VA

Since internal information, interagency information and feeds from multinational resources flow through the system, the Coast Guard can handle operations and their assets from the time that planning begins until an asset is decommissioned. Since the ModelServer acts to connect data, no matter the source, Pete and Gary are able to integrate information that is required and ignore information that is out of date or incorrect. The rich information created in their two-week recovery planning process will be used to control the detailed design process, as the architects and engineers begin their work.

Portsmouth, VA

There was an explosion that destroyed the bridge of USCGC Maxfield as she pushed away from Dock One. Seconds later, another explosion near the stern of USCGC Kerwin, shook the entire base. The final explosion ignited Dock Two’s fueling system and holed the USCGC Dexter.


Coast Guard System Operations (CGSysOps) capitalizes on the opportunity to start over without the prejudice of legacy systems. Much of the domain knowledge (or content) that is embedded in legacy systems forms the core of the rules-based system. The system assists knowledgeable people in the integrated decision-making process by presenting data about the built environment and Coast Guard processes that were not readily accessible before.

Legacy Systems

The organization met resistance in consolidating or replacing legacy systems, even though many would have admitted that these legacy systems undermined collaboration, created negative competition among internal teams and were inherently stovepipes. Legacy systems did not have the flexibility and scalability to manage complex, enterprise-wide information or large scale crises. Non-normalized data in databases disconnected from each other might well be the difference between life-and-death.

Portsmouth, VA

Sensors integrated into the new cutters took over and closed watertight doors and deployed fire suppression systems automatically. Quick response is key when one is faced with three wrecked cutters, two badly damaged small cutters, two severely damaged buoy tenders, buildings with substantial damage and bomb debris. A Category Two hurricane with winds of around 100 miles per hour and a twelve to fifteen foot storm surge, Edgar will likely overwhelm Crisfield and other bayside communities.

Buckets of Information

With information models, an owner spends the money once and reuses the information for the life of her building. The models allow the tracking of information across entire portfolios and deliver tangible links to geographic information systems. A Level of Detail One (LOD1) model is, in fact, an information bucket. A Level of Detail Three model can be called a design model. A Level of Detail Six model is approaching a virtual representation of the actual facility.

Integrate Technology

The system computes the size and quantities of spaces and all of the items that would normally be found in these spaces (floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, systems, equipment, and people). Rules-based systems can be used to supply complete Information Models. BIMSynergy users gain immediate benefits as they produce models that automatically connect with other information in distributed systems on the Internet.

Tie systems

Geographic information, connected to built environment data, connected to sensors, make the information available when and where it is needed to handle the situation and protect victims and responders. Information modeling tied to security planning lets them respond effectively and quickly. Knowledgeable security planners integrate security and emergency response considerations into the plan as early in the process as possible.

Portsmouth, VA

Information continues to flow into the system. Often we make too many decisions at the wrong time, with too little information. The system enables you to share information and integrate data. By connecting geographic, facility and resource information decisions are made in-context.


Satellite resources are brought to bear to find the terrorists. A national alert shifts resources toward the response. The system brings the right resources to bear to identify, locate and catch the terrorists in less than two hours from the first bomb exploding.

Portsmouth, VA

Metrics tied to data models and the other information hosted by BIMSynergy allow the Coast Guard to understand the interactions and relationships between assets. Using agreed-upon metrics, trigger points and models linked to capital asset management, the Coast Guard can quickly and accurately assess their complete list of assets. The savings are the result of reusing information, better decision-making information earlier in the process and better early stage study leading to on-time, on-budget projects with minimal problems.

Washington, DC

Early in the twenty-first century, a push by farsighted individuals in the organization began to focus on systems that would allow the Coast Guard to adapt to a new, fast-paced and flat world, while retaining the things that made the organization great. By eliminating stovepipes of information, accurately measuring those things that can be measured, integrating legacy information and connecting their data, the Coast Guard changed to work flows and became a culture that embraced innovation. Connecting activity streams with information models and planning systems, Coast Guard personnel at all levels see what is happening, in near real-time.

 Go to Book 3 Education for Tomorrow