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The use of BIM is a future topic in landscape architecture. The bdla working group BIM has compiled relevant information and will continue to update/supplement the content.

bdla-AG BIM - Discussion forum

BIM in landscape architecture

By Matthias Funk

The comprehensive digitalization of living and working environments is increasingly reaching the construction industry, which has so far been rather poorly digitalized, in the form of Building Information Modeling (BIM).

This is because although most construction projects are drawn using CAD programs, costs are calculated using spreadsheets, schedules are created in project management software and tenders are issued using database-supported AVA, the information captured remains trapped in separate files and is not merged into an integral model of the construction object. Instead, the existing information in the various work fields is exported manually and transferred to a subsequent work field by means of manual re-entry.

It is undeniable that this is a significant source of errors as well as an immense potential for increasing quality and effectiveness. When several planning disciplines have to work together in a coordinated manner to realize a complex construction project, every landscape architecture firm wants a planning process that transparently maps the work status of those involved and makes existing information accessible to all.

BIM in landscape architecture in test phase on real construction project

Against this background, the methodology of BIM has been developed in recent years. It is fundamental to understand that BIM is a process description for building and managing a central data structure of a building object in a model. This data structure contains information on geometry, construction materials used, costs, time sequences, and even operational requirements.

After defining the underlying theory as well as the goals, the processes of BIM in landscape architecture are currently in a trial phase on the real construction project. Due to the previous focus of research on building construction and infrastructure, there are hardly any verified working methods for the creation and attribution of the 3D geometry of the landscape architecture BIM subject model. Especially the modeling of terrain and path structures and their edgings in three-dimensional space currently still poses great challenges to landscape architects.

bdla working group BIM offers central forum for discussion

In this process, the BIM working group would like to give the landscape architects of the bdla technical, strategic and economic impulses for action. Most landscape architecture firms already have BIM-capable CAD and AVA software, but use these tools only as computer-aided 2D drafting tables. Thus, the introduction of the BIM method in landscape architecture is not so much a problem of software equipment, but rather a deficit in the definition of goals and methods for the interested offices. The bdla working group BIM offers a central forum for the discussion of the potentials of the BIM method and its effects within landscape architecture.


Matthias Funk, landscape architect bdla AKNW, scape Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH, Düsseldorf, head of the bdla working group BIM. The text appeared as an editorial in the bdla association magazine "Landschaftsarchitekten" 2/2018.


Members of the bdla working group BIM

In the AG BIM of the bdla are currently active:

  • Ernst Bauermann (RIEHL BAUERMANN Landschaftsarchitekten, Kassel)
  • Franz Damm (Keller Damm Kollegen GmbH, München)
  • Axel Feja, (club L94 Landschaftsarchitekten, Köln)
  • Matthias Funk (scape Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH, Düsseldorf)
  • Dr. Johannes Gnädinger (Prof. Schaller UmweltConsult, München)
  • Mariusz Hermansdorfer (Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, Überlingen)
  • Mario Kahl (bdla-Bundesgeschäftsstelle, Berlin)
  • Victor Kamphausen (K A M P H A U S E N - Büro für Landschaftsarchitektur und Freiraumplanung, Wiesbaden)
  • Markus Piel (RMP Stephan Lenzen Landschaftsarchitekten, Bonn).

The head of the AG is Matthias Funk.

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