Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Civil engineering, Architecture engineering, Construction engineering, Municipal and structural engineering


The digitisation of construction is taking root as Building Information Modelling is becoming more prevalent across the industry. From an Irish context, the adoption rate of BIM has been slow; nationally its advantages and merits have been welcomed and the appropriate government support is either available, soon to be implemented or in the early conceptual stage. Within the Irish governments Project Ireland 2040 framework there are significant infrastructure developments looming ahead, in particular regarding ports and harbours. The importance of this type of infrastructure is only further compounded due to the UK’s departure from the EU and the need for creating robust trade infrastructure. This research explores Geotechnical BIM as a crucial tool to be utilised but yet to be recognised in the development of coastal infrastructure. Suffice to say Coastal Infrastructure such as Harbours or Tidal Defences have long projected lifespans. Due to their function, they have to endure severe environmental loading as well as the geological complexities at where they interface with the natural environment. The primary purpose of this research is to offer guidance and awareness to the wider AEC industry through an investigation of current literature, emphasising the importance of Geotechnical BIM as a value engineering tool for coastal infrastructure. The findings in this section point to an urgent need of a national mandate to propel BIM in Ireland and examines the current status of Geotechnical BIM. Secondly it aims to explore the application of Geotechnical BIM through a case study where BIM in principle has been applied to the geotechnical design. The findings in this section examined significant capital savings in the range of 40%. Finally a survey was then carried out to gather data from industry providing insight on how other disciplines find Geotechnical BIM within the wider BIM process and derive recommendations as to better integrate Geotechnical BIM. The results indicate that Geotechnical BIM is welcomed however there are concerns related to cost and risk. The Author concludes that the advantages outweigh the concerns shared in addition to the limitations of the traditional process and suggests the need for a specific level of model detail identifier for Geotechnical models to improve communication and reduce risk.