This article, forming part of a themed issue of ICE Bridge Engineering on Information Technology in Bridge Engineering and Construction, was written by CSIC (and former CSIC) researchers Manuel Davila, Liam Butler, Niamh Gibbons, Ioannis Brilakis, Mohammed Elshafie and Campbell Middleton. The article can be downloaded at http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/abs/10.1680/jbren.16.00013.
In addition to the traditional benefits associated with the installation of structural health monitoring systems, reductions in construction, operational and maintenance costs, and improved performance and quality can be achieved by effectively using the acquired data. However, considered in isolation, the raw data are of little use and value. They must be processed and put into a geometric context within the infrastructure asset, which facilitates the interpretation and analysis of the data. This supports informed decision making, which in turn leads to effective actions. This study outlines a new approach that enables the modelling of structural performance monitoring systems in a Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment and hence permits sensor data to be visualised directly on BIM models. The paper addresses aspects related to: (a) interoperability and standard data models; (b) management and visualisation of monitoring data; and (c) data interpretation and analysis. A prestressed concrete bridge, with a comprehensive built-in structural performance monitoring system, has been used as a case study. The case study demonstrates that by including and visualising monitoring data directly on BIM models the acquired data gain geometrical context within the built asset, which facilitates better interpretation, analysis and all the data-sharing benefits associated with the BIM approach.