United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum

Use of 3D modeling for BIM, fabrication, and installation



Photo of Ilja Aljoskin PMP

Ilja Aljoskin PMP

Project Manager

MG McGrath


Photo of Lee Pepin

Lee Pepin

Director of Virtual Design & Construction

MG McGrath


Photo of Neil Meredith RA

Neil Meredith RA


MG McGrath




Advanced fabrication processes combined with parametric 3D modeling give designers and architects the freedom and versatility to push the boundaries of their art and develop compelling design narratives with awe inspiring structures. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum (USOPM) (Fig. 1) designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) is a manifestation of this approach.

Rendering of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum looking West. Courtesy of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro

This paper is a case study that will analyze three key aspects of the facade delivery from the fabrication and installation standpoints:

3D modeling process, BIM coordination, and field installation. This paper hopes to capture the essence of the implemented processes on the USOPM project as well as explore new avenues for the use of technology within the AEC industry at-large.

For 3D Modeling, this paper will detail the usage of parametric, feature-based modeling for the design, detailing, and fabrication of the complex metal panel shapes. For BIM Coordination, this paper will explore the use of coordinate point data and point cloud data for verification of as-built conditions, intersection of systems, and field layout. Lastly the paper will explore the field execution of the metal panel and curtainwall installation processes.


The United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum, located at the foothills of the beautiful Pike’s Peak mountain in Colorado Springs, is an homage to American Olympic and Paralympic athletes. The

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Project Background

The building’s structure was comprised of fifteen independent concrete slab-on-deck elevations and multifaceted structural steel skeleton. Radiused and twisted light gauge metal framing bridged the steel skeleton to create a

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3D Modeling

Proper 3D model development and coordination was essential to the success of the project, more so than in a traditional project delivery, because the 3D model heavily influenced fabrication output

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BIM Coordination

Coordination between trade partners is vital to a successful execution of any project. The façade BIM coordination on the USOPM project involved multiple trades including concrete, structural steel, light gauge

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Field Execution

When working with geometrically complex projects, the question of “how to build it” is always at the forefront of the project team’s minds. In order to properly execute the USOPM

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The execution of this project would be impossible within the given time frame, budget, and tolerances without the use of the technologies discussed in this paper. There is no easy

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M.G. McGrath, Inc.

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Figure 1 is a rendering courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.