When designing a facility, contractors need to keep in mind many facets of a building’s design. Case in point: Construction teams need to determine where a building’s surveillance system will be placed, and BIM (building information modeling) can help identify the best location.

Axis Communications, www.axis.com, Lund, Sweden, a provider of security solutions, announced the Axis Camera Extension for the SketchUp 3D CAD (computer-aided design) software. With this, construction teams can correctly identify the best place to place cameras by inserting them into the 3D models of the building.

The company says this provides the construction industry with the ability to see exactly how the cameras fit into the building layout and to easily spot if camera views are obstructed by columns or walls. This will help reduce the risk of unexpected blind spots when planning and design the video-surveillance systems.

In April 2012, Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., announced planned to acquire SketchUp. Prior to the acquisition, SketchUp was a good tool for smaller companies and hobbyists to dabble with BIM. At the time of the acquisition, Trimble indicated it was looking to take SketchUp to the next level while maintaining the existing functionality.

Since that time, Trimble has continued to develop the product. Just last year, the company announced integration of SketchUp with its Trimble Business Center office software, which connects with Trimble’s field solutions.

Now, the SketchUp product continues to evolve, with the ability to place cameras in the model to identify the best location. Going beyond just buildings, Axis Communications also says there is an opportunity to use this technology for city planning as well.

Peter Friberg, director of system and services, Axis Communications, says as SketchUp integrates with Google Maps it will make it easy when working on city surveillance or critical infrastructure projects to obtain a good overview of the environment where the cameras are placed.

As BIM continues to advance in the construction industry, teams will be able to place more objects within the models, in order to identify the best location of items such as surveillance systems.