Parametric Design with Visual Programming in BIM

Dynamo, Grasshopper and Python

This program has been designed for engineers, BIM managers, architects virtually anyone within the AECO sector who is interested in automating workflows to increase their proficiency in visual and textual programming resources applied to BIM (Building Information Modeling).

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8 Weeks (11 ECTS)


Zigurat-specific degree


With live virtual classes


Registration Period Open
Starting Date: June 2021

Data-driven BIM can reduce construction project costs, speed up the design process, and contribute to minimizing waste from the early stage.

Construction-labor productivity has, in many cases, not kept up with the pace of other industries and turning to BIM and the customized BIM interfaces can transform the operations and bring the needed efficiency to the tasks.

The main objective to be reached within the 8-week timeframe is to develop new skills related to BIM-based programming, to improve BIM modeling workflows, ease design exploration and analysis, automate time-consuming tasks and promote information exchange.

This will be achieved with the support of visual programming languages (Grasshopper and Dynamo) and enhanced with textual programming in Python, a friendly language for beginners.

The program will also explore the benefits of combining parametric design with BIM. It is an approach based on algorithmic schemes, where the design requirements are answered by expressing parameters, their values and the rules that define them.

Why you should choose this High Performance program


Become fluent in technology.

Learning to speak the language of the machines that are redefining your profession will help you to understand and manage technology in the best possible way, giving you an edge on the industry 4.0 market for construction.


Add another layer to your BIM skills.

Having coding skills will differentiate you from other professionals in the sector and might be the decisive criterion to get a client to choose you for a certain project.


Develop data analysis skills – an added value to BIM.

Developing programming skills comes with valuable insights into data and capabilities for their analysis, which are necessary for establishing next-generation BIM workflows. Data-driven BIM can reduce risks, uncertainties and construction project costs, speed up the design process, and contribute to minimizing waste from the early stage.


Increase efficiency in your projects.

You’ll have the agility to manage many different kinds of processes and to understand where you can automate processes, a know-how that will present you with increased efficiency and help you to create designs that can be adjusted in seconds, rather than days.


Obtain greater accuracy and consistency for your models.

Carrying out more tailored tasks in Dynamo or Grasshopper will save you time and increase greatly the accuracy and consistency of your models. Combining your BIM models with analytical tools (such as solar) will provide precious insight about the designs, which can be automatically adapted to fit the best scenario.


Enhance creative freedom and take advantage of all functionalities.

The demand for Python skills is on the rise as it has also become one of the preferred languages in Data Science and Machine Learning. You can use Python to access the API of the main program, allowing you to make it work for your specific need, when there’s no functionality available. You will be free to explore the functionalities of a library and work them in your advantage. In this course, the Python features that will be covered are to support visual programming.

Academic Content

Module 1 - Introduction to Programming

This module introduces the student to Programming Logic and Computational Thinking, considered to be valuable skills for 21st century learning. Subjects addressed with the Python Programming Language will be addressed, as a facilitator of knowledge acquisition such as: concepts and best practices for using variables, condition and repetition structures, lists, dictionaries, tuples, sets, built-ins and functions. With the knowledge acquired in this module, the student will develop skills to advance in the study of parametric design with Visual Programming.

Module 2 - Visual Programming with Grasshopper and Introduction to Parametric Design

This module introduces visual programming for CAD and BIM using Grasshopper, through which participants will start their path in the field of parametric design. In it, they will learn how to build algorithms as fluxes of data (variables) that will be transformed by components (functions) in order to create dynamic BIM models, adjustable via parameters (inputs). Taking advantage of the Archicad Live Connection, we will explore how to automate BIM workflows and how to exploit Grasshopper’s vast ecosystem of plugins to complement algorithmic design with analytics. In the end, we will also look at alternative solutions for BIM interoperability using Grasshopper, namely the Rhino.Inside Revit system (under development).

Module 3 - Visual Programming with Dynamo

This module introduces Dynamo Visual Programming from Autodesk, which can be used to extract, manipulate and transfer data directly from the components of Autodesk Revit and connecting to other applications. Beyond this, it makes it possible to automate documentation processes and validate information. At the end, some resources related to Generative Design and optimization processes will be explored.

Module 4 - Programming with Python

In this module the student will apply the acquired knowledge of programming logic and computational thinking, in the practice of programming in the Python language. Because it is an easy-to-learn language, because it has a vast community of employees, and with the philosophy of Programming for all, it is one of the most widely used languages in the world. Python is a high-level, dynamic and strong typing programming language, ideal for applying in the use of BIM to understand how nodes work, their libraries for BIM, how to generate geometries by applying facilitators such as recursion.

Faculty Board

Rogério Lima. 

Architect and urbanist. PhD student at the University of Lisbon (PT). Master in Architecture from FAU – UFRJ. Member of the research group Design and Computation Group (DCG) at ULisboa where he develops research in the area of Generative Systems based on BIM. University professor since 2001, where for the past 10 years he has worked in academic management on several fronts. Created and coordinated the first BIM graduate program in Brazil. He is the owner of RLIMA Arquitetura e Consultoria, where he develops BIM projects and BIM implementation consultancies in public and private institutions.

Rui de Klerk

Architect specialized in Design and Computation and researcher at the Design and Computation Group of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon. working with Generative Design Systems, Semantic Web Technologies, City Information Modelling (CIM), Parametric Urban Planning, with experience in AR / VR, visual and textual programming.
Professor of the Master Internacional in BIM Management of Zigurat.

Thiago Pontes

Adjunct professor at the Federal University of Cariri in the Computer Programming study sector. Ph.D. in Education in the specialty ICT in Education by the Education Institute of the University of Lisbon. Master in Computer Science from the Computer Center of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). MBA in Project Management. Specialist in Higher Education Teaching. Collaborating researcher at the Digital Learning Environments Group and the Design Computation Group ( Leader of the Computer and Design Research Group – CoDe / UFCA / CNPq (

Nuestros Alumni

Cuando te gradúes, te unirás a una de las redes profesionales más grandes del sector en el mundo: la comunidad de Zigurat Alumni con más de 65.000 estudiantes de más de 70 países. Aquí tienes algunas de las valoraciones de nuestros Alumni:


Patricia Tenorio

He sido alumna del Máster BIM Management en Infraestructuras y GIS y estoy más que satisfecha tanto con el nivel del profesorado como del sistema de aprendizaje que aplican. Las prácticas concretamente son el punto fuerte de este máster puesto que funcionan como un verdadero simulacro del trabajo colaborativo real en la metodología BIM.¡100% recomendable!


Ignacio Barra

Definitivamente un centro de educación que esta a la vanguardia en los temas que tratan y enseñan. Sus Master muy bien enfocados hacia las nuevas tecnologías con docentes de un gran nivel y junto al staff de soporte hacen de un buena experiencia de aprendizaje.


Cristina Palomar Lozano

Muy recomendable. La metodología online que utilizan te permite compaginar el máster elegido con el trabajo. Me ha gustado mucho el enfoque 100% práctico ya que es la mejor forma de aprender, y el apoyo tanto de profesores como del equipo académico en los foros es muy bueno.

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