BIM confirms ancient wisdom

5 November 2015 - To work for BAM! / Knowledge / Projects / Infra / International

‘Measure twice, cut once,’ as the old saying goes. With new technology proving to be the perfect measuring tool, the twenty-first century takes this ancient wisdom even further. Here’s an overview of the experiences of BAM International's Jebel Ali team.

‘BIM technology has been used through all stages of the Jebel Ali Port Terminal 4 project so far,’ explains Senior Works Preparation Engineer Vladimir Malina. ‘It’s been a successful test of our overall BIM maturity and our ability to collaborate across business units.’

Competitive edge

Relatively simple software (Sketchup and Autodesk Revit) was used to create visual models at the tender phase back in 2013. They enhanced communication with the client and gave a clear competitive edge.

More advanced software (Autodesk Navisworks) was used in the design stage to detect clashes, one of the prime functions of BIM. As early as the basic design stage, visualisations made it possible to solve clashes detected in the proposals for the connection of the bridge pier and headstock.

High accuracy

The next stage, detailed design, was in the hands of the BAM Infraconsult design team. Their 3D models were also used to generate 2D construction drawing for use on site. One successful example: the bar bending schedules that were produced by the Indonesian DMC office. These assured high accuracy of bar mark shapes and smooth procurement of reinforcement materials.

Design of temporary works was the next area to benefit from BIM. The Dubai office created 3D models of steelworks design to improve communication with the fabricator and site teams. They also set up a 3/4D model to simulate the progression of temporary works in space and time, which helped to squash out safety risks and also provided a basis for crystal-clear method statements.

Virtual construction
Virtual construction

Safety and efficiency

At site level, 3D models enabled the project team to perform virtual dry runs of the safest and most effective work methods. Among other things, this resulted in the development by the head office plant team of innovative equipment such as a tilting lifter with vacuum plate.

And finally (so far) a return was made to more basic methods as Google Sketchup was used to create static 4D visualisations for use in the project controls and reporting protocols.


Vladimir Malina, Senior Works Preparation Engineer