No clashes at the airport with BIM

25 November 2014 - To work for BAM! / Digital construction / Infra / International

At the Terminal 3 project on Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere International Airport, BAM International shows the benefits of using 3D modelling in planning.

Building information modelling (BIM) is an effective design method and a very convincing sales tool that clearly visualises the added value of engineering solutions. But BIM has the potential to benefit further stages of a project.

Specialised tasks in a complex construction project are often carried out by specialised subcontractors, often these are local businesses who work under the responsibility of the main contractor. On the T3 project, selected subcontractors are providing their skills in the construction of the roof and façades. As they are the specialists, they also provide the detailed designs that describe how exactly they will be getting to work. Theoretically their designs should fit seamlessly into the detailed design from the main contractor.

Early clash detection

‘In practice, though,’ says the project’s Package Manager, Maurice Siemensma, ‘traditional design methods aren’t necessarily watertight. It’s easy to overlook a detail or plan the order of execution in a way that clashes with the main design or detailed designs from other disciplines or subcontractors. BIM is helping to detect those clashes at an early stage and prevent them from happening.’
Now that the project is getting closer to the construction stage, BAM International is going into more and more detail with its subcontractors and suppliers. All new 2D drawings and 3D models are fed into the original 3D models by specialist BIM engineers. Any clashes that would disrupt the flow of work are quickly detected and reported back a basis for design repairs.

Next step: procurement?

Maurice Siemensma: ‘Clash detection and prevention are just the tip of the iceberg for BIM. The next step would be to use the models as the basis for the entire procurement process. Our experience on the Terminal 3 project certainly proves that BIM is here to stay.’