BIM News

BIM in the UK Water Sector


Jon Cox - Building Information Modelling - more commonly known as BIM - is an intelligent 3D model based process that equips engineers and construction professionals with the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.

The HUBER BIM journey

The journey for us has really started to gather some momentum over the last year as the water companies have started incorporating questions about our BIM capabilities into the framework questionnaires. As a result, we took time to study the PAS 1192 specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using BIM and do some research to understand what these seemingly simple questions were really asking, how it affects us as a company and could we conform.

As a company who are suppliers of machinery into the water industry we have asked ourselves “What will BIM bring to us?” and we believe:

  • It will save time and money
  • We will see fewer design errors
  • It will reduce waste and inefficiency
  • We will experience improved productivity
  • It will stimulate higher levels of innovation
  • Have access to new business opportunities

When we were planning to implement BIM what did we at HUBER have to think about?

We also asked ourselves: 

  • How do we BIMIFY our products and processes?
  • What documents need to be supplied?
  • How do our current processes fit in?

The BIM process requires information in certain formats so we’ve been looking at how our current documentation can be adapted to suit the requirements of the BIM Execution Plan (BEP) and then we’ve started to look at getting all of our equipment data into Product Data Sheets (PDS) using the Product Data Template (PDT) format available on the CIBSE website.

We’re also in the process of working with Cobuilder who have a solution which puts these `product data sheets’ into a cloud based system via their website goBIM and this will enable our clients to collect our data in BIM formats such as IFC, COBie, Revit, ARCHICAD.

Having data in this manner will allow our customers to directly attach it to the model in REVIT, Navisworks, ARCHICAD, and IFC.

Standard Libraries

BIM promotes the use of standard libraries, but for us these are not going to work very well because:

  • We have a large product range
  • With many variations on length and width
  • It would be an enormous task to make all variations of models available for download

For example one of our products is the HUBER Belt Screen EscaMax® and it has 430 variations! And this is only taking into account the angle of the machine being at our standard angles of 45° & 60°.

As an alternative we now use a product configurator called CAMOS where we can plug the details of a machine in and generate a simple 3d model in just a few minutes. It will let us create models as native Creo parts, IGES, STEP and SAT files – if we need others we can re-save as required.

By providing customers with models in this way we can also check that the machine you’re asking for is suitable to the task and we can check the hydraulics, check the discharge heights are sufficient and check the support type is correct.

The views show 1 of our inlet screens in a tank and the basic machine part is typical of the simple models we produce and if we take a section through it then as you can see it’s just a solid with no internal detail other than an auger representation at the basket end of the machine.

Once we start inputting machine details we can generate the required model and then continue the details and this package will also produce our quote. So we can now very quickly generate models and budget prices for machines. 

Common Data Environment CDE

We need a common file format we can all work to and have the interoperability across cad packages. We can’t have a CDE where people are uploading models in different formats because they’re not all compatible.

We have the capability of working in a fully collaborative 3D environment, so that all of those involved in a project are working on a shared platform.

However, a lack of compatible systems, standards and protocols and the differing requirements of clients and designers have inhibited widespread adoption of a technology which has the capacity to ensure that all the team members are working from the same data and that:

  • The implications of alternative design proposals can be evaluated with a comparative ease
  • Projects are modelled in three dimensions
  • Less opportunity of error
  • There is a proper basis for asset management subsequent to construction

We’ve got an opportunity here to put in place a common way of working which removes all these inefficiencies and brings people working on projects closer together to work in a more cohesive manner.

Here are our thoughts on what BIM will bring over the next couple of years.

  • An exciting time with lots of future choices and opportunities
  • Market development will need to be real and allow for efficiency to be developed
  • CDE encourages a culture of openness, increased visibility and improvement
  • There is a need for compatible / common systems, standard & protocols.

For more information please contact Jon Cox - HUBER Technology Lead Design Engineer   

Thanks for reading!

Please enjoy a limited number of articles over the next 30 days.

For total access log in to your The BIM Hub account. Or register now, it's free.

Register Sign in