BIM News

Microsoft Azure and BIM are Driving London’s Crossrail Project


London is undergoing one of the largest construction projects designed to improve travel times and alleviate congestion across the city. The Crossrail project, which is the construction of a high-frequency and high-capacity railway, aims to change the way Londoners will travel. It also is changing how projects of all sizes are managed. The Crossrail project is using BIM (Building Information Modeling) and cloud computing to keep everything on time and within budget.

Better Control and Management

Crossrail project partner Bentley Systems, who is spearheading the use of BIM on the project, announced that the CDE (common data environment) for the project has been moved to a hybrid cloud computing platform powered by Microsoft Azure. The cloud provides greater control and management of the project because project members can view all assets and information in a real-time digital environment.

According to Harry Vitelli, Senior Vice President of construction and field project delivery at Bentley, BIM improves collaboration and gives more control over projects, no matter their size. He explains that projects have better outcomes when they have “a complete flow of information among applications and across distributed project teams” because it leads to greater accuracy across the entire supply chain.

More Accurate Information

For massive projects like Crossrail to be successful, it is imperative that information is accessible to all project members throughout every stage. This is the core of BIM and cloud computing. By taking it to the cloud, every member of the team can stay up to speed, regardless of where they are located.

For this project, Azure’s cloud services also provide access to the Internet of Things (IoT) and all of its possibilities. For example, Crossrail could install smart sensors that connect to the cloud, helping the team manage the massive rail project.

The Crossrail project will be known as the Elizabeth line and is slated to open in Central London in 2018. It is a perfect example of how cloud computing can drastically change the efficiency of team management and improve the quality of large scale projects across the world.

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