Participants of our Global BIM Management for Infrastructure Projects Certification Program have the unique opportunity for an on-site visit to the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal Building (MTB-ADIA). This site visit gives participants the chance to apply the material learned within the course in a practical way, by relating it directly to this mega project based on what has been estimated to be the largest and most comprehensive BIM model ever created. Part 1 takes a look at the project background and requirements, and Part 3 (coming soon) will discuss the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), object tags and the difficulties and challenges of the project.
A Bold Approach
The complexity of the Midfield Terminal Building project posed many challenges to the general contractor prior to and during construction. Mitigating these challenges, ensuring the quality of the finished product and meeting the stringent demands of “BIM-driven” project delivery demanded an enormous commitment from the joint venture (JV) of CCC, Arabtec and TAV in terms of pre-planning, technical understanding of the project and available resources. Indeed, it was felt that the only way to meet these demands and be prepared for project award was to commence the BIM process prior to the project commencement.
A bold initiative was undertaken by CCC and its IT/BIM department to start developing the 3D BIM platform for the project eight months before the project was even awarded. This approach enabled the JV to get a head-start on the project (in the event that they were successful in their tender), however, it also ran at great risk and cost in the event that the tender was unsuccessful.
An initial BIM was developed from the tender documents at CCC’s BIM centers. A decision was also made to commit to the training and preparation of forty additional BIM engineers in the event of a successful award.
The pre-tender objective was to have a team with an in-depth understanding of the project’s BIM requirements and the JV’s unique BIM processes ready to be mobilized on site immediately upon project award. CCC’s past experience had proven that a successful BIM implementation depends mainly on the deployment of competent engineers who are fluent in BIM processes. This knowledge was the impetus for CCC to assemble and prepare forty competent BIM engineers available for immediate deployment on site. In addition to the new recruits, the team was supported by existing professional and experienced BIM engineers who have been working in CCC’s BIM centers or other CCC projects for numerous years (ranging from 2 to 15 years of experience).
The position of ‘BIM Engineer’ requires professionals with multiple skills. Consequently, CCC assembled top quality engineers at a range of levels – senior, experienced and young engineers – through a rigorous selection procedure. Intensive and ambitious training was provided at CCC BIM Academy in Athens for the new recruits in order to orient them on the BIM workflows, authoring, project controls, design coordination processes and many other concepts that are needed for an effective and fruitful BIM implementation.
The training, which lasted for more than a year, included the extensive use of the software for creating and modifying geometry in 3D, introductions to all design and project control concepts and participation in real, medium to large scale projects. This allowed the team to develop essential skills and knowledge based on real project conditions.
Tender BIM and Project Scope
During the final eight months of the training, the new recruits were deployed under the supervision of more experienced BIM staff to develop the initial model (LOD 300). This model was then used to integrate with the initial WBS (Work Breakdown Structures), capture the project scope, extract material take-off reports and link them to the project Bill of Materials and finally compare it to the tender BOQ.
The tender BIM would enable the JV to start the project, if successful in their tender, with a wealth of information, ready RFIs (Requests for Information), design discrepancies, scope management and a good environment for initial logistics and constructability studies.
BIM for Construction
The JV of CCC, Arabtec and TAV was awarded the $3 billion construction contract for Abu Dhabi Airport’s 700,000 square-meter Midfield Terminal Building in April 2012. The pre-award preparations of the JV played an essential role in convincing the jury of their ability to deliver this impressive BIM-integrated project and assisted them in gaining a robust head start for commencing the BIM activities on site.
How did BIM help CCC, Arabtec and TAV moving forward in the Midfield Terminal Building project? Find out in Part 3 (coming soon)!
This article is presented as part of our Global BIM Management for Infrastructure Projects Certification Program. If you would like to become a fully-capable BIM Manager for infrastructure projects specialized in Roads & Highways, Railways & Metro Lines, Tunnels & Bridges, and Subsurface Utilities, request more information now.
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