BIM4SME Awards Winners Case Study 7

This is the seventh post in the series showcasing the winners from the BIM4SME Awards 2017.

This week's case study features the winner of the Best Use of BIM to enhance Model Coordination award, submitted by HLM Architects for the Triangle project, where they used ArchiCAD, Revit, Navisworks and 4Projects to effectively manage the full federated modelling of a 38,000m2 office building in Cambridge, covering everything from structure and M&E to landscape and interior fit out.

Case Study – The Triangle Project



Project Brief

The Cambridge Assessment team aims at having a ‘Headquarters Facility’ consolidating all the Cambridge Assessment staff within the same campus in concurrence  to  the  envisaged  growth  over  the  next  years. The project gives the business an objective to rationalise various operational  aspects  and  to  centralise central and support services in one location.

The site is wedge shaped, ‘The Triangle’, and sandwiched between the railway lines, bus lane and Cambridge cycle to the east and the two lane road to the west.

Outline planning permission was granted for the new headquarters in March 2015 and construction began  in September 2015. The building is due to be completed at the end of 2017 for occupation in early 2018.

HLM BIM Level 2 capabilities

In December 2015, HLM joined a privileged group of architectural and construction industry organisations in achieving BIM Level 2 Certification with the Building Research Establishment (BRE), under their Business Certification Scheme. They now collaborate with other design disciplines and suppliers to provide BIM to Level 2 standard on the majority of their projects, using a variety of authoring tools for presentation, design development, production information, 3D coordination and asset management.

BIM Objectives and Framework

Cambridge Assessment require all project stakeholders to work to BIM (Building Information Modelling) Level 2, and it is essential that the project team comply with Cambridge Assessment’s requirements. Through engagement with Turner & Townsend, Cambridge Assessment has identified the following strategy priorities:

• BIM Execution Planning is to be prepared in accordance with PAS1192-2:2013.

• Deliverables adapted and agreed in 2014 to emerging PAS 1192-2:2013 standards

• Use industry recognised BIM software platforms – Revit 15/17, ArchiCAD 18/19

• Establish a through-life information management strategy including graphical and non-graphical information.

• 3D visualisations, walk-throughs and images for User, Local Authority and other Stakeholder presentations and discussions at key project milestones are to be prepared.

• Data outputs in COBie format are to be prepared at key stages.

• Specifications are to be based on a system that allows direct links between spatial BIM Models and the accompanying specifications and object attributes.

• Read-only access to the BIM model gratis and within 24 hours is to be made available at the Board’s request.

• The model is to be regularly updated (every 2 weeks) to reflect material/component detailed selections or variations from those selected at design/tender stage.

• Asset Management information held in recognised interchange format (COBie) to allow interoperability between recognised facilities management (CAFM) packages, recognised asset management packages and the model(s).

CDE provision for the shared and published environments was Viewpoint 4Projects, which provided a managed environment for document uploads across the supply chain, including document control in alignment with the BS 1192 code of practice. WIP in each tier 1 design discipline was supervised and managed by designated information managers, specified in the BEP. Overall information management was carried out by the project information manager of our lead constructor and employer, Turner & Townsend.

The project Responsibility Matrix was developed by the lead contractor, Turner & Townsend, and the contractor, Bouygues UK team, to agree levels of definition (model detail and information), to appropriately respond to the EIR of Cambridge Assessment and their appointed FM providers, Bouygues UK.

The HLM Task Information Delivery Plan was developed with Bouygues UK and appended to their own MIDP. Their in-house developed drawing management system, Workspace, ensures that authors within the task teams (architectural, interior design and landscape architecture) can effectively control and audit project deliverables. This included BS 1192 document coding system, drawing production and revisioning, through its interface with the company’s preferred CAD and BIM platform, Graphisoft ArchiCAD.

HLM and use of Graphisoft ArchiCAD

HLM has effectively employed ArchiCAD (Version 18 then upgrade to v19) from the beginning of the project as a tool for design development, presentation graphics, detailed design, schedules as well as production information and 3D coordination.

HLM has utilised ArchiCAD Teamwork throughout the whole of the project to optimise its design resources including the sharing of architectural and interior design skills across a number of its offices. This includes working with offices from London, Cardiff, Belfast, and the biggest part of the work was done by HLM’s office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The use of ArchiCAD Teamwork has ensured that HLM’s ‘one team culture’ has been maintained though technology and has, eased the management of resources and workflow across this project, effectively generating a high degree of communication, collaboration, intra-office working and team spirit.

HLM uses certain internal strategies to make their workflow even better, besides their centralised CAD training and standard procedures.

HLM also introduced volume strategies to avoid clashes and to make the team-operation more successful – as an example: the Cores were the areas marked up on the working files of the interiors team – so they knew exactly where the boundaries were, same was done the other way around for the Shell&Core team.

The ceiling void zone, the risers were allocated to the M&E design team – and the structural walls, columns were added to the model by the Structural engineer. After design team meetings we left all the space needed for the concrete empty – so the structural engineer could “fill in” the zones marked up.

Model Management and Coordination

Due to the vast scale of the project (ca 38 000 sqm), the model was split into 2 main models for co- ordination purposes consisting of a Shell and Core and and Interiors model hot-linked into one another. This was extended by using the structural engineers and M&E model to produce 2D information as well as quantification of certain elements.

The creation of a project specific BIM coordinator role is central to the successful ongoing management of the project, its processes, coordination and delivery of information through the duration of the project and facilitation for handover and operation.

Furthermore, controlled information management protocols in accordance with PAS 1192-2:2013 ensured good collaborative workflows where individual models are developed and shared in a controlled environment incorporating managed change control and validation processes.

Federated model sections - Structure, Architecture, M&E, Landscape, Catering, Security

Model Exchange Workflow

HLM’s ArchiCAD models are translated to IFC, checked with Autodesk Revit for accuracy and interoperability issues every two weeks. After the translation & checking all the models are uploaded to the CDE (4Projects).

BYUK uses 4Projects for model validation and coordination as well as Navisworks. A week after the model exchanges, BYUK federated the models and BIM meetings took place with every discipline to identify issues, design queries or clashes.

Navisworks model

During construction

After these meetings, the BIM Coordinators liaised with the design team about the actions to be taken till next model upload. All issues have been marked up on a BIM collaborations online surface, BIMCollab. This is hosted and monitored by BYUK’s Project Information Manager. Each BIM Co-ordinator can assign issues and queries to anyone on the project. The technical background is through an add-on available for all software platforms used on the project. HLM used ArchiCAD, the structural engineers and M&E used Revit. With the add-on, HLM can see all the issues in the working project files and issue live queries/responses to the other disciplines. Communication was key to make sure we act upon the issues or there was further information needed.

Due to the size of the model files – and 3D objects contained (the M&E model contains over a quarter of a million! Objects) live linking of all information to the working files isn’t helpful. Fully federated models exist in Navisworks and Viewpoint 4Projects only. The working models only contain the necessary information essential for drawing production. In Navisworks – with the BIMCollab add-on being available – the highlighted issues on the federated model can be tracked in real time.

Collaboration Tree

HLM, as design lead, works close with its sister companies, Sidell Gibson Architects and 33 Interiors. HLM-SidellGibson are responsible for designing the shell and core of the building.

33 Interiors are responsible for designing the internal partitions, spaces and all the fixtures HLM-SidellGibson sets out all the rules that all the parties either follow or comment.

As HLM-SidellGibson working close to each other with 33Interiors, actions and reactions follow as fast as in case of one single organization.

Model Development Principles

The various models combined into one single model allows better design coordination. Internal HLM-SidellGibson-33Interiors model validation process:

• Both Interiors and Shell & Core model quality check

• Both Interiors and Shell & Core model position – orientation check

• Interior model to fit the Shell & Core – Clash checking

• HLM-SidellGibson-33Interiors model position – orientation check against agreed coordinates

• Model shared in the CDE with all parties involved on scheduled basis Design coordination via AIMs

• Models downloaded with the latest revision

• All models linked into a container file for clash checking.

• All issues are to commented back to the originator for review (DTMs to decide whether a comment is valid or nor)

• After all the comments has been answered a validated-updated AIM is uploaded by all parties to the CDE

The BIM coordinator is responsible for exchange of fortnightly IFC/RVT models between consultants ensuring a coordinated and controlled multidisciplinary use of BIM. The individual shared models are combined within ArchiCAD for design review and clash detection and a combined model is made available in read only format to the whole team for model based reviews at project team meetings and coordination throughout the project lifecycle. Regular clash detection exercises are also carried out using Navisworks to help ensure a robust clash avoidance process to reduce design and site costs.

The project uses improved IFC Scheme setup for export to Navisworks, for model federation and clash checking, and provision of COBie data.

About the development

In summary, the development of The Triangle will include:

• Contemporary building which is sympathetic to the neighboring conservation area and surrounding buildings

• Office space to accommodate up to 3,000 employees by 2025

• Catering areas, meeting rooms and archives space

• Around 1325 cycle parking spaces

• Around 189 car parking spaces

• Green and outdoor spaces for relaxation and work including a number of courtyard gardens

•  The extension of the avenue of tree planting along Shaftesbury Road, creating additional habitats for wildlife

• Commitment to high quality building

• A 39.1 meter tower that will be a landmark when approaching Cambridge from the south

Keep in Touch and Find out More

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing more blog posts about the winners. Sign up below to receive a notification email when published.

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