Tuesday, May 15, 2012: 08:56:19 PM

Case Study


Here is a look at how Autodesk’s Revit platform helped build one of China’s most intricately planned cities

When Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, among the array of sporting displays were the city’s immaculately designed structures and spaces. It was an initiative by the China Construction Design International (CCDI), which is one of Asia’s leading multidisciplinary design firms and has a reputation of delivering some of China's most comprehensive, fully integrated architectural, engineering, and construction solutions. Established in 1994, CCDI has delivered solutions for some of the most high-profile projects in the world, including the Beijing National Aquatics Center, site of the 2008 Summer Olympics swimming competitions. Throughout the CCDI journey in designing structures, one name which has collaborated with them, providing solutions for planning, designing, construction and maintaining project plans, is Autodesk. CCDI opted for Autodesk Building Information Modeling (BIM) because it possessed three vital characteristics: full multidisciplinary capabilities, ease of use, and strong R&D and technical support. “The Revit family of products met these three requirements in a balanced way,” says Guo Jun, Information Center Manager, CCDI.

A Tough Task
Recently, CCDI took up the challenge of building an international cruise terminal at the Dongjiang Port Zone in Tianjin, which is the sixth-largest urban area in China. The Dongjiang Port Area is being developed as an all-inclusive complex with three parallel zones: the terminal area; a logistic processing zone associated with the bonded port; and a comprehensive service zone, which will incorporate office space, residential space, and shopping, and leisure facilities. In the first phase of development, CCDI is assigned with designing two large-scale international cruise berths as well as a passenger terminal with a capacity of 5,00,000 passengers per year. The completed facility will also include space for port administration, shipping agencies, insurance firms, restaurants, and hotels. Future phases will include a five-star hotel, exhibition centres, and extensive commercial facilities. The leisure area is centered on the cruiser terminal and yachting piers, and around an artificial beach. The 7,00,000-square-meter project presented CCDI with several major challenges. Designed to mimic the undulating motion of silk fabrics rippling in the ocean breeze, the structure is extremely complex and difficult to model–with a waveshaped roof, irregular glass-curtain walls, and structural steel members with multiple angles of inclination. This construction task involved further complexities due to the project’s massive size and forceful schedule.

"Because BIM data can extend into building management and maintenance all the way to a building’s final decommissioning, we can calculate costs over a 20-year or greater period—making BIM a truly worthwhile investment"
Gao Yong
Gao Yong – DGM, CCDI.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)
It would have been an onerous task for CCDI to complete the entire project on schedule, if they had used 2D technology to plan the project. However, using Autodesk Revit-based software, CCDI was able to complete initial modelling for several crucial systems like architectural, structural, water supply, HVAC, and electrical in nine days only. BIM proved to be the best solution to complete such a massive project, it provided valuable insights for creating, managing and building infrastructure projects faster, more cost-effective and with less environmental impact. “Providing the owner with specialised construction plans took only two additional months. For such a complex project, such efficiency was extremely high,” says Kuang Jiazhi – Manager, CCDI (Beijing Region Technical Department).

From conceptual design and design development, through construction documentation and coordination, CCDI made use of Autodesk BIM solutions throughout the entire project and obtained significant results. CCDI utilised BIM for a variety of tasks, including design, simulated population flow analyses, sunlight studies, collision detection, and quantity takeoffs. The key advantage of Revit model was to enable the specialist engineer to receive an immediate feedback about the complex spatial relations that existed among building components. This further allowed the engineers to design with higher levels of accuracy, precision and coordination. Moreover, Autodesk BIM solutions enabled the project team to turn a highly complex design into a physical reality. As Wang Xin – Project Architect, CCDI says, “Without BIM, a building of this complexity would have remained a utopian fantasy.”

An Enlightening Experience
Autodesk Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions help businesses to achieve better results without compromising on the quality of the product. One of the advantages of using Autodesk BIM solutions is achieving improved results for the desired work; also providing more insights and greater certainty at every important milestone of the project. It not only provides an opportunity for collaborative working on building, infrastructure and plant projects, but also enables better decision-making, filing credentials and the assessment of options available for sustainable design or improvements before construction begins. “When we were at the construction coordination stage, we demonstrated the immersive 3D visualisation model to the owner and the construction unit. They found it quite enlightening,” says Kuang Jiazhi – Manager, CCDI (Beijing Region Technical Department).

Difficult But Not Impossible
Autodesk BIM software system helps project teams to efficiently manage data and collaborate on the same without losing much time. The desired information is passed on to remote team members with the help of project collaboration software. With the help of BIM, CCDI saved on valuable time, capital and resources. Earlier a lot of time went into reworking errors caused by lack of coordination that resulted in wasting of labour, material and energy. Since its inception, CCDI has understood the enormous potential of BIM and its importance for enabling sustainable design. “The biggest advantage of Revit-based software is its ability to help integrate previously separate efforts into a single, smooth workflow. That feature alone has gained the support of many CCDI project managers. We plan to promote its use as much as possible.” remarks Liu Ziyu – Chief Designer, Sanya Hotel Project, CCDI (Beijing Region).

Courtesy: Autodesk

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