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INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA APRIL 2015
Education is key to driving
intelligent adoption of BIM
Tim Kannegieter spoke with Bentley Systems CEO, Gregory
Bentley, on the impact of digital technologies in the
Q What are the opportunities to improve productivity in
infrastructure construction using digital technologies?
A Productivity among the major players in infrastructure
has improved tremendously with the advent of BIM and
other digital technologies. However, across major projects,
participants are not as well connected as they could be. They
often have a narrow focus on what they do in their own right,
limiting the scope of productivity improvements to just their
part in the project.
Almost all construction today is done from a 3D model,
but often a contractor creates a model for their own purposes,
ignoring and discarding the work of others, such as consult-
ing engineers, who have also done their work in a 3D model.
Often, information is published in 2D and that is what is
handed over to the owner-operators.
The goal should be a connected environment focusing on
the big picture and delivering productivity across the project
as a whole, as well as ensuring the work of engineers is reused
through the whole asset life cycle.
We believe that the key opportunity lies in what we describe
as information mobility. Mobility brings to mind mobile
devices on job sites but could also mean distributing informa-
tion to a machine controlled grader, for instance. In addition,
cloud services are now enabling us to connect together in
ways beyond what’s been possible before – from design and
analytical modelling, through to construction and work pack-
aging. Construction modelling should take into account the
sequencing, the splitting, the scaffolding and the false works –
all aspects of work phase planning, down to a detailed granular
level. It should also take into account the need to include the
as-built modifications of the construction process.
Q Why isn’t all this being done already?
A A key issue is that owners are often not aware of what
is possible and don’t always define their requirements in
terms of deliverables useful to them during operations and
maintenance. They need to demand project collaboration
following standard protocols for workflows and work
It’s not rocket science what
these work processes are and
the work is no more difficult for
anyone, it doesn’t have to slow
anyone down. But when you
standardise them there’s more
value across the project. There
is a standard already in place,
BS 1192 Collaborative produc-
tion of architectural, engineering
and construction information,
that originated in the UK. Using this, owners can define deliv-
erables and functional components in a way that is ready to
populate an asset registry.
Q Can you give me some examples of what you have been
A A good example is Crossrail, one of the largest projects
in the world, which is building a new railway across and
under London. This project is government funded and has
focused on accomplishing innovation in the supply chain.
Defined processes and conventions provide a trusted “single
source of truth” for all models, drawings and documentation
on the project. This helps Crossrail anticipate where problems
are occurring in the schedule by looking into the connected
environment for information management across the project.
The UK’s National Audit Office reviewed the project at the
end of 2013 and at that time they were £500 million under
budget, about 16 days behind schedule, four and a half years
into the project, which they’ll catch up. The biggest risk to
the project was that the rolling stock may not be ready on
time, partly due to a change in funding methodology but also
because projects of this scale and complexity are not expected
to be delivered on time.
One thing we have been doing to help was the establish-
ment of a BIM Advancement Academy at our Bentley Systems
premises in London. At this academy, all contractors in the
supply chain are on-boarded to the project so they are sen-
sitised to the advantages of information mobility through all
stages of the project and having that information loaded into
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