In the past, 2D-based blueprints and drawings were commonly leveraged to showcase specific building plans, often creating difficulties in visualising dimensions and project requirements. Fortunately, the introduction of BIM (Building Information Modeling) has transformed this norm, offering much more than a mere 3D model but a comprehensive solution for a variety of impressive and intricate projects worldwide. Join us in exploring the top 10 BIM-enabled construction projects that redefine industry standards.
1. The Len Lye Centre, New Zealand
The Len Lye Centre stands as the sole museum in New Zealand dedicated to a single artist. Its architectural design draws significant inspiration from the life, ideas, writings, and artistic contributions of the renowned New Zealand Kinetic Artist, Len Lye. The implementation of Building Information Modeling’s cloud collaboration feature played a pivotal role in this project. The mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering, construction, and design teams, were granted access to the building information right from the project’s inception. Additionally, virtual simulations were employed to thoroughly evaluate the building’s functionality and operational capabilities.
2. Shanghai Tower, China
The Shanghai Tower, standing at 632 metres with 127 stories, is China’s tallest building. It houses Class A office spaces, retail stores, a high-end hotel, entertainment venues, a conference centre, and cultural spaces. This remarkable architecture highlights the effectiveness of BIM as a vital tool in managing extensive projects. Shanghai’s Tower Construction & Development wisely chose this technology, creating a shared platform for teams to exchange design files; supporting the tower’s design, structure, and construction processes.
3. Randselva Bridge, Norway
Randselva Bru, located near Hønefoss, Norway, is a 634-metre long concrete bridge with a main span and six piers. Honoured as the Best BIM Project by Tekla, the architectural marvel is built on a comprehensive BIM model that eliminates the need for traditional drawings. The intricacies of the complex and slender design, characterised by heavy reinforcement and post-tensioning cable anchoring, were effectively addressed through the application of BIM technology. By incorporating clash detection and object modelling, the bridge’s design became more controllable, leading to a significant reduction in change orders.
4. WHIZDOM 101, Bangkok
Developed by Thai real estate firm Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC), Whizdom 101 in Bangkok is a smart city project designed to enhance lifestyle efficiency, fulfilment, and health. The initiative incorporated multiple sustainability objectives, with BIM software playing a crucial role. Architects and structural engineers utilised Revit for initial design coordination, extending the collaborative process to involve contractors and suppliers during the pre-construction phase. The adoption of BIM further facilitated effective communication, contributing to a reduction in change orders and material expenses, leading to the overall success of the project.
5. Statoil Regional and International Offices, Norway
A-Lab, an architect in Norway, approached the task of designing Statoil’s new office with innovation, using five stacked blocks or ‘lamellas,’ to maximise natural light in the interiors. BIM aided the process by enabling meticulous planning and precise coordination. This technology allowed the architects to efficiently manage the complex design, ensuring optimal light penetration. As a result, the project was completed within a tight timeframe of 20 months.
6. Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre, China
Originally built to host the 2014 Youth Olympics, the Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre has transformed into a versatile mixed-use development. It comprises two towers housing offices and hotels, along with a five-story cultural centre serving as the podium. To expedite construction, Zaha Hadid Architects adopted an innovative approach: constructing the centre from both ends simultaneously. The success of this unconventional technique was significantly dependent on joint work with the team, and BIM technology that established precise material estimations and clash detection.
7. One Nine Elms, London
The SOLVE Structural Design team deployed BIM technology for the design of Europe’s tallest mixed-use residential tower, the One Nine Elms. This comprehensive BIM initiative covered commercial, residential, and hotel spaces, alongside an underground car park and energy centre. Throughout the process, the project’s initial 2D BIM Level 1 data was upgraded to a comparable BIM Level 2 standard, which recognised the project’s vast scope. The 3D model created through BIM incorporated detailed rebar information, making early detection of congestion areas and bar clashes possible. It also emphasised the importance of construction digitalisation in enabling efficient and accurate project execution.
8. Oakland International Airport, USA
The Turner Construction Company used BIM software to simplify their workflow in designing the central utility plant for the Oakland International Airport. Despite the plant’s inherent simplicity, its intricate integration with the airport’s electrical and HVAC systems demanded the precision offered by BIM software. Recognising the importance of BIM’s cloud collaboration feature in meeting project deadlines, the company employed tools such as Autodesk BIM 360 Glue, Autodesk Revit Architecture, Autodesk Revit Structure, and Autodesk Navisworks for modelling and analysis. This strategic approach not only streamlined their workflow but also enhanced field visualisation, ensuring efficient project management for this vital airport facility.
9. Lion and Eagle Transmission Tower, Russia
In the distinctive transmission tower project in Russia, BIM technology significantly enhanced the design, coordination, and visualisation processes. It effectively blended city symbols as sculptures with various sections of the towers, on top of routing transmission cables through these sculptures. This contributed to achieving both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, the technology provided real-time monitoring of the project’s drill-down status and construction progress, enabling project stakeholders to adhere to the precise construction plan.
10. Shanghai Disneyland, China
Shanghai Disneyland’s immersive design relies heavily on storytelling, and BIM technology was the key component that brought this vision to life. The Enchanted Storybook Castle, featuring retail, restaurants, theatres, and ride systems, was made possible through the implementation of BIM technology. The research and development arm of The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), saw Shanghai Disney as a valuable opportunity to incorporate BIM on a large scale, with over 70% of the project’s buildings relying on BIM for design, documentation, and analysis. BIM elevated the collaboration between WDI, local design institutes, and contractors by accurately capturing design intent and coordinating systems before onsite construction. This approach also paved the way for knowledge transfer among various BIM-backed projects.
The 10 projects highlighted in this list represent a paradigm shift in the industry, showcasing the transformative power of BIM. These projects not only demonstrate the seamless combination of technology, design, and construction, but also set a new benchmark for architectural projects’ efficiency, accuracy, and sustainability.
Since its establishment in 2010, Singapore-based BIM consultant, BIMAGE Consulting, has been providing top-notch solutions for diverse assets and construction projects.
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