Transforming Infrastructure with Revit

Parametric Design Revolutionises Queensland’s World-Class Boggo Road Pedestrian Bridge Project

Robert Bird Group
Image courtesy of Robert Bird Group &


Autodesk Revit played a pivotal role in conceptualising and iterating the bridge's form using its parametric design capabilities, helping global consulting engineering firm Robert Bird Group bring this complex project to life for the local community.

Boggo Road Pedestrian Bridge

The Boggo Road Pedestrian Bridge is a visionary project which is being undertaken by global consulting engineering firm, Robert Bird Group (RBG) during 2019-2023. RBG was tasked with developing the structural engineering solutions for an architecturally designed cable stay bridge that will not only provide a safe and efficient passage for pedestrians but also serve as a world-class piece of infrastructure in Brisbane, Australia.

As a result of urbanisation and expansion, the area has seen a significant increase in traffic congestion and limited pedestrian connectivity with the existing pedestrian infrastructure not providing a safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge will be a game-changer for the local community, enabling connectivity and easier movement by foot, bike, scooter, and public transport. The 480-metre-long bridge is part of the Cross River Rail build – the largest infrastructure project in Queensland’s history - designed to link the public transport system with the hospital, new high school and the new science and education precinct, making it easier for many locals to get to work and access essential services.

Overcoming complex design challenges

Rendered aerial of the precinct with the bridge indicated. Concept only.
[Concept Only] Photo courtesy of Robert Bird Group &

The bridge's location has posed complex architectural and engineering constraints, requiring a design that will seamlessly integrate with the urban landscape, including safely passing over the freight flyover, while achieving accessibility compliant gradients.

To tackle the complexities and streamline the workflow, Christopher Pires, Lead Digital and Computational Designer at Robert Bird Group said they made the strategic decision to use a new workflow to build a parametric design script that would accommodate any modifications required to complete the structural model.

Revit streamlines production delivery

On-site construction of the bridge
[On-site]. Photo courtesy of Robert Bird Group &

Christopher said that a key reason they chose to use Autodesk’s Revit software is its capabilities to work collaboratively and integrate with multiple platforms. RBG was able to automate modelling tasks and adjust models quickly to revised referenced documents and changes made by structural engineers and architects.

Revit played a crucial role in conceptualising and iterating the bridge's form using its parametric design capabilities. Engineers could easily adjust and fine-tune various design parameters, such as span lengths, structural materials, and geometries. This facilitated real-time collaboration and data-sharing, enhancing communication, and reducing the risk of errors throughout the project's lifecycle.

"Computational design, using Autodesk Revit, significantly saves time by automating adjustments to our bridge's structural geometry during architectural updates, like relocating railing posts. Each new iteration not only saves time but also minimizes the risk of human errors."

Christopher Pires, Lead Digital and Computational Designer at Robert Bird Group

An intelligent approach to propagating building changes

Revit can coordinate changes and always maintain consistency, without having to intervene to update drawings or other content. This capability is achieved by capturing relationships while the designer works and the software also adapts to the designer's workflow, eliminating the need for data entry that might be irrelevant to the specific design.

Clash detection supporting script development

As our structural model continued to develop with more intricate input from various consultants and project-wide parameters were being defined, we devised a script to pinpoint clashes within the model prior to sharing it with other consulting parties. This proactive clash identification approach considerably streamlined the time required for collaboration and harmonizing the structure among all the consultants.

Streamlining the integrated parametric design

Bridge Design
[Design Process] Photo courtesy of Robert Bird Group &

Using Autodesk Revit collaboratively with Rhino & Grasshopper has helped RBG streamline documentation and data behind its Revit models to production drawings. Using the Rhino.Inside.Revit plugin to import geometry from Rhino into Revit meant RBG did not have to manually model the elements that were integrated into the parametric design script, including the numerous guardrail posts.

"I can apply my Rhino and Grasshopper expertise to craft intricate geometric structures within their software. These designs can then be seamlessly imported into Revit, effectively meeting the project's BIM element specifications." said Christopher.

Shaping the future for collaboration

Render of what the pedestrian and cycle access would like on the bridge. Concept only.
[Concept Only] Photo courtesy of Robert Bird Group &

The success of this project workflow has pioneered a new way of working for future projects. "We've integrated Computational Design into the majority of our projects, where we see the potential for significant advantages. This is achieved through a collaborative workflow involving Autodesk's Revit, Rhino, and Grasshopper," Christopher explained.

Parametric Design was successfully delivered for the Pedestrian Bridge using Autodesk’s software collaboratively with other programs which has created huge potential to apply this new workflow on future Robert Bird Group projects.”