AEC Excellence Awards 2018

Making high-speed rail design faster

Innovative BIM process accelerates bridge and tunnel design

The Wuhan to Xi’an high-speed railway project includes the Wudangshan Station to Wangjiazhuang Tunnel segment—a passenger line spanning 8.3 kilometers (approximately 5 miles). At an expected cost of $160 million, the line required the collaboration of experts in tunnel, bridge, station, and rail-line design. More than 50 design and engineering professionals from the China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group joined the project team, and together they completed the design quickly. They collaborated to automate and improve BIM (Building Information Modeling) design processes using software tools in the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection.


BIM united project team

The first project hurdle was choosing the best railway route through mountains, over rivers, and beside lakes. The project team selected an optimal route to minimize the number of bridges and tunnels, but if the team worked on each as separately, completion of the design would take a long time.

Image courtesy of China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group Co., Ltd

Vault data-management software helps team stay on track

The team knew that BIM would play a role in overcoming the project’s design challenges, but it also knew it needed a way to work closely while easily accessing the design models. As an early step in the project, the team turned to Vault data-management software. Using multiple servers to run Vault on a private cloud, the team organized and shared design models, managed documentation, and tracked revisions.

Collaborating with a 3D geologic model

The team mapped the optimal route using mapping data, imagery, and geologic data in InfraWorks and Civil 3D, plus virtual reality (VR). To accelerate tunnel design, the team created a database of tunnel parameters to generate a basic framework. And using Dynamo Studio and Inventor, the team took a similar approach to automate portions of bridge design. Combined, these techniques significantly accelerated project completion.

railway station

3D printing adds clarity

To gain another perspective on the design, the team 3D-printed portions of the station and other design features. It was able to use the 3D prints on the go to communicate with stakeholders, overcoming the shortcomings of the limited visual angles presented by 3D images printed on paper and 3D video. VR technology also played a role in the design of Wudangshan Station, with the team exploring the design details in an immersive visualization. The team estimates that the use of VR and 3D printing helped to reduce the rework rate by as much as 10%.

Image courtesy of China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group Co., Ltd

Team reduces risk of rework with Autodesk Build

With a goal of further reducing risk of rework, the team used Autodesk Build software to coordinate the design of the station. A cloud-based solution, Autodesk Build helped team members work together to find and address interferences in the design. Collision analysis revealed 116 points of interference between pipes and columns—saving nearly $500,000 on that portion of the project alone.

6 tunnels and 10 bridges in less than 2 months

With the many disciplines on the project using model-based processes and tools within the AEC Collection, the Wudangshan Station to Wangjiazhuang Tunnel is among the first rail projects in China to rely entirely on a BIM process.

“By means of our forward-thinking design approach and proactive planning, we completed the design for six tunnels and 10 bridges in just 1.5 months,” says Hua Xie, IT supervisor on the project. “We were able to use the tools within the AEC Collection to help us speed the completion of repetitive design tasks, which helped us improve design efficiency for the tunnels and bridges.”

Made possible by

Welcome ${RESELLERNAME} Customers

Please opt-in to receive reseller support

I agree that Autodesk may share my name and email address with ${RESELLERNAME} so that ${RESELLERNAME} may provide installation support and send me marketing communications.  I understand that the Reseller will be the party responsible for how this data will be used and managed.

Email is required Entered email is invalid.