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Before embarking on building the Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park (SSCIP) in Sichuan, China in May 2012, the Sichuan Communication Surveying & Design Institute knew that construction ran the risk of being chaotic: Multiple contractors would make things challenging to supervise and coordinate. There was an enormous network of underground pipes. And design teams working in different countries needed an easy way to collaborate. Perhaps most daunting was the mere size of the project, as SSCIP will contain 7 independent “clusters”—each of which includes industrial, residential, and commercial areas—as well as a large central green space. But by using Building Information Modeling (BIM), the Institute was able to envision all of the potential challenges involved in construction before a single handful of soil was disturbed.
Environmental issues were paramount during the planning stages of the SCCIP project. The Park needed to be ecologically sustainable, and the Institute was concerned particularly about water run-off. Any proposed drainage system would need to be effective no matter the intensity of any potential rainstorm. However, through advanced simulations, the team could estimate ahead of time whether the drainage system met the necessary requirements.
Advanced technologies were also used to simulate different options of infrastructural elements. With BIM, the team could plan out roadway cross sections, as well as generate abundant roadway surfaces, model sidewalks and bicycle lanes, and conceptualize a large bridge. BIM enabled the team to use 3D simulations to investigate different options and make any necessary modifications virtually. By decreasing the number of changes needed, the Institute saved time and money.
Configuring a large-scale project through BIM meant that different design teams could work collaboratively in the cloud, compare cross-referenced files, have immediate access to updated files, and synchronize data. “The streamlined workflow was key to avoiding costly construction errors and even potential post-construction damage,” says Yifei Xu of Sichuan Communication Surveying & Design Institute.
While SSCIP is not due to be complete until 2020, BIM has empowered the Sichuan Communication Surveying & Design Institute to look ahead into every step of the process.
The Sichuan Communication Surveying & Design Institute uses BIM for advanced simulation to help the team choose the best design for a complex park project.