BIM: Who, What, When, Where and Why

If there’s anything causing a stir in the civil sector this year, it’s BIM. If you?re not up to speed, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent process about the creation and management of project information spanning from conception to demolition. Traditionally used in the buildings space, BIM is beginning to sweep across the market and see its applications in project and asset information to civil infrastructure design and construction.

Design teams can now understand how all of the components of a project integrate and where they clash, without the hassle of labour and time-intensive manual processes. For large-scale civil projects, this can mean huge savings in project design and implementation and the ability to avoid month-long delays involved with integration issues and design clashes.

Why BIM?

While the information management side of BIM has multiple moving parts, the most talked about aspect is the 3D model. BIM processes create 3D models containing rich data allowing plans to be used collaboratively by architects, building engineers and design engineers. Objects contained in a BIM 3D model possess project and asset information ready to be passed onto the team in the next stage of the design process.

This means increases in productivity for a lower cost. The UK’s BIM Strategic Plan predicts that technology such as BIM can save about 15 ? 20% per project mainly coming from reduced wastage and proactive maintenance during operation of the asset. Despite the initial outlay, BIM processes can allow a 33% reduction in Capital Expenditure over the lifecycle of the asset.

Here’s where the transport industry is running into issues: BIM may allow for a collaborative vision ?but its software is still years behind where it needs to be in terms of cost and compatibility. Though REVIT, ArchiCAD and Tekla seem to be the among most popular systems to use now, we are still lacking a single solution pulling together design, modeling, viewers and cloud platforms, FM, project management and BIM development.

In the meantime, projects are running the risk of subcontractors using incompatible software and slowing down the entire process.

To resolve this issue, BIM will need to become the standard across the board and improve on its successes so far. Who will make the first move?

 Will BIM become a base request from clients? Will the asset managers be more involved at conceptualisation or will the software companies give the design consultancies the tools to efficiently output the full suite of models and drawings?

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Projects so far with BIM utilisation

BIM has already been used successfully throughout the globe throughout South-East Asia, Europe and the US. Singapore has already mandated that all public building projects and large private projects use BIM methods, meaning we can expect to see BIM utilised in the Singapore stretch of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail infrastructure. Sweden’s largest infrastructure program to date, the new bypass in Stockholm, will the country’s first full BIM project.

BIM’s official pilot on a major project in Queensland was headed up by TMR on their upgrade from Rocklea to Darra on the Ipswich Motorway. BIM was used to develop project-specific EIR to be used as a department template for future projects including the Cross River Rail Project.

Last year, BIM was successfully used by Laing O?Rourke in the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) Project near Ipswich, winning the Smart Infrastructure Award for its design and construction. The use of BIM allowed a single design model integrating mechanical, electrical, plumbing, GIS, civil and structural elements. From here, the team was able to identify and resolve over 3,000 clashes.

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Other notable projects utilising BIM include the Sunshine Hospital Development on the Gold Coast, Mackay Ring Road and Angellala Creek Bridge.

Past 2017, we can expect to see BIM championed by TMR and State Infrastructure Queensland who is aiming to implement BIM into all major State infrastructure projects by 2023. This is enough to get the ball rolling, but who will step up in the next few years to make BIM an industry-wide standard?

If you?re headed to BrisBIM on Wednesday or are interested in opportunities to get involved in future BIM projects, please contact me via or (07) 3333 1511.

We currently have a BIM Lead role on offer in Brisbane for anyone looking to exercise their expert software knowledge in REVIT, Tekla and 12D.

For more information on Peopleconnexion’s latest design roles visit

– Dane Leeson, Senior Consultant

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