BIM allows engineers to generate and manage massive amounts of data by checking for structural, architectural and building services clashes within existing structures. It also analyses geometry, spatial relationships and geographic information, which is vital if you’re dealing with a site that comprises a large transport network and major utilities.
A Costain-Laing O'Rourke joint venture is redeveloping Bond Street tube station as part of London Underground's Tube Upgrade Programme. Work is focused on the north side of London's retail hub on Oxford Street to increase capacity. More than 155,000 passengers use Bond Street tube station every day and that figure is expected to rise to over 225,000 with the arrival of Crossrail in 2017. The expanded tube station will include an interchange with the new Crossrail station at Bond Street.
“The Bond Street project is extremely complex because we’re working around live tunnels on the Jubilee and Central line tube network, therefore ‘clash detection’ in the design stage has been one of the key areas where BIM has really helped us,” said Beth Willoughby, senior engineer on the project. “Once we go into tunnelling mode, we intend to use the Cave, a virtual reality suite, to offer training to tunnelling operatives and emergency response teams including the London Fire Service.”
However, prior to Crossrail in 2017, the team is working to a tight deadline to replace the existing escalator at Bond Street, which is one of the oldest on the network, in time for the London 2012 Olympics. By using laser scanning and cloud point within BIM to create a 3D model of the existing escalator and the barrel that it sits in, the team was able to superimpose the new escalator design over the existing model. This helped to identify any potential clashes and solve any clearance issues, as the new escalators are larger than the old models.
Project planner Matt Valentine explained: “By using construction visualisation software to combine the 3D model with project scheduling we can provide a virtual construction simulation. The software enables the programme activities to be linked to the 3D model elements to create a robust construction sequence. This promotes understanding of the programme together with the logistical and temporary works challenges that lie ahead.”
Paul Clark-Edwards, London Underground’s BIM coordinator for capital programmes, said that London Underground now specifies the use of BIM on all complex projects to mitigate risk during the design and construction of major assets in a live working railway environment.
“On Bond Street we are exchanging complex 3D geometry with Crossrail and other major suppliers to improve our design, manufacture and installation process across the project. This delivers much improved multi-discipline co-ordination and streamlines our commissioning and bringing into service. The benefits are not limited to the design and construction phases of the project. The configured ‘as built’ BIM model will be exploited in the operations and maintenance regimes, beyond project delivery,” he said.