Aecom and BIM Academy team to create BIM/FM system for Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House has appointed Aecom, Newcastle-based consultant BIM Academy and London-based software house EcoDomus to deliver a technical solution that will link retrospective BIM models, FM systems and building management control systems at the global landmark.

The project will result in a cloud-based 3D graphical interface that maps both the physical and functional characteristics of Australia’s most famous building.

The trio won the project following a tender process, which itself was informed by earlier consultancy work by BIM Academy in 2013 for the Opera House.

Speaking to BIM+, BIM Academy managing director Peter Barker said: “The Opera House has a number of systems to manage the facility, using different software, and database formats. The idea is to provide a fully-integrated FM system hosted around a 3D model.

“It is an ambitious programme to take on but New South Wales [which owns the Opera House] wants to be seen as leaders in innovation.”

He also anticipated that that the approach adopted by the Opera House could be taken up by more clients and property owners in the future. “We’re seeing interest from UK estate owners in this kind of approach, for instance from universities. Often they have disparate management systems, operating in silos. So we expect we’ll see more clients investing in upfront strategic consultancy so that they can understand their needs.”

The new BIM interface will link a number of current Opera House databases

In Sydney, the new BIM interface will provide a single source of information for building maintenance and operational requirements during the opera house’s “Decade of Renewal”, as well as ongoing new works and projects at the site.

In a press release, Sydney Opera House director of building Greg McTaggart commented: “As we embark on the first stage of Opera House Renewal, it is critical that we have the technical infrastructure in place to effectively manage the pipeline of upcoming development projects, as well as to support the ongoing management and conservation of this architectural masterpiece.

“After initially assessing the market it quickly became clear there was no single BIM solution that could be applied to both development and construction projects as well as ongoing facilities management of the Opera House. We identified a gap in the industry and decided to tender for a bespoke, user-friendly solution.”

“The Opera House is truly unique so it’s exciting that we have the opportunity to develop bespoke, leading-edge building technologies that not only meet our specific needs but also those of the wider industry itself.”

The solution put forward by the Aecom-led consortium uses cloud-based technology, allowing staff to access it using mobile devices while working on site. External consultants will also be able to access the system when working on projects.

The new BIM interface will link a number of current Opera House databases including a technical documents database, maintenance software, a comprehensive rooms database and the TRIM document management system.

It will also draw on laser scanning data captured two years ago for the Opera House’s 40th Anniversary by The Scottish Ten, an international 3D scanning project.

The first phase of the 18-month project will involve retrieving and linking information from existing and new databases via the 3D model, while the second will introduce a broader range of functional modules that can be added to the BIM interface over time.

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building information modeling

Top 10 Benefits of BIM

BIM Building information modeling abbreviated as BIM, is an evolved process that helps creation and management of all the information – ‘physical and functional’ pertaining to the design,construction and management of a building.

bim in india

BIM ( Building Information Modeling ) is being increasingly used for building and construction projects due to the high business value it offers. It has garnered huge popularity and acceptance across the AEC industry and is used for management of several large scale construction projects across the world. The acceptance of BIM in building and construction projects was not smooth and easy; there were lot of apprehensions across the industry. However, with proven benefits, BIM managed to gain acceptance.
Here we elaborate why…

  1. Visual access to building information:  Building Information Modeling is actually a 3D model loaded with all the information like quantity take offs, MEP design details, cost details, project schedules and many more. All this information is available in a visual format. For example – as schedule progresses, it is also possible to view the simultaneously accrued costs.
  2. Helps schedule the construction process:   The information about the construction schedules is fed into BIM and it can be visualized as a process. As the schedules i.e. the construction process progresses, the use of materials, the accrued costs, the productivity of labor etc all can be evaluated and hence projects can be planned in a better manner.
  3. Enables easy conflict resolutions:   Any kind of conflicts in the design can be easily detected in a BIM environment. This is because of the effective visualization. If the MEP design conflicts with the structural design, then this conflict can be easily viewed in BI model, when the MEP and structural information is fed into it. On detection, these clashes can be immediately addressed and mitigated.
  4. Helps manage the involved costs:   Building Information Modeling allows effective and near to accurate cost estimation at every stage of construction process. Besides all the conflicts are mitigated early on and hence, any possibility of rework or unnecessary expenditures is negated. Therefore, BIM ensures that the capital is used in the most prudent and efficient manner.
  5. Supports lean construction:   Building Information Modeling allows continuous and concurrent improvements across all the dimensions of a built environment and a construction process, in terms of design, construction, energy efficiency, maintenance and recycling. Hence utilizing the minimum resources, minimum materials, minimum labor and by adopting the best planning and management practices highest value is generated.
  6. Allows improved coordination and better management:   All the people involved in a construction project i.e. architect, builder, construction manager, MEP engineer, Structural engineer, etc; remain updated about even the smallest change in the building design through the BI model. This allows better coordination between teams and hence better management.
  7. Supports detailed documentation across the buildings lifecycle:   Building Information Modeling doubles up as detailed documentation for a building and construction project. As mentioned in the previous point, the ‘I’ in BIM is very important. The model can store all information right down to the scratch.
  8. BIM can be leveraged for sustainability   Using BIM as an integral part of the design process, the aspect of energy efficiency, waste management and water management and hence sustainability can be efficiently integrated into a building design.
  9. Repair, renovation and refurbishment becomes easy:   BIM is the most effective tool for retrofit and renovation projects. This is because of the ‘I’ in BIM. The model has all the information about the construction project, any renovation and repair work can be planned surrounding this information.
  10. Enables effective facility management:  When integrated with a computer aided maintenance management system, BIM allows effective management of a facility. After the building is built and occupied, there can still be a lot of conflicts due to the changing spatial requirements. These can be efficiently handled by using Building Information Modeling as an operations and maintenance tool.

Phoenix Engineering Outsourcing company offers a comprehensive range of expert BIM services that can be leveraged to ensure utmost efficiency in a construction project. The team of professional modelers and BIM experts work on projects of varying complexities, always extending highly qualitative and timely services to clients.