Case Study: Tideway - BIM Project of the Year 2019

Nigel Davies from Evolve Consultancy presents case Tideway, a major infrastructure project, and what choosing an Open BIM strategy has meant. Simon Gilbert from Solibri shows examples how data can be used in Solibri.

Tune in to our monthly webinar series Customer Insights to hear how our customers use Solibri to find solutions to problems or challenges, improve quality, and increase efficiency. Learn best practices and get ideas from other users.

Webinar content:

  • Case Study: Tideway. Nigel Davies, Director at Evolve Consultancy.
  • Solibri Demo. Simon Gilbert, BIM Consultant at Solibri.
  • Q&A: Going through audience questions.

Case Study: Tideway / Evolve Consultancy – BIM Project of the Year 2019.

Nigel Davies from Evolve Consultancy presents case Tideway, a major infrastructure project, and what choosing an Open BIM strategy has meant. The 2019 Construction Computing Awards chose it as the 'BIM Project of the Year'.

Nigel has 20 years’ extensive experience within the AEC industry. He has unique insight and first-hand understanding of cutting-edge design and construction data production and exchange practices. Read more about Nigel here.

Further Questions and Answers

Question for Nigel Davies: How you share all the informations with the team?

Nigel Davies: Through the project CDEs: in this case a mixture of ProjectWise, Asite and SharePoint.

You put together guides in order to coordinate with different stakeholders, but how do you manage integrating partners that are a bit behind technologically speaking?

Nigel Davies: Part of the requirements on the project are to deliver the required open formats. That's a question more for the MWCs to explain how they managed that on their supply chain.

I would like to know how Tideway connected their solution to ProjectWise? How to display the asset related documents from ProjectWise if I click on an asset in Solibri?

Nigel Davies: The Solibri models are not connected to ProjectWise in that way. There is no need as that function can be performed by the original models. The IFCs are a merely a rendition of the native data.

Requirements seem to be included in traditional pdf/doc files that are not automatically machine readable: did you ever try to set requirements in a machine interpretable way for the client? if yes, which tool did you use?

Nigel Davies: I have never personally seen the need for this. The trick is to make sure the delivery formats are suitable for what you are trying to achieve.

Can you speak to the experience of software that was used/proposed that couldn't output IFC/COBie correctly or it was an ignorance of configuration capability?

Nigel Davies: In these scenarios I find it's always a mix of a number of different things. While you need to be aware of the intricacies of the software you are using, there is no reason why a team cannot look at multiple software to deliver the end result. No-one says it needs to be a one-stop shop. For example, we rarely (never) use any authoring tools to generate COBie. We use Solibri as it allows us more control and the ability to independently verify that the IFC matches both the original model and the COBie output.

Usually we see it's more of a misunderstanding of IFC and COBie, or not being prepared in the way you approach the authoring of the model, that is a bigger issue.

My question for Nigel is how do you manage rules and checks for federated model merged from several different authoring tools? I assume that the IFC mapping and check rules have to be adopted to match data coming in a different way from different sources?

Nigel Davies: In terms of this project, we have prepared mapping tables for the key authoring tools being used so that the data will always end up in the expected location. They are not necessarily being used, but provided we are informed where the correct asset data exists, it is a relatively easy task in Solibri to bring varying properties into a single classification for validation and verification. One rule; one classification; multiple columns in the classification.

Why don’t you work with a property set which Maps the data?

Nigel Davies: We do. We always use mapping tables that create the property sets we need or are specified in the industry standards.

Solibri: There are situations where this is not possible, for example, with containers in Revit. So having the flexibility to use multiple locations adds flexibility.

In the second part it was demonstrated how to update the data in IFC – what is the procedure to update the data in the original model?

Nigel Davies: We use a combination of BCF (where possible) or simple marked-up COBie reports to show exactly which elements need to be updated with which properties.

Solibri: Updating the data in IFC is always done by the designer. Solibri doesn’t modify the IFC models.

Can you configure to check for schematic type information? Escape routes, confined spaces, access point/management, i.e. safety stuff.

Nigel Davies: One for Solibri, but yes, we are looking at something similar for Tideway in regard to completed distribution runs.

Solibri: For this question, it would be important to first understand why something is to be checked. Sometimes we can address the request in a completely different way giving the client the same results.

Here are some indications of rules that could be the answer, for example:

  • Schematic type information: Components Must Have a Unique Identifier rule #21
  • Escape routes: Escape Route Analysis rule #179
  • Confined spaces: Space Validation rule #202 can check if there are unallocated spaces, also with another rule (e.g. #231 Comparison Between Property Values) we can check that every space must have a connection to a door/window. If you need to check that you have clear minimum space requirements as such you could use rule #209 Free Floor Space.
  • Another rule, which is related to safety issues is the rule #236 (Horizontal Structures Must Be Guarded Against Falling), which checks that there is no risk of falling (e.g. the slabs have a railing that is high enough, etc.)

There are many rules in Solibri that can be parametrized by the end user and also many ways of modelling (e.g. in different countries). To make sure which rules to use for which purpose, the best way is to just try them out with a test model.

Please note that if you can’t find an existing rule to do the job, there is an API (currently in BETA)which allows you to develop your own rules. It does require some developing skills, though.

How we can insert "formulas" in the Information Take-Off?

Solibri: If you sign up for the API testing, you can get access to the Java scripting for the ITO's. You can do this there or add the calculations to the Excel template and then when exporting allow Excel to do the work. The advantage with the former is that you can see the calculated values in Solibri against the Geometry.

In the learn and tutorials section of the Solibri website, there is no tutorials on COBie, is there any chance these will appear in the future?

Solibri: We will create movies that will guide users through the process of generating COBie. There is a reference guide that can be downloaded from the Solution Center under the Training and Documentation. This should help with the workflow.