Infrastructure projects are often some of the largest endeavours designers need to manage, encompassing everything from sports stadiums and medical facilities to new highways and road tunnels.
To acknowledge the difficulty in completing these projects, Autodesk announced the winners of its Excellence in Infrastructure Competition, an event which recognises both a finished product and the way it was created.
For the 2015 event, Autodesk focused on how entrants used building information modelling (BIM) to support their design process.
BIM processes define winning projects
According to Senior Vice President of Autodesk Amar Hanspal, the selected entries set an example for the way other designers tasked with completing infrastructure projects can approach such initiatives.
"Each of the winning projects offers a model for the application of forward-thinking building information modelling workflows and technologies for challenging infrastructure projects," he explained.
First prize went to engineers at Arup, who created a 17 kilometre (km) long railway expansion that joined Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The project included a range of challenges, involving two 1.8 km-long railway tunnels as well as an underground train station and interchange.
Arup Fellow Timothy Suen said the true value of BIM lies in its ability to let designers make significant changes on the fly without compromising productivity.
"With most works being underground and many things happening around the site, unforeseen conditions and changes are unavoidable," he explained.
"BIM allows us to make critical decisions using data that can be easily visualised, enabling the team to find alternatives more effectively with a clear overview of the sequence of work for this highly complex project."
Will infrastructure products continue to demand BIM?
Autodesk's focus on BIM for infrastructure success suggests that building information modelling for infrastructure is likely to become for important for designers working in this sector.
This is supported by the fact that infrastructure spending and development is expected to increase globally, putting further pressure on design teams.
PricewaterhouseCoopers found that infrastructure investment in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be dominated by transportation spending, with nations constructing roads and sea ports.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there was $50 billion worth of construction work completed in the June quarter alone in Australia. This suggests there are plenty of projects capable of being enhanced by a BIM workflow.
Redstack provides the software, hardware and support solutions designers need to complete their projects. Contact us or download your free BIM for Infrastructure Guide to discover a BIM solution that's right for you.