At an AEC Excellence Awards luncheon, co-sponsored by Autodesk and HP at Autodesk University 2016, Mortenson, BIAD, and Rambøll Sweco ANS were awarded first place awards in the Construction, Building, and Infrastructure categories, respectively. Tianjin Architecture Design Institute (TADI) and Nina Maritz Architects were also honored as the winner in a special Philanthropic category. This year’s competition showcases projects embracing the future of making things for AEC and civil infrastructure through the use of innovative and connected building information modeling (BIM) technologies.
The competition this year received 162 submissions representing 29 countries. China had the highest number of overall submissions, followed by the United States and India.
Mortenson received top honors in the Construction category for the recently opened U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings. The stadium features a massive transparent roof, zinc metal exterior panels, and the five largest pivoting glass doors in the world. By teaming with HKS Architects, Mortenson gave the construction team visibility into the BIM model well before construction began.
During the design phase, Mortenson was able to conduct the entire process of building the stadium virtually, eliminating problems before construction even began. The result: Mortenson completed U.S. Bank Stadium a full six weeks early — a first for a U.S. stadium — saving the owners hundreds of millions of dollars compared with the cost of similar stadiums.
Beijing Institute of Architecture Design (BIAD) received first place in the Building category for The Phoenix International Media Center, the new home of Phoenix Satellite Television. It features a design inspired by the endlessly curving form of a Möbius strip. The design team achieved the form working exclusively with BIM tools and paperless processes, making this project among the first in China to rely solely on BIM. BIM-based planning and conceptual design tools helped the team position the tallest elements of the building to minimize shading on nearby buildings while also improving energy efficiency.
The Rambøll Sweco ANS team captured first place in the Infrastructure category for their work on a project to lay 75 kilometers of double track between Sørli and Lillehammer, Norway. For this project, the team, hired by the Norwegian National Rail Administration (NNRA), was able to overcome terrain challenges — as well as the tall order of getting approval from more than 100 stakeholders. The railway corridors cross several valuable landscapes that have significant environmental and cultural restraints, including an important nature reserve. In addition, rail lines would cross a lake, necessitating flood plain analysis.
By using 3D simulations, BIM helped the NNRA-led project team design, visualize, and negotiate these environmental complexities. A total of 120 design and approval participants used BIM tools as a central platform to design, propose, analyze, share, build, and comment throughout the entire project.
Special Philanthropic Award
TADI and Nina Maritz Architects received a special Philanthropic Award for a “Fun and Intelligent Cabin” project for a primary school in Huining County, Gansu Province, China. By fully utilizing building performance analysis within a BIM process, the team modified intelligent 3D models based on different conditions to help find ways to conserve energy — and generate money. Solar power supplies electricity and water heating, so the annual power conserved will make a profit, making it possible for the initial investment to be paid back in approximately 10 years.