SAN RAFAEL, CALIF. — Atkins and Skanska Balfour Beatty Joint
Venture were selected to receive an Autodesk BIM Experience Award. The firms are being honored for using a building information modeling (BIM) process to meet the demands of widening 64 kilometers (40 miles) of the 188 kilometer (117 miles) M25 highway that circles London, in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The award recognizes Atkins and Skanska Balfour Beatty Joint Venture for the exemplary use of a BIM process to:
• inform decision-making for improved safety;
• foster better understanding of the design among project engineers;
• coordinate design disciplines and resolve inter-disciplinary conflicts prior to construction, reducing potentially costly errors; and
• virtually plan production to meet a fast-track schedule while maintaining ongoing operations on a busy highway

Since 2009, the design-build team has used Autodesk BIM solutions to collaborate on the project, helping to resolve construction issues virtually before they happen in the field. Autodesk software solutions used to support this BIM process include AutoCAD, Autodesk Navisworks Manage, Autodesk Navisworks Freedom, and AutoCAD Civil 3D software.

“Our project team members use Autodesk BIM solutions for collaboration and design coordination to help meet the challenge of adding a lane to these sections of the busy M25 motorway, with the goal of minimizing disruption to the current traffic flow of three lanes in each direction,” said Bob Marlow, project manager, Atkins. “The models produced are facilitating a more coordinated and complete design.”

“Using AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D to enhance a Navisworks virtual construction model helps us resolve construction issues before they happen on site,” said David Owens, engineer, Skanska Balfour Beatty Joint Venture. “This process gives the construction team a better appreciation of the overall design and helps identify and resolve inter-disciplinary clashes.”

The Autodesk Navisworks integrated design model helps the team visualize the entire project, including all above and below ground components, as well as non-physical aspects of the design, such as safety barrier working zones. The designers use Navisworks software to help identify and correct clashes that otherwise would be very difficult to detect using 2D documentation.

Following release of the design to site, the project team adapts the Autodesk Navisworks design model to create a construction model. Using AutoCAD Civil 3D software, the team enhances the design intent model to create a virtual construction model that incorporates additional elements, such as a more realistic visualization of the new retaining walls, point clouds from laser scanning and temporary works. When necessary, the designer’s site representative team updates the construction model to better reflect on-site design changes.

The extended project team, including onsite construction personnel, can view the construction model from their temporary offices using Autodesk Navisworks Freedom software. The use of a consolidated, more accurate construction model means everyone is accessing the same up-to-date, realistic project information when assessing how best to perform construction tasks.