SAN FRANCISCO — Autodesk Inc. and CGarchitect presented the first awards in the new Autodesk Excellence in Infrastructure Competition. The new annual competition presents awards to projects that demonstrate an exemplary use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for civil infrastructure. HYDROCHINA Kunming Engineering Corp. (KHIDI), Clark County Public Works, and Stantec Consulting are the competition’s inaugural first, second, and third place winners for their projects: a hydropower plant in China, complex interstate highway exchange in Washington State, and a large-scale, mixed-use academic center in a former manufacturing zone in New York City.

“Each of the winning projects offers a model for the application of forward-thinking Building Information Modeling workflows and technologies,” said Lisa Campbell, Autodesk vice president of engineering and infrastructure. “We’re especially excited about KHIDI’s first place hydropower station project as it employs a wide range of interoperable technologies, including Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler, a solution that helps project engineers and planning professionals create, evaluate, and communicate visually rich infrastructure proposals for more informed decision-making.”

Managed by CGarchitect, and co-sponsored by Autodesk and HP, the competition’s jury of industry experts selected the winners from a total of 44 submissions covering a wide range of transportation, land development, urban planning, water/wastewater and energy related projects. Entries were judged based on complexity, innovative use of technology, sustainability factors and the overall value Autodesk software and BIM for Infrastructure provided to the project outcome, whether used to plan, design, build or manage infrastructure projects. The winners will be honored at the upcoming Autodesk University 2012 conference this November in Las Vegas, where HP will be demonstrating their latest technology and awarding first place winner KHIDI an HP EliteBook 8560w Mobile Workstation.

Kunming, China-based KHIDI was awarded the first place prize for the HD hydropower station project located in southwestern China. In addition to generating much needed power, the station will help with flood control, irrigation, increased water supply, soil and water conservation and tourism. The project includes a concrete gravity dam with a maximum height of 203 meters, with a total capacity of 1.5 billion cubic meters and an installed capacity of 1,900 megawatts. For this massive project covering an area of approximately 20 square kilometers, the KHIDI team used software in the Autodesk Design and Creation suites to enable BIM workflows for the design of hydraulic structures, design and the composition of metal structures, surveying, hydrological design, construction, clash detection, virtual walkthroughs, 4D simulation and support for planning and design, multi-program comparison and selections, and presentations for stakeholders.

Image courtesy of KHIDI


“The application of Autodesk software for BIM has greatly improved our design quality,” said Xuelei Wu, BIM project team member, KHIDI. “Employing BIM workflows has helped us in many ways, including: collaborative design and planning across disciplines, BIM-based estimation of construction volumes, detection of conflicts between design models, multi-schematic conceptual design and application, virtual interactive walkthroughs and better presentation of blueprints, as well as a dramatic enhancement in design quality and efficiency.”

The second place prize was awarded to the Clark County Public Works Department for work on the Salmon Creek Interchange Project, a joint effort between the county and the Washington State Department of Transportation. The goal of the Salmon Creek Interchange Project is to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety by constructing a new interchange over Interstate 5 and Interstate 205, two major freeways in southwest Washington State. Using BIM processes and software contained in the Autodesk Design and Creation suites, the Clark County Public Works Department was able to quickly react and completely redesign county roads on both sides of the interchange when a problem with groundwater caused the project’s original design to be abandoned.

Image courtesy of Clark County Public Works


The New York City office of Stantec Consulting received the third place prize for their work on the Columbia University Manhattanville project, a 17-acre, mixed- use academic center in the former Manhattanville manufacturing zone of West Harlem in New York City. The goal of the project is to spur civic, cultural and commercial activity with more than 6.8 million square feet of space for education, research, recreation, and underground parking. The project will also provide improved, pedestrian-friendly streets and new publicly accessible open spaces to reconnect West Harlem to the Hudson River waterfront. An aggressive application of BIM methodologies, enabled by the Autodesk Design and Creation Suites, were employed to coordinate a highly complex and multidiscipline effort involving the coordination and continuous collaboration between models generated by structural, MEP and civil engineering designers.

View showing the complexities of subgrade utilities at this dense New York City site. Using BIM modeling for below ground infrastructure, the team was better equipped to route proposed utilities throughout the site. Image courtesy of Stantec NYC