Collaborative BIM approach for complex roadway renovations shortens design time and saves design capital.

By David Huie


Phase I renovation of Ningzhen Road in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China, spans 6.6 kilometers, connecting with the Ningbo metro line. It includes three new bridges and blends cultural tradition with modern style. Huahui Engineering and Design Group (Huahui) was retained to provide design services for roadways, water discharge, bridges, transportation, and landscaping. The CNY 1.5 billion urban roadway project required a multidiscipline solution to deliver the complex design on a short design cycle facing environmental and terrain constraints. To meet these challenges while maintaining current traffic flow, Huahui needed flexible, integrated modeling technology.

Using Bentley civil design applications together with ProjectWise as the common platform, all disciplines, including road, pipeline, landscape, bridge culvert, and transportation works, adopted a BIM methodology. The federated BIM approach enabled a fully integrated 3D route design, optimizing collaboration and information mobility to deliver a comprehensive 3D model that could be used throughout the project life cycle.

Using Bentley LumenRT, MicroStation, Bentley Navigator, OpenRoads, PowerCivil, and ProjectWise, the project team improved collaboration, survey and design, and construction IT management. The collision module in Navigator helped identify numerous pipeline adjustments, reducing design costs by CNY 1 million. The flexibility and interoperability of Bentley software throughout the project enabled the team to reduce design time by 60 hours and save CNY 5 million in design capital. With an integrated BIM approach, the team improved design quality, minimizing errors and optimizing engineering efficiencies.

Huahui used MicroStation, PowerCivil, and OpenRoads technology to properly adjust the roadway route and fully integrate civil design with structural components. Navigator was instrumental for clash detection and construction simulation, enabling the team to resolve interruption of the current and planned pipelines. Using Bentley LumenRT, Huahui rendered animations for traffic simulation and captured existing conditions and surrounding structures. ProjectWise streamlined workflows among the different disciplines, enabling real-time data sharing and minimizing rework.

“[We applied Bentley’s BIM advancements] to the project design. This helped improve project collaboration, project survey and design, and project construction information technology management, and played a demonstrative role for the municipal works survey design, construction, and overall life cycle management,” said Yu Xiaofeng, deputy general manager, Huahui Engineering and Design Group.

David Huie is a senior product marketing manager with Bentley Systems (, responsible for MicroStation, Navigator, i-models, ContextCapture, and LumenRT. He focuses on Bentley’s design and reality modeling and model review products, as well as Bentley’s i-model format and related technology. This project was a 2016 Be Inspired Nominee in the Innovation in Roads category.