ATLANTA — Each year, Tekla Structures hosts a North America BIM Award competition open to all Tekla Structures users who have modeled projects with the software during the preceding year. The building information modeling (BIM) competition is held in conjunction with Tekla’s Annual North American User Meeting, which this year took place in Atlanta, August 12-14.

The company said the growing popularity of Tekla Structures and the adoption of 3D modeling attracted a record number of Tekla Structures users to submit their 3D models. Twenty-six BIM models were submitted in four categories:

Category 1 — Industrial/Civil Model — Steel and/or Concrete
Category 2 — Commercial/Institutional Model — Steel
Category 3 — Commercial/Institutional Model — Concrete
Category 4 — Collaborative Project

Participants submitted web models, descriptions of their projects, photos, and other supporting material. Online web models allowed website visitors to peruse through the many exciting and innovative projects. Online voting opened to the public prior to the 2010 Tekla North American User Meeting.

The winners for each category were announced at the closing of the User Meeting. Each winning company received a Tekla Structures Viewer license and two free tickets to next year’s User Meeting. Winners include:

Category 1 Winner — M3 Engineering, Mercedes Mine

This project consists of the crushing and milling circuit for the Mercedes Gold Processing Plant in Northern Mexico. Fabrication drawings will be produced not only for the primary structural steel, but also the mechanical bins, hoppers, chutes, and the material conveying system. Approximately 500 metric tons of structural steel, grating, handrails, and stairs will be fabricated in this project as well as approximately 200 metric tons of mechanical steel fabricated from the model.

Tekla Structures said it is integral in the successful detailing, fabrication, and construction of this structure, adding that the use of Tekla Structures allows for an accelerated schedule and assures fit-up and compatibility with the many vendor components. The Tekla Structures 3D model illustrates the advantage of including all the non-structural materials and mechanical equipment in order to achieve a fully integrated BIM process, the company said.

Category 2 Winner — Technyx Canam, Pittsburgh Arena

The Pittsburgh Arena (Consol Energy Center) commenced in June 2008 and completed in October 2009. This arena has a hockey seating capacity of 18,000 and will welcome its first visitors in August 2010.

Technyx Canam used Tekla Structures for precast concrete modeling and shared the model with the deck provider. Tekla Structures helped with the overall coordination of the project and the reduction of errors in the field.

The main challenge in the project was the trusses. They were over 300 feet long and needed to be cambered in the 3D model. All pieces in between or attached to the trusses were detailed in cambered position. There was also over 2,000 linear feet of catwalks that passed in between the bottom chord and the top chord of the trusses. The project ended up being 7,200 tons with a total of 6,300 shop drawings.

This was a large project with a tight schedule. The model had to be split into eight parts to manage the job over the different drafting rooms that worked on the project. Tekla’s new Model Sharing functionality was used to synchronize between two different drafting rooms that were working on the same model at the same time. This saved time because more people were able to work within the same model.

Technyx Canam entered the precast in the model from the contract drawings and observed interferences that could occur with the steel. When there were interferences that occurred, those concerned were informed using RFI and 3D HTML views from Tekla Structures. By doing this, a lot of problems were solved ahead of time that could have occurred in the field. The deck provider used the Tekla model files to detail the deck. With that, they received different information that facilitated their task and also saved a lot of time.

Every piece of steel was detailed and checked in Tekla Structures, and CNC transfers were used to fabricate all the components. By doing this, the company said, the risk of error was reduced to a minimum and everything fitted well in the field.

Category 3 Winner — Newcrete Products, The New Pittsburgh Arena Parking Garage

This project is a parking structures which services the new Consol Energy Center; home of the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL). The structure is 157,945 square feet, a footprint of 335’x 127′, with 4 elevated levels and 1 on-grade level. The structure is entirely precast concrete with the exception of cast-in-place foundations and some steel framing in the stair towers. There are a total of 440 precast pieces including: architectural spandrels, columns, wall panels, double tees, slabs, inverted tee beams, rectangular moment beams, and light walls.

All of the precast construction documentation was created using Tekla Structures. Intricate V-shaped reveal patterns on spandrels presented an interesting challenge. The Tekla Structures model helped the precast team root out conflicts that were not detected by other project team members using 2D workflows and design documentation techniques, the company said.

Category 4 Winner — DPR Construction, Sutter Medical Center — Castro Valley

Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley (SMCCV) is an innovative 130 bed replacement hospital currently under construction. Completion is scheduled for in June of 2012. The estimated maximum price set for this project is $320 million. The 7-story building is a composite steel and concrete framed structure. The structural design of this building is considerably more complex due to the new seismic requirements set forth in California’s legislation.

This fast track project is scheduled to be delivered 30 percent faster than comparable healthcare projects in California. This schedule would not be possible without the use of BIM technologies and the innovative 11-party lntegrated Project Delivery (IPD) team. This team has been working together since 2008 to build a completely coordinated and constructible model that will eventually get passed onto the owner for facilities management use.

To view these winners and all submissions, please visit