Hyder Consulting talk BIM use on Manchester rail project

Credit: Hyder Consulting / Network Rail
Credit: Hyder Consulting / Network Rail

Construction behemoth Hyder Consulting have discussed their company’s use of Building Information Modelling software on a major city rail-centric development.

In a guest article on Construction News, a Hyder Engineer David Rowlinson discussed problems that his company faced and in-turn, overcame during their on-going work on Manchester Victoria Station.

Using Autodesk Revit, the team created the new station’s structural model, a model that would be used alongside architectural, MEP and other models to form the complete information-rich Building Information Model. It was at this stage that Hyder first realised the major benefits BIM could offer. Rowlinson elaborated: “The advantages of BIM really became apparent [after completing the structural model]. Severfield (UK) was fabricating the steel and designing the connections and it was able to read the Robot model to inform the steel calculations. Even better, the Severfield team was able to import our Revit model into its Tekla software which produces their fabrication data.

“This process meant Hyder’s modelling efforts were used directly for fabrication, rather than the traditional process whereby designers draw up one design then fabricators then duplicate this work prior to construction.

“In a project where the geometry is such a critical item, the BIM model delivered significant time, risk and quality advantages.”

Rowlinson was also frank at how initially BIM was perhaps a slightly hindrance as the team needed to adapt to using it. However, once they had got to grips with the software and saw results, BIM was invaluable. He stated: “Working in BIM doesn’t make difficulties disappear – it isn’t some miracle cure. However, the model ensures problems do get identified and are resolved thoroughly.

Rowlinson closed by stating that he believes BIM “gives designers confidence”, perfectly translating ideas from the minds of engineers into a highly-collaborative platform. He said: “Using BIM gives designers such confidence in their structures. Drawings are not just a collection of lines; they are the elements from the toolkit in engineers’ minds. I think that is the strongest point about using BIM: it replicates the way that structures fit together in an engineer’s head, and allows them to deliver that visualisation in a collaborative manner.

Rowlinson also discusses how other members of the supply chain benefitted from using the BIM model and changes that BIM orchestrates regarding the approval process. Read the entirety of his insightful article here.

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