UK’s first BIM-designed coastal defence systems spotlighted

Engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald are behind the design of what are believed to be the UK’s first Building Information Modelling seas defences.

Dredging Today reported that Mott MacDonald, based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, were chosen by the project customer Tendring District Council to initiate the designs for Clacton and Holland-on-Sea’s defence systems.

Peter Phipps, a Project Director at Mott MacDonald commented: “We wanted to bring BIM into coastal defences for some time, but we were waiting for the right project.”

The right projects were located in Essex, and Mott Macdonald supplied the BIM model for the £36 million renovation works. Revamps as part of the infrastructure makeover include 950,000m³ of beach recharge, which will see damaged timber and concrete groynes be replaced. 23 new rock fishtail groynes will be created and 3000 homes will be saved from erosion risk for around 100 years.

The Lead Designer on the projects David Collery said that BIM enabled the company to save 30% on both time and costs when the work was carried out. He said: “Our main gain has been a new level of confidence in the interaction between our structures and the foreshore. We can take off highly accurate volumes tailored to each individual groyne. That minimises materials waste, so we bring down construction material variation risk and the environmental impact.”

Project Manager Victoria Tonks also spoke about the project, stating that BIM will be at the heart of sea and flood defence construction in the future, and she’s glad her company is at the start of a future trend within infrastructure. She said: “BIM will become standard on future large coastal schemes. But it’s up to us to flag the benefits to customers.”

Click here to learn more about the work being carried out by Mott MacDonald.

RELATED: BIM used in Dutch river-widening project