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Optus Stadium: Agile BIM project completed ahead of schedule

Optus Stadium located in Perth, Australia is one of Western Australia’s highest profile and most eagerly anticipated developments. The project team completed the stadium three weeks ahead of the schedule. The project is the winner of the Best Sports and Recreation category of Tekla Global BIM Awards 2018. Optus Stadium opened in January 2018.
The five-story-tall facility is the third largest venue in Australia and has the flexibility to host major AFL (Australian Football League), cricket, rugby union and league, soccer, and entertainment events. It completes the greater Sports Park, together with the new children’s playgrounds, community spaces, restaurant, bar and café facilities available year-round. Arup and PDC were involved from design through to construction completion, working within the Westadium Consortium led by Multiplex with architects and other consultants under the DBFM (Design Build Finance and Maintain) Project Agreement. 

BIM powered agile engineering for speed and accuracy

Engineering the complex development involved a number of project requirements and stakeholders, as well as a set of additional prerequisites for the multi-purpose stadium.
The engineering team worked with the builder in the pre-bid stage to develop the overall BIM workflow and documentation. Multiplex and PDC then joined and implemented the BIM strategy throughout construction and operational phases of the project. 

The stadium’s Tekla model was broken up into eight quadrants: four stand quadrants of North, South, East and West and four roof structure quadrants. These quadrants enabled the design and detailing teams to improve agility while maintaining the overall schedule.

The engineering team implemented a process that provided significant benefits from the use of the model through increased design collaboration and coordination, while also lessening the burden of the increased deliverable requirements like COBie. This gave the builder a clear direction, as well as compliance checking and assurance that the project could be delivered to meet the client’s aspirations and develop their knowledge of BIM. This meant that architectural and structural refinements could occur in parallel without losing element-to-element connectivity or resulting in the separation of modeling parts, which avoided timely rework at each design update.

As an outcome of the digital workflow, architects and engineers maintained complete coordination and alignment of design throughout the project. For the speed of construction (client gave the tight timeframes), the structure consists of reinforced concrete lateral stability cores, with a composite steel and concrete frame. This made possible to erect the steelwork quickly with the slabs poured on permanent metal deck formwork without back-propping allowing the fit-out of the structure to quickly follow.

The bowl structure of the stadium was designed using precast pre-stressed concrete plates, which made it possible for more than 3,250 elements to be constructed and stored off-site for “just in time” delivery. The bowl geometry was rationalized to limit the number of changes in plate rise whilst maintaining spectator sight-lines, and plates were designed to maximize use from a limited number of molds, resulting in a highly efficient and economical solution.

Model-based fabrication review: Arup +PDC cooperation = 50% saving on workflow time

Arup were engaged to provide an additional scope to help formulate the project’s BIM strategy as part of the bid response. The basis of the service was to provide an overall BIM strategy that would allow Multiplex to benefit the implementation of BIM on the project. Due to the State’s Project Team high aspiration of LOD 500 which was one of the first in Australia, Arup went on to develop a streamlined delivery workflow.

PDC Group were engaged in the implementation phase for two critical aspects of the project.

  • The BIM Management for Multiplex on the Stadium, including training and knowledge transfer to their project team
  • 3D modeling and steel detailing in close collaboration with the engineers, architectural and fabrication teams

To streamline the review process for structural steelwork, Arup developed the shop model validation process with Multiplex and their sub-contractors. This saved, on average, 50 percent of checking and rework engineering design time. 

To streamline the review process for structural steelwork, Arup developed the shop model validation process with Multiplex and their sub-contractors. This saved, on average, 50 percent of checking and rework engineering design time. To streamline communication between designers and Tekla model approvers, all of the produced steel design work was detailed within the integrated team. The team worked closely with all involved to develop a workflow, breaking up the structural engineering deliverables into discrete packages based on the floor level and quadrant, and the steelwork Tekla models were reviewed in 3D. Comments and amendments from all were then returned to the steel fabricator to provide clear and concise comments to be incorporated by the steel shop detailer. 

The building information modeling was highly appreciated by the State Project Team, who said “The time spent on developing the virtual stadium enabled resolution of coordination between all sub-consultants and sub-contractors in the construction phase.”

Tekla for the Optus Stadium

Due to the vast amount of information from various consultants and sub-contractors, implementing the model validation was pivotal in the successful delivery of the Optus Stadium. Tekla and other model validation tools used for:

  • Validation of the stadium model to check that the models were built correctly and as per the comprehensive BIM standard, in line with the EIRs (Employer Information Requirements) from the client.
  • Weekly progress clash checks to monitor clashes and understanding if the latest developments were part of the design or implementation process. The application and approach enabled the client to preview and be involved in the engineering process.
  • Model Sharing Cloud-based Model Sharing allowed tapping into global resources improving on schedule and costs by allowing multiple offices to work simultaneously
  • Model compare and collaboration Tekla modeling enabled all design consultants on the project to understand changes within the models in a timely manner and flag any questions and concerns. The stadium experience and the manner in which we deployed the tool and then disseminated the capability within the teams define our efficiency that is easily transferable to other developments regardless of the size.
  • Tekla BIMsight was used as the coordination tool to capture engineering comments and link it into the Tekla model.

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