The ability to change and communicate rebar plans in real time is key to a construction project’s success. Here’s how Tekla keeps on-site rebar work on time and within budget.
With many construction projects following just-in-time schedules, accurate planning and effective communication are critical to success. Delivery quantities have to be right first time, there must be space for materials when they arrive, and contractors need to know that what is being planned is indeed constructible.
All this is particularly important for rebar. With steel at the very heart of concrete structures, so much of a project’s timeline hinges on a contractor's ability to plan and install rebar on time and on budget. There are also logistical practicalities to consider: Should rebar deliveries be placed in a laydown area, or unloaded for immediate installation? If the rebar is being stored, what will be used first and where will it go?
With its combination of complexity and importance, the rebar design process is often about planning, re-planning and communicating any changes – even after work has begun. This is where Tekla comes in.
Less work on site
Thanks to its 3D workflows, Tekla Structures allows rebar to be detailed at a level of construction-ready accuracy that is simply not possible with 2D. Bars are numbered automatically, clashes are highlighted before they become issues in the field, and document conflicts are resolved early. It’s quick and easy for detailers to create constructible geometries and place concrete embeds in the exact location – just by dragging and dropping. Rebar cages, complex joints, and placing sequences can all be visualized in 3D.
The accurate 3D rebar models created in Tekla Structures mean better information for both rebar fabrication teams and on-site fixers. Construction-quality information can be managed for production, delivery and pour units. Reports, bending schedules and drawings can all be created straight from the model. This means less problem solving on site – helping contractors to stay on schedule and within budget.
When long-standing Tekla customer Solve Engineering won the rebar-detailing contract for the basement of London’s One Nine Elms development (read full story here), the UK-based engineers used Tekla Structures throughout the whole process. Technical Director Barry Penniston explains:
“Considering the scale of the project – with over 5000 tons of reinforcement in the basement structure and the tight, limited means of access – it was imperative that everything was planned, detailed and coordinated to a high degree of accuracy,” says Penniston. “Tekla and its automatic clash detection helps Solve Engineering to quickly assess the design intent and spot any potential issues very early on in the detailing process. Any problems or clashes were then able to be reviewed and resolved, even before the primary drawings had been issued.”
Connecting in the cloud
Accurate 3D modeling is just one part of the rebar detailer’s job. The other part is about communication and collaboration, as creating rebar plans is a constant process of revision. For example, the size of some rebar may need to change at a given point in the process. This could affect quantities, drawings and CNC files – each of which may be handled by a separate party – so it’s essential that workflows be connected. This is where Trimble Connect comes in.
Trimble Connect is Tekla’s cloud-based collaboration platform for sharing, viewing and reviewing constructible data in 3D. It’s an essential tool for communicating and discussing rebar changes, both during pre-construction and after work has begun on site. The platform can be accessed from any device – even a HoloLens – so stakeholders can choose the way that works best for their time and place. As construction sites may not have adequate internet connections, we’ve also built in a sync tool that keeps local copies of key files.
“We use Trimble Connect internally for all document administration and filing, task management and model checking, and our One Nine Elms site team was also able to easily access the software through their mobile phones and tablets,” says Penniston. “This allowed them to view the completed 3D model alongside the real-time physical context, assisting them in the placement and installation of the rebar and ensuring an efficient and accurate delivery on site.”
Tekla offers three different plans for Trimble Connect, with the entry-level available free. This allows you to create one project with up to five members and 10 GB of storage. You can also join up to five projects. BIM coordination, clash detection and task management tools are included too.
Upgrading your subscription means opening Trimble Connect to unlimited projects, collaborators and storage. Upgrades also unlock additional workflow features like quantity take-off in the office or on the go, pour cards, checklists, and more.
Trimble Connect is safe and secure, running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Online support is available 24/7 and Tekla’s discussion forums also have a dedicated section where customers can share and discuss best practices.