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The Orion Tower: Overcoming challenges with Trimble


The Orion Tower Suite is situated in the prime area of Kuala Lumpur, known as the Golden Triangle. Currently, at the tender and design development stage, the project is a serviced apartment that will offer modern lifestyle living in the heart of the city. It will have 47 floors of serviced apartments, 8 mechanical car park floors, 32 floors of service suites, and a restaurant at the top of the building.

Being situated in such a prime location means that congestion at the construction site will be a major issue, with little space to store materials or room for equipment and heavy vehicles. These logistical problems were identified early on by the team at Orion Tower, and as such, a decision was made to explore the use of BIM and Trimble solutions, primarily to improve the planning and control of materials and construction works.


Constructible data for better accuracy and resource management 

The team recognized the benefits that could be obtained by employing a constructible BIM process, and amongst the early benefits thus far realized has been at the design and tender stage. With coordinated and constructible models produced during the design stage, the team is able to achieve more competitive tender bids, as the tenders are based on more accurate quantities derived from the constructible models, rather than rough estimations as in past projects. 

For the pre-construction and construction stages, Orion Tower Sdn Bhd also expects to be able to realize a significant reduction in materials wastage, due to better visibility, predictability, and accuracy of the material quantities required. The team also expects to significantly improve the overall coordination and planning due to the more accurate real-time data provided by constructible models, as well as to improve productivity, reduce idling and abortive works through better logistical planning.


Connecting the right people to the right data at the right time

The team reviewed several options before deciding on Tekla Structures and Trimble Connect. Tekla Structures is a proven and well-recognized software for implementing constructible BIM, which is particularly essential to overcome the challenges of this project. Trimble Connect, on the other hand, allows us to have a simple-to-use open-BIM collaboration platform as it provides us a common data platform that supports multiple access points such as the desktop, web, and mobile phones. Trimble Connect also enables us to easily track real-time activities and communication – enhancing the transparency and accuracy of information and communication routes amongst the related stakeholders of the project,” said C.S. Kang, Head of Project, Orion Tower Sdn Bhd.

The team adopted Tekla Structures and Trimble Connect only recently, but despite that, the learning curve has been quick. What has been quickly apparent for the team has been the simplicity and flexibility of the platform? Its easy-to-use interface has helped the transition to a BIM platform go smoothly. A total of 15 users including the developer, architects, engineers, and the Orion team are on board. 

These various stakeholders have been able to quickly and easily communicate and coordinate on the single streamlined Tekla platform. This has improved transparency significantly in comparison to traditional methods that are based on fractured communication platforms that include email, mobile messaging and the like. Keeping track of project changes has also so far become far less of a hassle, as everyone is able to access the same updated model seamlessly, and activities carried out can be traced at any time to ensure a better understanding of the history of the decisions made.

As the project is still not in the construction stage yet, the full benefits have yet to be realized. The team expects that in terms of coordination – clashes between services and trades will be sorted out much earlier in the project, thus reducing the amount of abortive works during the construction phase. They expect to also be able to prefabricate for reinforcement works, which will make a tremendous difference in time savings and reduced costs – as due to the small site, might otherwise need to be done by renting out space close to the site. 

As the project progresses, the shared model data between the stakeholders through Trimble Connect has also been of great help. Tekla Structures 3D model visualization allows for accurate and useful information to be shared, with each stakeholder able to put up their models with the list of errors and to request for information, all before the weekly face-to-face coordination meetings.