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Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant: BIM based project communications with Trimble Connect and Tekla Model Sharing

Tekla Structures BIM of the Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant project

The Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant currently being built in Espoo, Finland, is scheduled for completion in 2022. Trimble's collaboration platforms managed this multi-material project with a huge amount of data, and they were widely used in the daily work of the different project teams. The Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant was recognized as the winner of the industrial category in the Tekla Global BIM Awards 2020 competition.

Blominmäki's new wastewater treatment plant client is the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY. The new water treatment plant expands the authority’s capability to treat the wastewater of about 400 000 people. 

Sustainability is a key goal for the Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant. It will use proven equipment and technical solutions with wastewater treated in a multi-stage biochemical process. Additionally, the new plant will produce more thermal energy than it needs for its own use. The biogas produced in the plant's digesters corresponds to more than 50% of the plant's total electricity demand while the sludge from the digestion plants is also composted into soil. 

“The goal of the Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant is to remove more than 96% of the phosphorus and organic matter from the wastewater and more than 90% of the nitrogen. With the new wastewater treatment plant, the per capita nutrient load of wastewater will be significantly reduced from the current level, ”says Juha Viitanen, Construction Manager at HSY.

Tekla Structures model view of Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant

Designing wastewater treatment lines to a tight excavation with Tekla 

Most of the Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant is built within bedrock, while the land above the excavation will remain largely unchanged. While the underground construction brings sustainability benefits, it also requires innovative solutions to accurately and efficiently design a structure using precast and cast-in-place concrete elements within the irregular shapes of an underground building site.

Furthermore, the sheer size of the Blominmäki treatment plant along with the number of different buildings and the strict schedule heightened the demands on the design and timely production of the plans. Throughout the project, the Trimble and Tekla solutions have been key.

According to Teemu Ahonen, AFRY Oy's project manager responsible for the project’s structural design, the active use of 3D data models has enabled close cooperation between multiple stakeholders. 

“Without Tekla Model Sharing, project management would have been almost impossible. We have had several AFRY designers from different countries working in the same Building Information Model. In addition, the Model Sharing has been used by the main contractor YIT and the precast concrete fabricator Parma, as well as external consultants located in Finland and across the world. "

For example, with Tekla Model Sharing, Parma was able to retrieve element quantities, including general measurements and material data directly from the model for production planning in the company’s ERP.

Detailed Building Information Model of Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant

One of the most demanding design areas was the coordination of different technology fields and clash detection, says Viitanen. "With the detailed Building Information Model, we were able to quickly detect any clashes well in advance of construction."

For example, MEP provision for voids is one complex area of work in which using the 3D model brings clear benefits in aligning work of different parties.

3D model underground structure of Blominmäki wastewater treatment plant

Information modeling was actively utilized on site for budgeting, scheduling, resourcing, monitoring and of course, construction and installation work.

Planning/Design Manager Pekka Halonen from YIT Oy states that the 3D model has been in use in all project meetings. “The excavation where the treatment plant is built is compact. It is inside the rock, and therefore it has no straight walls nor are the dimensions accurate. Without the measurements made with laser scanning and the 3D model created from them, it would have been very difficult to fit the structures, building services engineering and machinery of the six waste treatment lines in that space. ”

Tekla manages smoothly huge amounts of project data

The Blominmäki Wastewater Treatment Plant site covers eight hectares. The complex comprises 22 above-ground administration and processing buildings along the exit roads with a total area of ​​12,700 m2. The total area of ​​the excavation where the wastewater is treated is about 81,700 m2.

A particular challenge has been managing the different project teams’ extensive design data - in different tools and in different formats. With open standard IFC format and the Trimble Connect open collaboration tool, the teams have been able to share data and access the project’s shared model with 35 gigabits of design data. 

3D MEP structures of Blominmäki plant

Blominmäki is a multimaterial project in which the various structures could be modeled in one Tekla BIM. Examples of the primary structures modeled include all steel, concrete and wooden parts, rock bolts, and reinforcing bars. Also quite many of the secondary structures like roof bollards, cassette facade and plant hoops were modeled.

“There has been such a large amount of data in the model that it would have been virtually impossible to send it between partners. Only a few software solutions are able to manage such a volume smoothly, and here Tekla is absolutely superior,” says Ahonen.

The model has been used by about 100 users in five companies. Trimble Connect in the cloud has been used for information sharing, and Ahonen has seen it develop into an even more solid collaboration platform during this project. He also says that the ability to access the same information on different devices - computer, tablet and even phone - is critical, as a wide variety of devices are in use in project offices and on the construction site.

“There has been such a large amount of data in the model that it would have been virtually impossible to send it between partners. Only a few software solutions are able to manage such a volume smoothly, and here Tekla is absolutely superior​"

Teemu Ahonen, Project manager, AFRY Oy

“In addition, the decentralization of work through a shared information model has made our operations truly global. Location of a project participant has become irrelevant. Trimble's and Tekla's tools also came very useful when remote work exploded due to COVID-19. This has, of course, increased the use of Tekla and Trimble co-operation platforms even further,” says Ahonen.
Project parties

  • Client: Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY
  • Project management contractor: YIT Oyj
  • Architectural, structural, electrical, instrumentation, geotechnical and urban design and rock engineering: AFRY Finland Oy
  • Plant, process and HVAC (water and plumbing) design: FCG Finnish Consulting Group Oy, Ramboll Finland Oy
  • HVAC design: A-Insinöörit Suunnittelu Oy 
  • MEP contractor: Are Oy 
  • Precast fabrication: Parma Oy


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