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Global BIM collaboration creates the massive Baku stadium in 18 months

Baku Olympic Stadium view- Build using Tekla Structures constructible model

The Olympic stadium in Baku is a prime example of the benefits of BIM, showcasing the speed and design quality at every level of its development. The 68,000-seat, retractable roof stadium was designed to meet the highest international standards for stadiums set by the UEFA. What is more, the truly global team has just 18 months to design and build the venue.


Global collaboration

Architect in South Korea, structural designer in New York, construction site in Azerbaijan and detailing, 3D modeling and BIM coordination in Turkey and Greece– in other words, need for good information exchange and BIM was great in the Baku Olympic Stadium project as meeting the coworkers face to face was practically impossible.


BIM for efficiency

From the beginning, it was clear to all participants that the only way to achieve maximum efficiency at just as 18 months would be implementing BIM. The key participants had previous experience in sharing data through different software platforms: Developing, updating and sending their work back to the main Building Information Model.

The advanced modeling approach supported the accelerated schedule.  In New York Thornton Tomasetti, the structural engineer, utilized Tekla software in design achieving accuracy in their approach. Precast, reinforced concrete, and main and secondary steel structures were all modeled using Tekla Structures. Under the leadership of Tekfen Engineering in Istanbul, with the contribution of Sdeng in Volos, they created detailed, information-rich models with Tekla. These models consequentially served as the information source for creating the fabrication drawings.

- "Tekla Structures gave us huge advantage in terms of productivity as we had to deliver structural drawings for 17000 tons of complex steel within 8 months,” said Alparslan Gure, President of Tekfen Engineering.


BIM for construction  

With models storing a wealth of information, it was natural to utilize them for construction. The team utilized Thornton Tomasetti’s preliminary model for structural verifications, creating a roof installation method statement and coordination.

In Baku, Tekfen’s on-site engineering team took over the challenging task of training the site crew to utilize BIM technology. They chose Tekla BIMsight for 3D model review plus notes on site.

-“With Tekla BIMsight (now Trimble Connect) the contractor had an opportunity to make a huge step towards paperless workflow, which proved priceless later on. The software was also a strategic tool for communication due to the geographical diversity of the project participants,” told Aris Theodorou from Sdeng.

However, the advanced modeling that facilitates a fast construction process is not the only wonderful thing in the giant project employing 4,500 persons at the peak. By July 2014, the stadium was 80% complete, and the site had reached whopping 13,000,000 accident-free man-hours since the beginning of the construction.


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