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Amager Bakke - One of the largest environmental projects in Europe exploits BIM

Amger Bakke in Denmark built with help of Tekla BIM software

A huge environmental project is getting underway in Copenhagen. A new plant combining waste incineration and energy recovery, Amager Bakke, complete with a ski slope and a climbing wall, will replace the 40-year-old Amager incinerator by 2017 – with the help of BIM (building information modeling). It is a gigantic construction project covering an area the size of seven football fields.

The plant is situated in the Amager district of Copenhagen and will cover an area of 41,000 sq m (441,320 sq ft), rising to a height of 80 m (262 ft). When it comes online, the energy plant will convert domestic waste into heat in a new, environmentally friendly way.

The ground was broken on the site in March and the building is due to be complete in 2017. The project is enormous: 5,000 tons of steel will be used in the building's structures and the foundations will consist of 2,400 reinforced concrete piles driven into the earth, covered in 35,000 cubic meters (1,236,000 cu ft) of concrete.

Amager Bakke will also be a recreational area for the city's residents. The design includes a ski slope that will be open all year and a climbing wall located at the top of the hill, both of which are currently subject to a feasibility study.

Danish engineering firm Moe A/S is responsible for planning the structures and steering the Amager Bakke project. Tekla has provided BIM software to aid in the planning and construction of this architecturally diverse and structurally challenging project.

The BIM software enables the building to be modeled in the finest detail, from rivets and bolts to quantity specifications and tendering lists, order catalogs and construction oversight.

The Tekla Structures software is in constant use. It is used every day by a team of three to six draftsmen and modelers. In addition, construction engineers use it to view the intricate details of the model, take measurements, and use the model to work with other stakeholders in the project.

Enhancing collaboration by modeling

The model enables Moe to eliminate construction flaws before the building has even begun, helping the company to stay on schedule and within budget. BIM enables new and improved collaboration models for the various stakeholders in the construction project.

"We are using 'BIM thinking' throughout this project. Tekla is working on various areas of the project, including detailing for reinforced concrete, steel detailing, 4D scheduling, and quantity analysis," says Moe A/S Head Planner and Tekla Superuser Anders Bilgaard.

As the project progresses, information models are regularly updated for each of the stakeholders. The client, therefore, has constant access to up-to-date information on the project and the progress of construction – from all of the stakeholders.

"It is very important to ensure effective collaboration and exchange of information between the various stakeholders in a project such as this. The Tekla model enables information to flow openly. For example, in this project, we modeled reinforcing bars, mainly because we wanted to provide the contractor with exact measurements," says Bilgaard. 

"When everything is modeled, we are better able to control the number of reinforcing bars our contractors use. Previously, we would have prepared drafts and measurements would have been taken from them by hand. It was a very time-consuming process. Now we can extract drafts and measurements directly from the model, which is beneficial for the client because the information is always correct. In the future, contractors will be able to get even more out of the model."

Project details

Client: Amager Resource Center
Cost: DKK 3.5 billion (USD 600 million)
Area: 41,000 sq m (441,320 sq ft)

Consultants: Moe A/S, Bascon A/S, BIG CHP - Architect and Rambøll Energi

Contractors: NCC, GEO København and Tvilum Landinspektørfirma A/S

Architect: BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group