Global BIM Collaboration Creates the Massive Baku Stadium in 18 Months

Baku Olympic Stadium houses the 2015 European Games, the continental equivalent of the Olympics, and is the new home of the Azerbaijan national football team.

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 new 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.

A truly global project like the Baku Olympic Stadium craves good information exchange with BIM.

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.

Tekfen Engineering and  Sdeng’s  accurate, information-rich Tekla model includes architectural, structural & mechanical data.

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, main and secondary steel structures were all modeled using Tekla Structures. Under leadership of Tekfen Engineering in Istanbul with contribution of Sdeng in Volos, they created the detailed, information-rich models with Tekla. These models consequentially served as the information source for creating the fabrication drawings.

- "Tekla 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 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 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 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.


Project parties

  • General contractor: Tekfen Construction and Installation Co. (Turkey)
  • Architectural design: Heerim Architects & Planners Co., Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea)
  • Structural  design: Thornton Tomasetti (New York)
  • Construction Engineering: Tekfen Engineering (Istanbul, Turkey)
  • 3D modeling, and BIM coordination: Tekfen Engineering (Istanbul, Turkey) and Sdeng (Volos, Greece)
  • MEP design: Woowon M&E inc. (Seoul, South Korea)
  • Client: Socar, the state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan