The London Structures Team saves significant time and reduces project risk by streamlining model coordination and review.
Taking on demanding projects is nothing new for the WSP London office, but when working on a new multi-purpose section of a stadium in the UK, the Structures Team turned to Visicon to significantly save valuable time and reduce their risk in project delivery.
General section showing complexity of steel structure supporting stands and cantilevered roof.
The project – referred to as “The Stand” – includes a luxury pool & spa, boutique hotel, various gathering spaces with related concourses, seating for approximately 9,000 spectators, and a 35-meter cantilevered roof. Construction materials consist of a concrete foundation, composite deck flooring, precast bowl units and a large steel superstructure and roof. Although broad in usage, the project is set within a very tight physical footprint and short construction timeframe.
“Producing efficient, buildable and well-coordinated designs in fast moving and complex projects, like The Stand, absorbs substantial amounts of our design teams’ time.”
- Andy Heffer, WSP Associate Director
Super positioning all models is a basic way to review compliance between the models.
“Producing efficient, buildable and well-coordinated designs in fast moving and complex projects, like The Stand, absorbs substantial amounts of our design teams’ time,” according to Andy Heffer, WSP Associate Director. “Ensuring that the golden thread of information is retained throughout coordination, analysis, design, modelling, drawing, fabrication and on to the site teams is an essential quality assurance process. The multi-step nature of this process provides substantial opportunities for error, both human and procedural.”
Support detail of cantilevered wall shown represented in 3 separate modelling tools.
Various design and analysis tools were used for The Stand, including ETABS for the steel design while the majority of disciplines – including the structural team – produced construction drawings via Revit. “With the project’s demanding geometry and numerous site constraints, the steel frame required comprehensive coordination between the ETABS 3D model, Revit 3D model and the steel fabricator’s 3D model (in Tekla), with Visicon being an invaluable tool to achieve this,” explains Trent Byrne, WSP Associate.
“With the project’s demanding geometry and numerous site constraints, the steel frame required comprehensive coordination ... with Visicon being an invaluable tool to achieve this."
- Trent Byrne, WSP Associate
Screenshot showing configuration of checking algorithm on right and mismatched beams color-coded in model. Beams that are grey and transparent have matching section assignment and pass the test. This instance of the checking algorithm was set to test members in ETABS against those in the Tekla model.
By using Visicon to automatically identify the detailed differences between their various 3D models, the WSP London Structures Team calculates they have saved a total of 4 weeks of a Senior Structural Engineer’s time that would have been spent manually reviewing 2D steel shop drawings over the course of the project. “We’ve never had this type of tool before,” reports Peter Townsend, WSP BIM Model manager. “Visicon quickly picks up member discrepancies and even allows us to easily check their manufactured camber against our intended in-place deflections. It’s also an incredibly friendly piece of software to use.”
“We’ve never had this type of tool before....Visicon quickly picks up member discrepancies ...It’s also an incredibly friendly piece of software to use.”
- Peter Townsend, WSP BIM Model Manager
Inherent modeling differences like pre-cambering that was accounted for in the Tekla fabrication model but not shown in the design intent models added a degree of complexity when trying to compare models. Visicon’s component matching algorithm could be configured to account for such expected model deviations.
WSP also saw Visicon reduce the risk of human error in the ongoing transfer and checking of information between the various analysis and Revit models. Adds Heffer, “Visicon found multiple instances of out-of-date and un-coordinated information during the later stages of production; this led to fewer instances of costly site re-work and re-design.”
Color-coding the model by Orphan components is a quick and easy way to identify which members are only present in one of the models. This is a fast way to catch early modelling discrepancies and also identify temporary members included in the steel fabrication model.
“Visicon has become part of our day-to-day suite of tools that we use.”
- Peter Townsend, WSP BIM Model Manager
Adoption of the software is growing across the WSP London office. “As more projects use Visicon to check and authorize their models we plan on establishing a standard set of checking rules as an important part of our standard quality assurance procedure going forward.” Adds Townsend, “Visicon has become part of our day-to-day suite of tools that we use.”
The project team (from left to right): Andy Heffer, Trent Byrne, and Peter Townsend.
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Visicon is a 3D model review solution used by AEC firms worldwide as a fast and powerful way to view, query and compare their project models. Beyond providing a robust suite of model viewing and comparison functionalities, Visicon is also used by customers to automate their model checking and management tasks, saving them time and increasing project quality. https://www.visicon.com