Management of the T5 project has been helped immeasurably by the use of a 3D computer generated prototype of the whole project.
Laing O'Rourke, which is responsible for the civil engineering, building and design integration and logistics on the entire scheme, has worked with BAA to amalgamate the reinforcement detailing, manufacture and installation processes within the prototype. The model is powered by I-DEAS - Integrated Design Engineering and Analysis Software.
The aim of the prototype is to allow the project to be built on screen, eliminating errors and omissions before work starts for real on site.
Buildability engineers develop and operate the digital prototype and provide preassembly advice. A typical design review involves the design engineer, reinforcement detailer, buildability engineer, construction manager, manufacturer and site operatives to review potential solutions. Currently more than 80% of technical queries are resolved within the prototype The digital prototype has helped rationalise reinforcement components and define work packages that form daily production plans.
Time taken to optimise complex concrete profiles and reinforcement details can be as little as five days from detailed engineering sketch to site delivery. This means the project and the design processes are better placed to absorb and manage lastminute change.