Infrastructure Project Success Examples UsingopenBIM
March 9, 2022 @ 12:00 pm Eastern
As the US transportation sector gears up for increasing IFC deliverables and open Standards onprojects, these highly successful, award-winning international projects show what may unfold in theUS. The buildingSMART Awards Program recognizes projects demonstrating openBIM’suse and valueand the tangible benefits of using open data standards. Join us as we showcase two buildingSMART award-winning projects: the ‘smartBRIDGE Hamburg’ from Germany, winner in the Asset Management Category, and the ‘Yan-Jiang Expressway G4216’ from China, winner in the Design Category.
Presenters: Dr.-Ing. Marc Wenner (MKP GmbH), Dr. Ruodan Lu (Sichuan Highway Planning, Survey, Design, and Research Institute Ltd.)
Panelists: Dr. Calvin Kam FAIA, PhD, PE, LEED AP (Strategic Building Innovation), Dana K. “Deke” Smith, FAIA Emeritus, FbSI (DKS Information Consulting), LLC, David Unkefer (FederalHighwayAdministration)
[Q1] It seems like IFC is a critical piece of interoperability, but it also seemed like there were some other key components that you mentioned, including localized standards, the CCDS and the BDMP, how much effort was involved in putting those pieces together?
[A1] It's teamwork. We have been working on this mega project for about five years, it is the largest single investment in the history of domestic expressway construction in China. Engineers and developers have been working on this since a while. Now they are working on the commercialization of the software pieces. The project is now in the construction phase, and will be completed by 2025, and we'll open the expressway so you can have a ride and enjoy the landscape.
[Q2] There's a tremendous amount of innovation that's gone into this project. How do we get this out to other people? How do we educate? What is it that buildingSMART can do specifically to get the word out so that it's not just a few people on the planet that have figured it all out?
[A2] We think about how to make it reusable and scalable. There's no one-size-fits-all framework for all kinds of projects, so we need to really customize and localize OpenBIM standards to specific project, specific region, company, and even asset owners. But maybe for the next project, another asset owner may have other requirements that we need to adjust and adapt to their needs. We also need to work on the employer's requirements as well. We need to optimize and update our framework regularly. We don't have our final version yet – on the software side, we would keep working and optimizing our system. A megaproject involves hundreds of engineers, software developers, and other stakeholders. We also need to think about how to update the system. So, it's a dynamic thing. We also follow the global trend and other organizations and their counterparts. We learn from and collaborate with the industry and academia as well. You need to keep open-minded, reach out to and educate young engineers – the new generations. Also to educate the asset owners too – because sometimes they don't know how to do it. They have money, but they don't know where to put their money, so we need to educate them. We would also like to open our door internationally. I cannot say how this can be fully repeatable to the next project, but the technologies and concepts derived from this project can definitely be a reference for future projects. It must be customized and adapted to new cases and new situations.
[Q3] Speaking about the owner and the investment, what may be the top return on investment and top benefit from this initiative (project)? Have you tried to quantify or realize the magnitude of such benefit?
[A3] The buildingSMART Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the BIM field. So this recognized our efforts – our work with our engineers, data scientists, software developers – that's to recognize our achievements so far. We have gained more visibility's from this world, and we look forward to staying with buildingSMART with the OpenBIM standards and concepts, making our organization more effective in the marketplace. Being a leading organization, we will keep working this way and propel the Chinese industry forward, to make our contributions in international and national efforts. This is a direct impact award, but there's still a long way to go and we stay humble and keep working on this project and other projects as well. We have many other peers in this field as well. They are doing quite well so we also learn from them. We hope we contribute to building a healthy and competitive, but also a common sharing environment
[Q4] Will there be GB ISO 19659? Like BS EN ISO 19650?
[A4] Yes, Chinese railway industry has been working on our national norms, equivalent to the BS EN ISO 19650. However, these norms have not yet been officially released. They are underway.
Smart Bridge Hamburg
[Q1] The GUI (interface) we are currently seeing, is this a COTS or was it developed in house? Is the data stored in a matter that anyone can see (web/cloud) or is on a server?
[A1] Visualization — UNITY gaming engine using IFC data — also have a customized web layer — customized software uses UNITY for 3D and "other tools" to organize data. Acoustic sensors can produce 1Tb of data in little time, we customized a pipeline / workflow of various analyzation tools based on expert knowledge to achieve refinement into few, very informative data. (reducing data bulk to most significant indicators).
[Q2] Could we do the same thing without openBIM? Seems doable, right? Then what are the advantage over non-openBIM approach?
[A2] It would have been possible to make it without openBIM, however, openBIM focused on 3D and IFC, but also wider considering the data formats, making data accessible via open formats for other partners / purposes to scale up for more inclusive operations. For example, diagnostic data had to be moved from closed formats to open formats in order to work with the other elements of the reporting.
[Q3] What was the advantage of the web 3D platform you used compared with OTS?
[A3] The focus was from the beginning on a very high-level visualization and experience, so it was easiest for us to begin with a visualization platform where we had the freedom to define the nature and shape of the visualization. Visualization with a higher priority than tying back to GIS location.
[Q4] What is reliability / condition / servicing / calibration of the sensors and the digital twin?
[A4] This is not the first time we make monitoring, just the first time we combine visualization. Producing data is easy, creating reliable information is complicated. Durability of sensors (e.g.: 5-10 years) is less than the durability of bridge (hundreds of years) — most important issue is to constantly detect if the sensors are producing anomalous information. In real-time we detect drift, peeks, that would not correspond to the real life of the bridge. This is a critical issue — garbage in = garbage out.
[Q5] If you had a magic want to make your dreams come true, what would you like to see form the buildingSMART community?
[A5] Concerning Digital Twin, want to bring together the universe of IoT data with the 3D world. We tried to show what added value can come from brining big data and IoT together — we need to use BIM and IoT together to ensure we have a reliable real-time rendering of the real-world state.
[Q6] How can proprietary software help move us to more seamless exchange of data by adopting these key standards?
[A6] At first, standards must be defined and be accepted from the wide community. Proprietary software must be able to support those standards. This refers especially to standards concerning high sampled data from Sensors. Furthermore, proprietary software e. g. from manufacturer from non-destructive testing devices must allow to produce open formats, which are compatible with the different standard to be established.
[Q7] What else is needed to get to a more universal data interoperability?
[A7] The compatibility of software with available standards must be improved. Step by step, additional standards come in addition (Sensor data, non-destructive testing results). Additional to interoperable and open data formats, the compatibility and cross-linking of the different data must be improved. Therefore, the methodology of analyze, aggregation, cross-linking of data must be developed. Demonstrator project such as smartBRIDGE Hamburg are valuable to identify the fields of development in this direction.