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Technical Building Information Modelling

Why we specified...

Tekla Structures ArcelorMittal Orbit, Olympic Park, London Jarrod E Hulme,

production engineering manager, Watson Steel

Most of our projects are for advanced complex steel structures, because more architects are getting more adventurous. If they can design it, we have to come up with ways of manufacturing it. Typically, an architect gives us a 3D model, originated in Tekla or any other format that can be integrated with Tekla. For each component, we then progress to a connection design [to position the bolts and holes], then it goes to the detailer. Then we have to work out how to make the component from steel efficiently, from the minimum raw material, and safely. We create a mould for the parts, but when they’re cast we need to make sure they can be welded together. So we use a 3D laser scanning system — the Leica 3D Toolstation — to make sure the bolt holes are all within 1-2mm tolerances so that there doesn’t have to be rework on site. The Leica system checks against the parameters defined in the Tekla model. We started this procedure on the

Emirates Stadium, and we’ve refined it since. Without Tekla, we couldn’t have made the Orbit. Every single component had a specific connection, and there were no misalignments, even though there were approximately 7,000 bolt holes. Now it’s finished it’s fantastic, it’s a work of art. Tekla is user-friendly, and we’ve been

able to add our expertise in the form of macros, enabling the packages to work with our computer-controlled cutting and milling equipment and the Leica system. We’re also working with Tekla on using the software to quantify our steel orders early in the process so we can order early and more cheaply.

Product news

THE FREE-TO-DOWNLOAD BIM project collaboration tool Tekla BIMsight has been modified to work on

Windows-powered tablet computers, making it suitable for use in the field.

Version 1.4 of the software enables users to combine project models, check for clashes, mark up and share information using the same 3D environment, and adds support for touch-screen input or stylus use. A “saved views” feature enables more efficient project navigation, while a new slideshow feature helps users to deliver impressive presentations.

THE BUILDING CENTRE app for iphone and ipad provides users with detailed information on the centre’s latest exhibitions and

seminars. It gives users a taste of what

the Building Centre has to offer and keeps those unable to attend an event or exhibition up to speed.

The app also gives specifiers access to the online

product specification directory, the first building product directory to utilise app technology, allowing access to over 10,000 product listings. The app can be downloaded for free at the Apple App Store.

JOBFLOWPLUS, a software system that allows companies to remotely manage a vehicle-based workforce, can now be used on the iPad or

JO Android tablet devices. The software

allows head office to allocate jobs remotely to operatives in the field, using TomTom satnav technology.

The new system also allows customers to sign for the job on the screen, and the completed job form will be populated directly into Job Flow. The operative can then select the next job via satnav and is navigated there to repeat the process.


how BIM projects will operate and how management of information may differ to traditional contracts. You will need as many of your staff as possible to become advocates of the technology.


A document management system is the key

The management of model files, emails, documents and drawings will have a major part to play in the transition from current ways of working to BIM. A document management system (DMS) provides a common framework and will instill the disciplines needed to create, distribute, access and archive information in a controlled and audited way.


Choose the right BIM implementation tools

Review the software available to determine which is most suited to your business. Free tools such as Tekla BIMsight offer a cost-free entry point to open, combine building models and interrogate the models to abstract information. Other tools such as Navisworks, Nemetschek and Bentley Projectwise are also worth investigation.

04 05

Upgrade your IT and internet BIM needs bandwidth and powerful

PCs to operate. If your internet access or file sharing capabilities are slow or non-existent you need to take action to upgrade.

Education. Rethink your existing processes

and bring your staff up to speed. Estimators, planners, contract managers, site managers and facilities managers may all require training on how to interrogate the model and access the information they need.

By Nikki Annison from document management specialist Union Square. The company is running a series of free BIM seminars, visit http://seminars.

Tips of the Trade Preparing for BIM 01

Embrace the vision Build your understanding of


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