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Case study: Midfield Terminal Building (Abu Dhabi) - Part 3

Midfield Terminal Building - Abu Dhabi International Airport (MTB-ADIA)

Client Mandated BIM Requirements for Tender and Construction

Advanced Implementation of BIM for infrastructure 

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Participants of our Global BIM Management for Infrastructure Projects Master's Program have the unique opportunity for an on-site visit to the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal Building (MTB-ADIA). This site visit gives participants the chance to apply the material learned within the course in a practical way, by relating it directly to this mega project based on what has been estimated to be the largest and most comprehensive BIM model ever created. Part 1 takes a look at the project background and requirements, and Part 2 discusses the pre-tender BIM implementation and the awarding of the contract.

BIM for Construction

A major challenge of the BIM process was to structure and share information in an efficient and transparent manner. To achieve this, the project was supported by a powerful and secure collaborative BIM platform with integrated web capabilities. The platform included software packages for modeling, collecting, managing and synthesizing project data. It also embedded workflows for quality control, review and approval processes. Standards, procedures and workflows were developed carefully to harmonize, unify and streamline the BIM production and operations and guarantee complete, accurate and easily integrated results. It is worth highlighting that a BIM platform that can provide 4D and 5D functionalities expands beyond authoring solutions to include and couple with project controls systems and databases such as EDMS (Electronic Document Management Systems), cost, time, quality, material management, progress and others. CCC had recognized this many years prior, and had developed in-house business-oriented 3D based applications that can host, integrate, manage and report 3D, 4D and 5D information. The below figure illustrates this integrated platform and highlights the contributing applications. BIM Platform: Integration with Project Controls

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI):

Interoperability is a known major challenge among industry stakeholders. As a unique approach for overcoming this challenge the EDI concept was introduced in the project in order to meet the requirement of information exchange between different systems in a prearranged format. The aim of EDI is to arrange the transformation of BIM/CAD files and information created by the Subcontractors to the Contractor’s (TCAJV) BIM systems. EDI is aligned with the project BIM specifications, the client requirements and the TCAJV relevant procedures and workflows. The components that are addressed in the EDI procedure are:
  • Project Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
  • CAD / Model naming convention and exchange procedure
  • Object Tagging standards and asset management
  • Object attributes and database requirements
  • Collaboration and integration of workflows
  Object tags are of high importance as they constitute additional user-defined attributes assigned to BIM elements within the BIM authoring platforms. Each object can be assigned as many tags as needed. For the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal Building (MTB-ADIA) project, tags are introduced to add valuable information to the BIM elements. The unique tagging scheme adopted by the CCC BIM team plays a major role in having the TCA-JV BIM platform integrated with other project controls, engineering, and facility management systems.

Join the most advanced BIM management program in the world and visit the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal Building construction site, currently in development by CCC!

The EDI provides a common language for graphical and textual data exchange among all stakeholders; thus addressing and solving major concerns of interoperability. The enforcement of this procedure, by setting a unified platform for data exchange among the subcontractors, enabled the integration of BIM information from all disciplines and stakeholders. The utilization of unified object tagging procedures served the data integrity and lifecycle management of the facility. These two key factors were crucial and valuable for the success of the BIM implementation in Midfield Terminal Building project; the cost and time benefits are, although immeasurable, quite obvious.

Current Status of the Midfield Terminal Building Project

The project has now been running for almost 3 years and will continue for another 12 to 18 months. BIM has truly become the driving force in many aspects of the construction operations. All the project processes from design coordination to procurement, subcontracting agreements, cost control, variation orders, change management and quality control are integrated within the BIM platform. The success of the ongoing integration allowed for better management and coordination as modifications could be tracked by time; usage and accuracy of 3D submissions were assured. Real-time clash detection also resolved many problems in advance of construction while construction sequence and on-site layout planning were optimized. BIM provided a plan for accurate temporary works through explicit 3D modeling of works, cranes and installation sequencing. Specialty fabrication was facilitated as well through the extraction of precise mechanical and geometric information. Temporary Works Constructability and Optimization

Difficulties and Challenges:

In spite of the distinguished success of CCC’s BIM and controls methodology in the Midfield Terminal Building project, we believe more success and more efficiency can be introduced in our current construction processes. The following are some of the difficulties and challenges that we believe are constraining the effectiveness and penetration of our unique approach for information management and project controls:
  • Change management process for most of the stakeholders who are more oriented to the traditional methods of running the construction business
  • Forcing the construction team to report construction deviations/as-built conditions to the BIM teams in due time to avoid misleading reporting and wrong decisions
  • The lack of proper BIM education and training in the market
  • The lack of having specialized subcontractors/ manufacturers who understand the proper BIM/5D methods and techniques
  • Interoperability, data management and systems integration

CCC’s Awards for the Exceptional BIM Implementation at MTB

  • The Be Inspired Awards 2013 - October 29th-31st, London, UK
    • “Innovation in Comprehensive BIM” Award
    • Finalist in the category “Innovation in Construction”
  • Construction Computing AWARDS - November 21st, London, UK
    • Runner-up in the “BIM Project of the Year” Category
This article is presented as part of our Global BIM Management for Infrastructure Projects Master's Program. If you would like to become a fully-capable BIM Manager for infrastructure projects specialized in Roads & Highways, Railways & Metro Lines, Tunnels & Bridges, and Subsurface Utilities, request more information now:  

Issam El-Absi

Director of the Global BIM Management for Infrastructure Projects Certification Program. CCC Manager IS-Automation and Engineering Project BIM Manager.