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Latest Technology At London Bridge

10 September 2012

Costain is using Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology at London Bridge to help meet the challenges of working on one of the country’s biggest rail redevelopment projects, but it will also provide valuable data for maintaining the asset in the future.

Costain’s Beth Willoughby understands the importance of using BIM on large complex projects having worked on projects such as the Bond Street Station Upgrade for London Underground.

The London Bridge Redevelopment project is part of a programme of works for Network Rail that will increase the frequency of trains running through London on the busy Thameslink route and will involve the construction of a new concourse at street level, with entrances on Tooley Street and St Thomas Street.

Scheduled for completion in 2018, the project will see through-station passenger capacity rise to 90 million people a year from 55 million currently.

Beth is a Section Manager on the London Bridge project and was recently shortlisted for the prestigious 2013 James Rennie Medal Award which is awarded to the best Chartered Professional Review candidate by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The successful implementation of BIM could well be crucial to the overall success of the project. BIM can highlight potential issues and provide solutions to construction problems by testing the design of an asset.

“With BIM and 3D modelling we can collate large volumes of information for the asset owner and then deliver it in a usable format rather than capturing and documenting information at the end of a project. Therefore, one of the biggest benefits for the customer is in the delivery on-site and the on-going management of the asset once the project is handed over to the customer,” said Beth.

BIM and 3D modelling allows engineers to check for structural, architectural and building services clashes within existing structures. It also analyses geometry, spatial relationships and geographic information, like major utilities, that can impede the construction process.

Another benefit of BIM is that it allows for closer integration and communication across the supply chain, particularly through project-wide access to the latest project information. That means documents and plans can be viewed by all concerned, without the need to carry around drawings, which also reduces the reliance on printed material being taken on-site.

Beth worked closely with her project colleagues at Network Rail to ensure full engagement with the customer to deliver maximum benefits to the project, and she investigated various Field BIM solutions to ensure that design information could be delivered to the site via a 3D model.

Working with Costain’s Group BIM Manager, Matt Blackwell, Beth identified potential suppliers and partners to help develop the best solution, not only for the project but also for Network Rail once the project is completed.

Any issues that arise can be managed through the tool for supply chain management, which means resources can be allocated as soon as a problem is found, rather than being raised back at the office. Field BIM tools can be extended further for tracking materials, either through QR Codes or RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags, or for logistics and site management.

Commenting, Clive Loosemore, the Project Director at London Bridge, said: “Costain brings a highly skilled team to London Bridge that, like Beth, possess valuable experience of station redevelopment as well as using the latest technology, like BIM, to help deliver the project successfully.”