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Costain gears up for mandatory BIM through £107m Welsh road scheme

Costain is using BIM on a £107 million roads scheme as it gears up for the challenge of being assessed on BIM capability for future highways infrastructure contracts.

Working in partnership with designers Arup, Costain is using BIM to save money and time with client Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council in the construction of the Harbour Way Port Talbot project.

Due to open in the autumn of 2013, Harbour Way will provide a 4.8 km link to the M4 near Junction 38 (Margam) into Port Talbot and the docks.

Costain is using BIM to generate and manage data during the construction of the project. Working with Arup, the project team is using a programme to analyse geometry, spatial relationships and geographic information, as well as measuring the quantity and property of construction components.

It is also ensuring products and materials are delivered on-site at the time they are needed due to an increased ability to monitor time management on the project and generate greater off-site manufacturing.

The project can be viewed on-screen allowing the project team to add or remove layers from the drawing to analyse specific details as well as allowing for improved communication and understanding of the project across the team and its supply chain.

The project’s chief engineer Charlie Sleep said: “The starting point for this initiative is to build up the design model in three dimensions. This has the immediate benefit of being able to view drawings in 3D, which allows for a quicker and better understanding of what we are building.

“Whilst this adds significant value compared to using two dimensional drawings, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential applications of BIM. By attaching other information to elements of the design model, it can be used in a whole variety of ways that brings value to the construction process and ultimately our clients.”

Arup project manager Dan Griffith said: “By 2016 all publicly funded projects will have to be BIM compliant and it will feature heavily in procurement marking. Therefore, if we can demonstrate, through a live project, how it works then it should score well in future tendering.”

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