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Carillion-Morgan Sindall JV shows off model behaviour on new motorway

How the contractor’s joint venture is delivering the A1 Leeming to Barton project.

The A1 Leeming to Barton scheme will improve safety and journey time reliability between London and major urban centres in the North of England and Scotland, as well as resulting in a continuous motorway standard route between London and Newcastle.

The £380m project involves the design and construction of a new 19.3 km three-lane motorway including hard shoulders, major structures, associated ancillary works and a new 15 km local access road.

Main works commenced in March 2014 with completion planned for spring 2017.

Highways England and its delivery partner, a Carillion-Morgan Sindall joint venture, supported by its design team of Aecom and Grontmij, are co-ordinating the implementation of BIM to enhance innovation and collaborative practice across the teams for project delivery.

This includes all new-build, assessment and modification works, within extremely challenging programme constraints.

“The project team is achieving these benefits as a result of its early engagement, involving planners, designers, construction staff and the supply chain”

The project aspired to be a pioneer in the highways sector through the delivery of BIM to increase programme and cost certainty, reduce change and introduce an innovative environment and establish seamless project relations.

Early preparation

The team prepared a business case and implementation plan early in the process, which facilitated speedy implementation of new processes, workshops and buy-in from all partners and stakeholders.

The team is delivering more than 300 interlinked 3D information models for bi-weekly co-ordination of the entire scheme, with over 250 design-and-construction clash validation rules.

The information models supplement 4D construction sequencing and budget simulations.

The key to the project-wide adoption of the process has been the joint venture leadership.

Culturally it has brought the client, joint venture and design partners together, and the process has assisted in increasing the constructability of complex structures.

This has increased construction productivity and reduced language barriers.

Closer and closer collaboration

The co-ordinated models are being used to reduce potential design and construction conflicts, enhancing collaboration as well as helping to graphically study construction sequencing and logistics in complex areas.

As a result, the adopted BIM processes are now engrained into the JV’s design and delivery processes and used as a shared resource for reliable and collaborative decision-making.

“Ease of access to the data has enabled clear communication of how the project information model is created and accessed”

The project team is achieving these benefits as a result of its early engagement, involving planners, designers, construction staff and the supply chain.

Such engagement has helped ensure agreement across the project with respect to model development and programme milestones.

Ease of access to the data has enabled clear communication of how the project information model is created and accessed.

Initial workshops focused on education; realising the culture changes needed; objectives with regard to collaboration; design and construction protocols; delivery processes; and on agreeing BIM uses.

This included an assessment of the project team capabilities and appropriate workflows in achieving the contract’s aims.

With many of the design-and-build benefits already realised, the project leaders and operations staff are now focused on realising similar benefits for the handover of the asset into operation.

In addition, within this process they are leading and supporting Highways England to test and prove the asset data collection methods for a linear asset.

Alex Lubbock is BIM development manager and David Lowery is project director at Carillion

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