Digital Engineering for a Dam Construction Project Tender Evaluation

Read a case study on how BIM transformed the tender evaluation process for a remote dam construction project.

The Objective 

  • To quickly and accurately evaluate the time and cost feasibility of a project during tender evaluation stage, given the dynamic nature of the existing environment subject to political, economic and social influences.
  • To demonstrate the application of digital engineering (DE) methodology using a combination of BIM, GIS, CDE and data analytic software for tender evaluation.

The Process

Tools used: QGIS, Civil3D, Dynamo, Naviswork, Infraworks, Assemble, PowerBI

A comparison of conventional methods of tender evaluation vs a digital engineering driven one 

ConventionalDE method
Information is scattered in various places/formats and heavily dependent on custodian department and/or individual experiencesAll information, from drawings, reports to critical knowledge are captured, digitised and stored in a central repository
Visual references for design reviews, coordination and logistical planning are available in 2D onlyInformation is in readily digestible formats (i.e. GIS, 3D/4D models) to facilitate discussion, evaluation and reuse in other projects
Information and processes are static and delinked, requiring manual intervention when changes occurInformation and processes are linked together allowing seamless adaptation to changes
Each scenario has to be worked out by manually manipulating respective data set, one at a timeAllows simulation of different scenarios, functionalities and costs at a fraction of the time and effort
Manual work processes can be repetitive and mundaneAllows automation of certain work processes via RPA and programming

The Outcome

The DE approach had streamlined the exercise, especially in terms of establishing a model for quantity-takeoff, managing interfaces between key components, sequencing the construction activities and validating the feasibility of various proposals.

Each colour block represents the actual work breakdown linked to the work programme. Potential discrepancies that may affect the program critical path were identified through various simulations. The simulations would factor the site constraints and access even for ancillary structures such as the tunnel portals, secondary powerhouse, cofferdams and more.

The Takeaways

  • As good as the real deal
    The 3D model and simulations act as a clear visual reference for multiple parties to understand the site context, assess the constraints and develop intelligent solutions. Where there was no clarity and real-world visibility of the project, the DE approach gave the teams a bird’s eye view of the project, granting them the confidence to make informed decisions in an otherwise very complex scenario.
  • Getting it right from the start
    Agreeing from the outset on the tools and common references to be used had helped remove common interoperability and data structure snags.
  • Buy-in matters
    Rather than forcefully imposing new technologies on incumbent stakeholders, which can be counterproductive, facilitating the transformation journey by proof-of-concept is more effective.

As this is an ongoing project, stay tuned for more on #BIMspiration.

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