BIM Aides Contractors in Stadium Construction

According to Structural Engineer, building information modeling (BIM) is proving its merit in several new sports venue projects, helping deliver complex and ambitious new structures on aggressive schedules while improving the ability of all the companies on a project team to coordinate work.

Engineers today are making use of BIM for visualization, clash detection and smart parametric changes, while contractors benefit from more informed bidding and understanding as well as 4-D (time-based) and 5-D (cost-based) scheduling.

BIM proved a boon in the construction of the Washington Nationals’ baseball stadium, which was finished on a very aggressive schedule despite funding delays and a complex design that arranged concourses and seating decks into different “neighborhoods.” The stadium was divided into 10 segments to serve as separate work packages by structural engineers using a Tekla model, and the fabricator combined the parts into a master building information model.

Aggressive BIM use has also benefited the construction of the new Yankee Stadium, where BIM has produced models for mechanical, electrical and plumbing subcontractors, ordering steel, and creating bills of materials. Particularly important was the ability to accurately model the aesthetics and geometry of a steel frieze around the stadium canopy, created as a replica of the old Yankee -Stadium’s original copper frieze.

Nearby, the new Meadowlands Stadium project in East Rutherford, N.J., has used BIM to manage complexity and productivity, enabling the steel detailer and fabricator to begin connection detailing as soon as members were released for mill order. In addition, the Brooklyn Nets Arena’s Frank Gehry design lent itself well to BIM’s strength in visualizing complex geometry and understanding design intent.

For more information on the Washington Nationals’ stadium, see “Nationals’ Treasure” in the April 2008 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

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