Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Coursework Overview Context Statement: The inter-related Architectural, Engineering, Construction | Max paper
  

 Coursework Overview  Context Statement: The inter-related Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Facilities Management (AEC-FM) industries face many challenges around construction project delivery (e.g. poor information  management practices; low levels of collaboration, productivity, predictability and profitability; lack of trust;  poor payment practices, etc.). The application of Building Information Modelling (BIM) concepts, tools and  workflows could potentially address many of these.  Throughout the Module there are discussions on aspects of contemporary practice around Building  Information Modelling (BIM). In order to further equip you with topic specific knowledge and  understanding, around this, and construction project management practice itself, and to help you develop  your intellectual skills and abilities in the subject, the following coursework task is set.  It requires the submission of an individual, written case study report whereby you are to self-select a BIMenabled Project Case Study, for the purposes of analysis and reflection around the management, theory  and practice of BIM. The ‘unit of analysis’ in this case study report ultimately, remains construction project  delivery, and how it could be improved through the use of BIM.  Analysis: This written submission should fully introduce the ‘case’, provide a project description and  position it within an Architectural Engineering and Construction (AEC) context. It should also identify key  project challenges, evaluate any BIM-enabled solutions, and articulate any BIM-related ‘lessons learned’  that can inform and be generalized to future practice.  Reflection: Through theoretical, and evidence-based perspectives, reflect also upon the key elements of  BIM-enabled project delivery practice that you perceive have been applied on the selected project case.  Discuss this by making using of current and salient academic (and relevant professional) literature from  the subjects knowledge-base.  Therefore, the project case study acts a ‘contextual vehicle’ you then use to evidence your independent  research and learning around Building Information Modelling Management, Theory and Practice.  Component 1 is worth 100% of the module. It will be submitted and assessed electronically, and it  addresses all Module Learning Outcomes.  3.3 Coursework Tasks to be Completed by Students  Select a suitable BIM-enabled case study project that is ripe for analysis. This could be a prominent,  widely available BIM-enabled case, where useful materials are readily and publicly available, or one that  the student is currently, or has previously worked on. Such a project should only be one that you have  normal access to information. If such a project is a ‘building’ or ‘live site’, then this should only be one that  you have the ‘normal’, and ‘necessary’ permissions to access externally and/or internally (i.e. you are not  to engage in any trespass of any building/site that you do not have normal permission to enter). Also note  that you should not ‘cold-contact’ professionals to attempt to arrange access to any project that you do  not have normal access to.  If you need a discussion to advise if the proposed BIM-enabled project is suitable for the purposes of  case study analysis, then arrange to have this discussion with one of the module tutors by teaching week  6.  MCE | Learning and Teaching Version 2.1 | Page 3 of 4 In addition to the case study analysis, you should throughout the module, be equipping yourself on other  related aspects of contemporary Construction Project Management practice. To do this and develop your  topic specific knowledge and understanding, and help you develop your intellectual skills and abilities in  this subject, you are to engage with the academic and professional literature around the art, science, and  discipline of Construction Project Management.  Therefore, in addition to describing the BIM-enabled case study project itself, your coursework  submission is expected primarily draw upon, and refer to, the body of academic work in this area.  You should evidence this engagement via appropriate and quality in-text referencing, that is cited  correctly throughout. It is also reasonable to expect that some elements in your review will also be  informed by discussions held in the module or from any credible BIM-related websites (for example,  www.bimacademy.ac.uk, www.thenbs.com, https://www.cdbb.cam.ac.uk/) as these are useful in  highlighting current issues and offering additional supporting information.  Again, the work is to be properly structured and supported through ‘academic’ research using appropriate  and quality references which are cited correctly throughout. A separate, properly formatted references list  must also be provided in the submission at the end of the document.  3.4 Expected Size of Submission   This written work should be formatted using ‘Arial’ font, of font size ‘11’, with 1.5 line spacing.   The upper maximum limit for this work is 4,000 words. This word count includes:   Any abstract (if provided).   The main body of text.   In text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)].   Direct quotations from primary or secondary source material.   Title & Contents page.   Words within tables, figures, and illustrations.   Reference list.   Bibliography (if also provided).   Appendices.   Glossary.   Footnotes.   Figures (diagrams, illustrations, photographs etc.) and tables are welcome to support the text, but  must be fully incorporated into the submission, integrated and following the text that fully explains  why they are exhibited. 200 words will be counted for each separate figure/table used.   The work must form a structured and coherent whole. No contents page or superfluous front  matter is required. Only a basic front sheet for the submission is to be provided, that identifies the  student number (not name), the total number of words used (excluding references section), and  the number of figures/tables used.   ‘Footnotes’/’Endnotes’ will be permitted, as they can offer sufficient value, providing, their use is  minimal, sufficiently concise, and appropriate – they offer only ‘clarifying’ information, or add  ‘adjacent’ value to the sentences already written. In other words, they are not to be used to ‘hide’  words that would otherwise normally be expected to be contained within the main body of the  text, and their use will be considered in accordance with the University policy regarding word  limits.  

Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Environment

MCE | Learning and Teaching Version 2.1 | Page 1 of 4

Coursework Specification

1 Module Information

1.1 Module Title

Building Information Modelling Management, Theory and Practice.

1.2 Module Code Number

KB7034.

1.3 Module Level and Credit Points

Level 7 at 20 Credit Points.

1.4 Module Leader

Ray Elysee.

1.5 Assessment Component Number (on Module Specification)

Component 1.

1.6 Assessment Weighting (on Module Specification)

100%.

1.7 Coursework Title

BIM-enabled project case study report.

1.8 Coursework Specification Author

Ray Elysee.

1.9 Academic Year and Semester(s)

2021/22 Semester 1.

2 Coursework Submission and Feedback

2.1 Release Date of Coursework Specification to Students

27th September 2021.

2.2 Mechanism Used to Disseminate Coursework Specification to Students

Instructions and guidance issued via eLP Module Site (Assessment Area).

2.3 Date and Time of Submission of Coursework by Students

6th January 2022 by 23.59, UK Time.

2.4 The mechanism for Submission of Coursework by Students

Via Turnitin submission upload link for Task 1 Submission, which will be provided on the Assessment
page of the KB7034 eLP Blackboard module site.

The front cover of the submission is to only contain, and clearly identify (in this order, on separate lines):
the module code and name; the student number; A title for the work that accurately reflects its focus; the
word count; the total number of all figures and tables used.

2.5 Return Date of Unconfirmed Internally Moderated Mark(s) and Feedback to Students

No later than 20 working days after the submission date. These marks are likely to be issued by the 3rd
February 2022.

MCE | Learning and Teaching Version 2.1 | Page 2 of 4

2.6 The mechanism for Return of Unconfirmed Internally Moderated Mark(s) and Feedback to Students

Via Turnitin.

3 Assessment Details

3.1 Module Learning Outcomes (MLOs).

1. Deconstruct existing information management practices used by Construction Industry actors and
communicate their impact upon the industry business model.

2. Critically appraise the scope and role of Building Information Modelling within the context of the
Construction industry.

3. Critique existing Construction Industry research efforts, and approaches to problem-solving on real
life BIM-enabled projects, to identify, and learn from areas to improve aspects of project delivery
through the application of the management, theory or practice of BIM.

4. Produce and present original work for academic review.

3.2 Coursework Overview

Context Statement: The inter-related Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Facilities Management
(AEC-FM) industries face many challenges around construction project delivery (e.g. poor information
management practices; low levels of collaboration, productivity, predictability and profitability; lack of trust;
poor payment practices, etc.). The application of Building Information Modelling (BIM) concepts, tools and
workflows could potentially address many of these.

Throughout the Module there are discussions on aspects of contemporary practice around Building
Information Modelling (BIM). In order to further equip you with topic specific knowledge and
understanding, around this, and construction project management practice itself, and to help you develop
your intellectual skills and abilities in the subject, the following coursework task is set.

It requires the submission of an individual, written case study report whereby you are to self-select a BIM-
enabled Project Case Study, for the purposes of analysis and reflection around the management, theory
and practice of BIM. The ‘unit of analysis’ in this case study report ultimately, remains construction project
delivery, and how it could be improved through the use of BIM.

Analysis: This written submission should fully introduce the ‘case’, provide a project description and
position it within an Architectural Engineering and Construction (AEC) context. It should also identify key
project challenges, evaluate any BIM-enabled solutions, and articulate any BIM-related ‘lessons learned’
that can inform and be generalized to future practice.

Reflection: Through theoretical, and evidence-based perspectives, reflect also upon the key elements of
BIM-enabled project delivery practice that you perceive have been applied on the selected project case.
Discuss this by making using of current and salient academic (and relevant professional) literature from
the subjects knowledge-base.

Therefore, the project case study acts a ‘contextual vehicle’ you then use to evidence your independent
research and learning around Building Information Modelling Management, Theory and Practice.

Component 1 is worth 100% of the module. It will be submitted and assessed electronically, and it
addresses all Module Learning Outcomes.

3.3 Coursework Tasks to be Completed by Students

Select a suitable BIM-enabled case study project that is ripe for analysis. This could be a prominent,
widely available BIM-enabled case, where useful materials are readily and publicly available, or one that
the student is currently, or has previously worked on. Such a project should only be one that you have
normal access to information. If such a project is a ‘building’ or ‘live site’, then this should only be one that
you have the ‘normal’, and ‘necessary’ permissions to access externally and/or internally (i.e. you are not
to engage in any trespass of any building/site that you do not have normal permission to enter). Also note
that you should not ‘cold-contact’ professionals to attempt to arrange access to any project that you do
not have normal access to.

If you need a discussion to advise if the proposed BIM-enabled project is suitable for the purposes of
case study analysis, then arrange to have this discussion with one of the module tutors by teaching week
6.

MCE | Learning and Teaching Version 2.1 | Page 3 of 4

In addition to the case study analysis, you should throughout the module, be equipping yourself on other
related aspects of contemporary Construction Project Management practice. To do this and develop your
topic specific knowledge and understanding, and help you develop your intellectual skills and abilities in
this subject, you are to engage with the academic and professional literature around the art, science, and
discipline of Construction Project Management.

Therefore, in addition to describing the BIM-enabled case study project itself, your coursework
submission is expected primarily draw upon, and refer to, the body of academic work in this area.
You should evidence this engagement via appropriate and quality in-text referencing, that is cited
correctly throughout. It is also reasonable to expect that some elements in your review will also be
informed by discussions held in the module or from any credible BIM-related websites (for example,
www.bimacademy.ac.uk, www.thenbs.com, https://www.cdbb.cam.ac.uk/) as these are useful in
highlighting current issues and offering additional supporting information.

Again, the work is to be properly structured and supported through ‘academic’ research using appropriate
and quality references which are cited correctly throughout. A separate, properly formatted references list
must also be provided in the submission at the end of the document.

3.4 Expected Size of Submission

 This written work should be formatted using ‘Arial’ font, of font size ‘11’, with 1.5 line spacing.
 The upper maximum limit for this work is 4,000 words. This word count includes:

 Any abstract (if provided).
 The main body of text.
 In text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)].
 Direct quotations from primary or secondary source material.
 Title & Contents page.
 Words within tables, figures, and illustrations.
 Reference list.
 Bibliography (if also provided).
 Appendices.
 Glossary.
 Footnotes.

 Figures (diagrams, illustrations, photographs etc.) and tables are welcome to support the text, but
must be fully incorporated into the submission, integrated and following the text that fully explains
why they are exhibited. 200 words will be counted for each separate figure/table used.

 The work must form a structured and coherent whole. No contents page or superfluous front
matter is required. Only a basic front sheet for the submission is to be provided, that identifies the
student number (not name), the total number of words used (excluding references section), and
the number of figures/tables used.

 ‘Footnotes’/’Endnotes’ will be permitted, as they can offer sufficient value, providing, their use is
minimal, sufficiently concise, and appropriate – they offer only ‘clarifying’ information, or add
‘adjacent’ value to the sentences already written. In other words, they are not to be used to ‘hide’
words that would otherwise normally be expected to be contained within the main body of the
text, and their use will be considered in accordance with the University policy regarding word
limits.

The full word limit policy is accessible here: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/university-
services/academic-registry/quality-and-teaching-excellence/assessment/guidance-for-students/

3.5 Referencing Style

 For this task, full academic referencing from any sources used is to be provided in the separate
references section submitted using the Harvard referencing style, where correct and working
hyperlinks to the original source should also be created to allow the tutor to check these sources.

 Any ‘in-text’ referencing should also be undertaken using the Harvard referencing style.
 To help with this, you are to write your coursework using the Cite Them Right version of the

Harvard referencing system. An online guide to Cite Them Right is freely available to
Northumbria University students at: https://www.citethemrightonline.com/ This resource will
provide consistent help and information about correct referencing technique and standards.

 Remember everything cited should be traceable to the sources used.
 Further assistance with academic reading, writing and referencing is available via Northumbria

Universities Skills Plus web page: https://library.northumbria.ac.uk/skillsplus/

MCE | Learning and Teaching Version 2.1 | Page 4 of 4

3.6 Assessment Criteria

 Introduction – How well the work establishes and describes the BIM-enabled case study project,
and positions it within a wider AEC context: 10%

 Problems – How well the work provides analysis of the ‘key issue’ problems within the BIM-
enabled project case study. This criterion balances ‘range’, against ‘appropriateness’ in the
identification of these key issues: 10%

 Solutions – How well the work evaluates the specific BIM-enabled solutions/tactics that were
used to address these key issue problems, and discusses these in terms of Construction Project
Management practice: 10%

 Lessons – How well the work articulates a critical appraisal of the ‘lessons learned’ from this
project case study, then considers if and how these can be deployed more generally in future
aiding construction project delivery through the use of BIM: 10%

 Relationship with existing literature – Here, the work should demonstrate adequate
understanding of the relevant literature in the field, cite an appropriate range of literature sources
and not ignore any significant work: 20%

 Quality of Conclusion – How well the conclusion of the work sufficiently relates to the preceding
content, and provides an effectively summary for the reader: 10%

 Quality of Communication – Here, the overall narrative should be coherent, and remain
relevant to the practice of BIM-enabled Construction Project Management. The work should
clearly express its case. Attention should have been paid to the clarity of expression and
readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc: 20%

 General structure and formatting of the work, and the References section (see below notes)
in particular: 10%

Total: 100%

4 Referral

The Referral Attempt opportunity will generally take place after the end-of-level Progression and Awards
Board (PAB). If you become eligible to complete a Referral Attempt but are subsequently unable to
undertake the opportunity when required, you will be permitted to re-sit the module at the next scheduled
sitting of the module assessment. This will typically entail the suspension of your progression on your
programme of study until such time that you have completed the level and become eligible to proceed.

5 Guidance for Students on Policies for Assessment

The University has several policies for assessment. The following information, which is available to you
from the link below, provides guidance on these policies, including relevant procedures and forms.

(1) Assessment Regulations and Policies
(a) Assessment Regulations for Taught Awards
(b) Group Work Assessments Policy
(c) Moderation Policy
(d) Retention of Assessed Work Policy
(e) Word Limits Policy

(2) Assessment Feedback
(a) Anonymous Marking Policy

(3) Late Submission of Work and Extension Requests
(4) Personal Extenuating Circumstances
(5) Technical Extenuating Circumstances
(6) Student Complaints and Appeals
(7) Academic Misconduct
(8) Student Disability and Unforeseen Medical Circumstances

https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/university-services/academic-registry/quality-and-teaching-
excellence/assessment/guidance-for-students/

Analysis and Reflection on BIM-enabled Solutions and Practices: Case Study of Crossrail

Project.

Name : Dara Easwar Karthik

ID Number : w1904969

Module : Building Information Modeling Management, Theory and Practice.

Module Code : KB7034.

Coursework Title : BIM-Enabled project case study report.

Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE18ST, United Kingdom

Abstract

This report presents an analysis of the GBP14.8 billion Crossrail project, undertaken in the UK

by Crossrail Ltd and sponsored by Department for Transport and Transport for London in terms

of the application of BIM-enabled solutions in addressing the key issues faced in the project and

the lessons learned. The report identifies data storage and accessibility issues, engineering

accuracy problems, data visualization challenges, and interoperability as the top challenges

faced in the project. Thanks to BIM-enabled solutions that enable the project to be a success

although some challenges were still experienced, including cost overruns and delays in

completion of the project. The lessons that can be learned from this include encouraging the

training of workers and contractors on use BIM technology before they allowed to employ the

technology, employing tablet applications on work site to enable site inspection and progress

assessment, and need to address compatibility issues between BIM client and contractors so

that the use of the technology can be seamless and enable achievement of the objectives of the

technology. The report has also reflected on key elements of BIM technology that seems to

have been employed in the project in light of the existing literature, including 2D, 3D, 4D, and

5D models.

Contents

Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

1.0 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

2.0 Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

2.1 Background of the case study……………………………………………………………………………. 4

2.2 BIM technology ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5

2.3 Key project challenges …………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

2.3.1 Data storage and accessibility ……………………………………………………………………… 6

2.3.2 Geographically accurate data ………………………………………………………………………. 7

2.3.3 Data visualization ……………………………………………………………………………………… 7

2.3.4 Interoperability ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7

2.4 BIM-enable solutions……………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

2.4.1 Addressing data storage and accessibility challenges ………………………………………. 8

2.4.2 Addressing geographical data accuracy issues ……………………………………………….. 8

2.4.3 Addressing data visualization challenges ……………………………………………………….. 9

2.4.4 Addressing interoperability challenges …………………………………………………………. 10

2.5 Learned lessons …………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

3.0 Reflection……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11

4.0 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13

References ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14

Appendixes: Crossrail client and delivery partners (Source; Dodgson et al., 2015). …………….. 16

1.0 Introduction

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a one of the recent technology that is gaining a lot of

attention in the Architectural Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, which seeks to

overcome challenges faced in the AEC context and enhance and streamline the key processes

involved to improve project success. In line with this, this report seeks to achieve two key

objectives. First, the report seeks to identify and critically discuss one of the case studies where

BIM-enabled solutions have been employed within the AEC context and identify the key project

challenges, evaluate BIM-enabled solutions to these challenges and present precise lessons

that can be learned from this project for future reference. The second objective of this report is

to present a reflection of the key elements of BIM-enabled project delivery practice that have

been employed in the selected case study in line with current and salient academic literature

from the subject’s knowledge. The selected case study in this case is the Crossrail project.

The report is structured into two key parts. Part one of the report introduces the case study and

presents a detailed analysis of the key challenges that the Crossrail project faced and how the

implementation of BIM technology has enabled the Crossrail Ltd to address the challenges and

the lessons that can be learned from the application of the technology for future use. Part two of

the report presents a critical reflection of the key elements of BIM-technology employed in the

Crossrail project in line with existing literature about BIM-technology. The report ends with a

conclusion based on the results from the above key parts.

2.0 Analysis

2.1 Background of the case study

Crossrail project is a railway construction project that was initially valued at GBP14.8 billion that

started officially in 2008 following the passing of the Crossrail Act 2008 but the cost has

significantly increased since then reaching about 18 billion in 2019 (Farrel and Topham, 2019).

However, the conceptualization of the project was started in 1974 (Smith, 2014). The new

railway project is about 118 kilometres long stretching from Shenfield and Abbey W ood through

central London to Reading and Heathrow. As part of the construction of the project are 32

stations and 42 kilometres of the tunnel (Dodgson et al., 2015). The project is sponsored by the

Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) and Crossrail Ltd is the special-

purpose company that was created to specifically design, implement and commission the

project (See Appendix 1). The implementation of this project is expected to increase the

London’s rail-based capacity by 10%, bringing about 1.5 million people within a 45-minute

commute from London’s major commercial districts (Dodgson et al., 2015). Most importantly,

this a large and complex project that involves interrelated projects that have to be integrated to

develop the new railway system. This involves ensuring that the new railway system is

integrated with the existing underground and overground rail network systems in addition to

developing the new stations. This case study is selected because there is a huge volume of

information about the implementation of BIM-technology in the project that is available from the

company website as well as from literature, which makes it possible for the researcher to

achieve the aims of the report. For instance, in 2017, Crossrail.co.uk (2017) release the report

titled “Crossrail BIM Principles”, which presents clear and detailed information of why the

implementation of BIM technology in the project is important and how they are implementing the

technology. The implementation of BIM technology in the project has also been discussed by

researchers such as Smith (2014) and Ahmad (2017) among many others discussed in this

report, which means a lot can be learned from this project for future reference.

Figure.1 Route Map of Cross rail

Source: Overview; What is Cross rail

2.2 BIM technology

BIM is defined by Bensalah et al. (2019) as “a digital and graphic representation of the physical

and functional characteristics of a structure”. Crossrail.co.uk (2017 defined it as “the process of

generating and managing information throughout the whole life of the asset by using model-

based technologies linked to databases of reliable information”. In other words, BIM technology

seeks to provide a shared knowledge resource for facility information that affords a crucial

foundation for making key decisions in complex projects over the project lifecycle right from

project initiation, designing, planning, evaluation, construction, the operation to project

demolition (Migilinskas et al., 2013). According to Taylor (2017), the BIM environment was

originally pioneered by land surveyors who established a broad Geographic Information System

(GIS) in the 1990s. Since then, the technology has evolved and gained a lot of attention among

scholars and practitioners seeking to address major challenges commonly found in mega and

complex projects, especially in the AEC industry, which are discussed in details in this report as

follows;

Figure.2 BIM Technology in Cross rail Project

Source: BIM in Cross rail

2.3Key project challenges

2.3.1 Data storage and accessibility

Data storage and accessibility are one of the key challenges that megaprojects tend to face,

especially when there are many stakeholders with different information systems and needs. This

is a key challenge faced in the Crossrail project due to a large number of stakeholders involved

and different information that was needed to make crucial decisions on time. For instance,

Taylor (2017) noted that there were over 8250 users of the information database, over 450,000

drawings and over 5 million documents. Without a common database, access to the right

information at the right time would have been difficult in this project owing to its complexity. Irwin

and Tamash (2016) noted that all geospatial data related to the project needed to be centrally

stored, managed and distributed to enable the natural collaboration between all key contractors

and other stakeholders to occur with only minimal time required. Most important, the information

had to be made available to not only those in central offices but also those on the construction

site, including primary contractors to the right information at the right time and avoid confusion

and potential wrong decisions at the site levels, which could result in accidents and injuries or

delays in key activities.

2.3.2 Geographically accurate data

Another key challenge faced by mega construction projects is the lack of accurate geographical

data required to make key decisions on the projects. This was a challenge that the Crossrail

project could not avoid because the project was taking place within and around a megacity,

London (Crossrail.co.uk, 2017). In particular, the knowledge of the exact location of nearby

buildings and other infrastructure was crucial since the project involved underground and

overground constructions within and around the city, which demanded a high level of

engineering accuracy not previously seen. Irwin and Tamash (2016) noted that the construction

of the underground railway systems needed to fall within acceptable engineering tolerances.

2.3.3 Data visualization

Data visualisation is a crucial aspect in the AEC context where the project is very complex,

especially during design, planning, execution and post-project analysis phases (Zeb et al.,

2008). Due to the complexity evident in the Crossrail project, including new stations,

underground and overground constructions, data visualisation was very crucial over the entire

project life, which plays a key role in saving costs and reducing risk on the project. Most

important, Crossrail.co.uk (2017) noted that data visualisation could assist in building

confidence in design, construction and operational costs and facilitate in making of crucial

decisions, including monitoring and controlling the project, which could be a bit more difficult

without data visualisation owing to the complexity of the project.

2.3.4 Interoperability

Interoperability is concerned with the exchange of information between different information

systems, which was a fundamental shift in the delivery of the Crossrail project owing to the

many stakeholders involved in the project. This was a key challenge in the project because

historically projects have faced a key challenge in integrating Electronic CAD Management

System (ECMS) and other systems such as GIS as noted by Irwin and Tamash (2016). Djuedja

et al. (2019) identified several interoperability problems associated with the application of BIM

technology, which included translation or coverage issues, very large size models and many

tools dealing with different kinds of information. Addressing these problems was very crucial in

ensuring that the Crossrail project was a success. Farghaly et al. (2018) noted that failure to

ensure interoperability could impair the effective process of extracting, storing, managing,

integrating and distributing the right information to the right people.

2.4 BIM-enable solutions

2.4.1 Addressing data storage and accessibilitychallenges

The data storage in the Crossrail project was not centralized or held in a single information

repository, rather much of the information was held in business-specific systems, which included

Land Registry Systems, and the Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) among

others. Most importantly, these data had to adhere to a common data architecture, which was

developed by Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and adopted in the project. This ensured that

all information between different systems were standardized and could easily be shared and

distributed across all the key stakeholders. Accessibility to this information was achieved by the

development of a Master Data Model (MDM), which had links to all information created by the

project to one of several key identifiers. Most importantly, this was managed centrally but no

single stakeholder could change the content in the MDM without informing and getting approval

from other stakeholders, thereby ensuring consistency across all linked information systems

(Irwin and Tamash, 2016). Moreover, this ensured that information loss is reduced throughout

the project including between project phases (Crossrail.co.uk, 2017). Interestingly, several tablet

applications, including Bentley Field Supervisor App and Augmented Reality (AR) apps were

developed to facilitate the implementation of the BIM initiatives at the site level by enabling

supervisors and others stakeholders to access the BIM data on the worksites (Smith, 2014).

According to Crossrail.co.uk (2017), this was crucial as to helped ensure the supervisors and

others had access to all information they needed on real-time, thereby helping supervisors to

capture information at the worksites and pass it electronically to the central office to enable

assessment construction progress and evaluations. Smith (2014) noted that this helped avoid

errors and delays associated with manual transfer of information in the AEC context.

2.4.2 Addressing geographical data accuracy issues

In addressing geographical data accuracy issues, a system was developed in the 1990s by the

UK National Coordinate System, Ordnance Survey National Grid, to enhance the engineering

accuracy needed in the Crossrail project. However, the system was not accurate enough due to

Earth surface curvature, which led to distortions of up to 200mm per kilometre travelled (Irwin

and Tamash, 2016). To improve the accuracy further, a new coordinate system was needed to

mitigate the grid distortion within the project area, with the accuracy increasing to 1mm

distortion per kilometre travelled, which is commendable.Adoption BIM-enabled solutions such

as Crossrail CAD Standard ensured that the project information was developed within a real-

world context, thereby improving the decisions made from such information (Irwin and Tamash,

2016).

2.4.3 Addressing data visualization challenges

While the concept of data visualisation and 3D technology was not new in the Crossrail project

since 1995, the introduction of BIM technologies improved the capabilities of these technologies

by enabling them to be used by a much greater number of users (Taylor, 2017). The success of

this in the Crossrail project is because of MDM, which ensured consistent and up-to-date

versions of the information was accessible across different areas of the project simultaneously.

This was so crucial since it resulted in increased collaboration between the different

stakeholders in the project(Migilinskas et al., 2013). Moreover, Crossrail.co.uk (2017) noted that

the application of 3D visualisation in the BIM technology provided rich database required for

designing the structural aspects of the projects and supporting the execution of the

project.Smith (2014) claims it enabled them to save about 8-18% of the design fees.Besides,

integration of 4D technology with the 3D model brought new capabilities that enabled the project

managers and others to integrate schedule with the 3D visualization, thereby reducing

constructions risks by enabling reviewing of complex details or procedures before going on-site

(Crossrail.co.uk, 2017). However, Smith (2014) noted that the implementation of BIM-enabled

solutions such as 4D and 3D model presented a key risk to the project due to a shortage of

personnel with required BIM skills. As a result, a BIM Academy had to be launched in 2012

jointly by Crossrail and Bentley to afford free hands-on training to all relevant stakeholders

involved in the project (Smith, 2014).

Figure.3 BIM Challenges in Cross rail projects

Source: Cross rail case study.

2.4.4 Addressing interoperability challenges

In addressing the interoperability challenges evident in the project, Crossrail Ltd had to

measures that enable housing of all the interoperable data. This was made possible in the

project through the development of an enterprise Relational Database Management System

(RDBMS). Different versions of the RDBMS were developed but Crossrail Ltd chose Oracle

Spatial because it was regarded as a most scalable and robust system, thereby enabling

storage of both 2D and 3D geometries among other systems (Irwin and Tamash, 2016).

Crossrail.co.uk (2017) noted that the goal of this was to ensure data transfer process did not

lead to loss or corruption of the information and that the right information was made available to

the right persons. Despite the attempt to address interoperability problems, there were still

challenges faced due to compatibility issues between the BIM model and third party software

systems. For example, Smith (2014) noted that suppliers of fabrications required for the

construction of the railway faced some challenges in fabricating and manufacturing parts due to

inability transfer the design information accurately from the design applications into

manufacturing and fabrication systems, forcing many constructors to develop their own systems

that can extract data from the BIM model and use it to populate their fabrication and

manufacturing systems. This ensured items made are of higher quality than possible if done on

the site (Constructionnews.co.uk, 2013).

2.5 Learned lessons

Several lessons can be learned from the above Crossrail project case study. First, the case

demonstrates that the application of BIM technology requires an organization and contractors

involved to have the right BIM technology skills to implement the technology successfully. Thus,

to avoid challenges faced at first during the implementation of BIM in the Crossrail project, the

organization should consider to fully train their employees and ensure contractors have right

BIM skills before the technology can be deployed. Secondly, the case study shows that it is

important to ensure compatibility of the BIM model technology and the contractors’ systems to

ensure the BIM information can easily be applied in contractors’ systems accurately and without

losing any information, hence make it easier for the contractors to develop and manufacture

products that perfectly meet the site requirements. Thirdly, the case study shows that the BIM

initiatives can be exploited on the worksite by developing mobile applications, such as Field

Supervisor App and Augmented Reality (AR) apps, which can assist in providing supervisors

with the right information on real-time as well as capture the progress of the site work and send

the information to a central office for inspection and performance evaluation and decision

making.

3.0 Reflection

The BIM-enable technology employed in the Crossrail project is BIM Level 2. BIM Level 2 is

where the project is managed in a 3D environment held in separate discipline “BIM” tools with

attached data (Crossrail.co.uk, 2017). Besides, BIM Level 2 also involve the use of 4D

programme data and 5D model cost elements (Crossrail.co.uk, 2017).

In general, there are seven key elements in BIM technology (Brainlab.com, 2019). However,

only 5 of these key elements that seem to have been implemented in the development and

implementation of Crossrail BIM-enabled solutions. The first of theseelementsis the 1D (Digital

drawing board) in which information is gathered from the client about what kind of construction

structure should be constructed. This can be seen as the initial stage of the project lifecycle

where the original plan is drafted and documented based on the requirements by the clients. In

the Crossrail project, the initiation and planning of the project started during the 1990s and the

project implementation officiated in 2008 following the passing of the Crossrail Act 2008.

The second key element in BIM technology is the Second Dimension (2D), which involves

converting the planned construction project into a vector design. In particular, this involved the

drawing of the floor plans and wall elevations in the railway system construction. According to

Ogwueleka (2015), 2D is known for being an accurate representation of the engineering

graphic. Crossrail.co.uk (2017) mentioned that this was employed in several project sites to

effectively communicate current and planned construction progress. However, the main

challenge with the 2D model is that it was difficult to visualize the project over its lifecycle

(Ogwueleka, 2015). For this reason, 2D had to be improved to address these challenges and

enable the railway construction project to move to the next level of BIM-enabled solutions.

The third key element of BIM technology is the 3D, which is a model designed from the 2D plan

to develop a visualization of the space (Lin, 2014).Crossrail.co.uk (2017) notes that the 3D

model was employed in the project to achieve several things. First, the 3D model enabled

Crossrail Ltd to develop a computer-simulated environment that could be explored and

investigate to identify hazards in the project and form the basis for responding to them.

Secondly, Crossrail.co.uk (2017) noted that 3D could also be used in the validation of as-built,

spatial coordination and clash detection. This is echoed by Alizadehsalehi et al. (2017) who

argued that the implementation of the 3D model in construction projects can help designers,

workers and safety managers to reduce accidents and fatalities in the project site by helping

them to identify them in advance. Gumz and W elty (2014) noted that the application of this

technology in designing and planning of construction projects also helps reduce reworks and re-

planning since any issues could be addressed before they occur.

The fourth key element in BIM technology, known as the 4D, takes into account the time

concept of a project lifecycle. According to Brainlab.com (2019), it entails the processes of

streamlining the construction processes by taking into account when each of the parts in the

project will be required by visualizing it in the 3D model. Crossrail.co.uk (2017) claims that this

enabled them to link schedule with 3D models thereby providing visual validation of where a

proposed construction sequence is acceptable.

The fifth element of BIM applied is the 5D, which enables us to visualization the project design

in terms of the costs involved in each part of the project of its lifecycle. Crossrail.co.uk (2017)

also claimed that they had developed rules and standards that would ensure the 5D model

capability would be achieved in which cost-related information could be integrated into a

visualization of construction project requirements, including fabrications and parts required and

facilitate in cost estimations and decision making. However, of great concern is that despite this,

the cost of the project has continued to increase reaching GBP18 billion in 2019 ov er and above

initial budget, which raises concerns over the accuracy of the estimations (Farrell and Topham,

2019).

4.0 Conclusion

In conclusion, this report has analyzed the application of BIM technology in the Crossrail project

in terms of the challenges involved and BIM solutions employed to address them and what can

be learned from the application of the BIM-enabled solutions, including encouraging training

workers and contractors on use of BIM technology before they allowed to employ the

technology, developing tablet applications on work site to enable site inspection and progress

assessment, and need to address compatibility issues between BIM system of the client and

contractors’ systemsso that the use of the technology can be seamless and enable achievement

of the objectives of the project. The report has also reflected on key elements of BIM technology

that seems to have been employed in the project, including 2D, 3D, 4D, and 5D models and

how the role they played in light of existing literature. Thus, future projects should use BIM-

enabled technologies since they can reduce costs, reduce risks and increase the success rate

of the project. However, the concerns raised in this report should be considered before the

implementation of BIM solutions.

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