The advantages of implementing BIM processes in construction projects are endless. BIM plays a major role in increasing the capacity of the design and construction, allowing professionals to dream bigger and construct something that’s never been done before, all while successfully operating within a tight schedule and coordinating with a number of key players. The use of BIM processes in the design and construction of the Istanbul New Airport is a great example of how BIM can take a project to the next level and make the construction process more salient, even in a project of massive scale. Here’s how it was done.

The Project Explained for those with BIM Training

The construction of the new Istanbul Airport, the first phase of which was completed in 2018, was one of the largest airport projects ever undertaken and certainly one of the most expensive. Designed to connect 150 million annual passengers to over 350 destinations worldwide, the airport was designed specifically to be the airport with the most traffic in the world. BIM design was used for the construction of its terminal building, which has a floor area of over 1.5 million square meters. Despite its size, designers with BIM training had clear goals for the project, desiring it to be extremely functional, modern, and distinct, while still being compatible with its surroundings. The project also had a strict and rapid timeline, coinciding with the end of operations at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport.

BIM ensured that the complex design of the Istanbul New Airport could be carried out effectively

BIM ensured that the complex design of the Istanbul New Airport could be carried out effectively

The Implementation of BIM

With a large team of professionals working on the project, BIM processes were used at all stages to coordinate, engineer, and test at each design phase. Subcontractors and other professionals had to learn BIM processes in order to contribute, and project models were viewed by collaborators on a cloud platform, with a virtual BIM Room serving as a means for subcontractors and designers to coordinate. The use of this platform ensured an integrated, effective design that was formulated without mistakes. 

The use of BIM modeling also allowed for the new Istanbul Airport to be constructed as a Green Airport, implementing an environmental management plan which facilitated initiatives for increased biodiversity, a bird radar system, and a program for wildlife management. Through BIM processes, designers were able to reduce the environmental effects of the airport’s construction. BIM design also allowed for code-based detailing and design, improving the safety of the structure and securing it against hazards such as earthquakes.

Why BIM Processes Were Essential in Constructing the Istanbul New Airport

The use of BIM processes to complete the new Istanbul Airport not only allowed for collaboration and effective design, but it reduced waste, allowing for professionals to determine the true and accurate cost and quantity of materials needed for the project. In a project of this magnitude, BIM was crucial in ensuring that construction remained on track in terms of scheduling and spending, and allowed teams to create a more complex design by modeling it. 

While the scale of the project was large, it was also a structurally complex task, with features such as a complex steel roof and ample curved facades. However, BIM processes become the most useful with increased complexity, as BIM processes increase capability and coordination amongst all key players. BIM technician training allowed for designers to implement innovative initiatives that reduced environmental effects, improved safety, and maximized efficiency. Without BIM, the completion of a project such as the Istanbul New Airport, with its complexity, magnitude, and innovation, would not have been possible.

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