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Five years on from Australia’s New South Wales government mandating the use of BIM on its revolutionary multi-billion-dollar rapid rail project, the joint venture design team commissioned for the Northwest stage of the venture has received a top global award for its contribution to this first leg of the work.

To learn more about this ongoing mass public transport construction, the expert infrastructure design team behind the first part of its execution, and the reason it was a natural conclusion by all parties to make use of BIM in the planning, let’s take a closer look.

What Exactly Is the Sydney Metro Project? 

Representing Australia’s first fully automated transit rail service and the country’s largest public transport initiative, the Sydney Metro project is an ongoing metro rail construction project expected to transform the commuting options of Sydney’s citizens. Current construction efforts are focussed on the newest line, running under Sydney Harbour and the city’s central business district. The venture’s final completion is projected for 2024.

The first stage of the enormous infrastructure venture, known as the Sydney Metro Northwest project, was completed in 2019, creating 36 km of new metro track and eight new metro stations to connect passengers with five established platforms. A parking area to accommodate thousands of commuters, connections to major bus interchanges and precinct civil work were other key aspects of the first project-leg design.

What Should Students of BIM Training Know About the Design Team?

It took the combined efforts of a design joint venture team to bring the ambitious first stage of the rail project to life, with contributions from Mott Macdonald, SMEC, and KBR. The innovative work from the design collaboration earned the team players the prestigious 2020 ENR Global Best Rail Project award. Students of BIM training will be interested to learn that the design team has said that the use of BIM helped minimize cost and risk considerations throughout the Northwest project’s execution.

The joint venture design team credits BIM with substantial cost and time savings on the project

The joint venture design team credits BIM with substantial cost and time savings on the project

Why Was BIM so Central to the Success of the Project?

In the project’s planning phase, the design team leads listened to the client’s desire to realize the time, cost, and quality benefits made possible through the use of BIM. Those who learn BIM will come to know the clash or conflict detection and other unique components of the modeling process. This unique insight provides project stakeholders with a clear view of the evolutions and needs of construction as it progresses. This capability, well understood by grads of BIM technician training, created opportunities for forecasting particular issues on the Sydney Metro Northwest project and allowed for quick resolutions to them. 

The integrative oversight capability of the model-based process also allowed the client and designers to make quick plans for improvements as construction evolved, using prefab materials in the place of raw construction materials. These types of decisions resulted in much more efficiency and sustainability on the rail construction, leading to remarkable overall time and cost savings throughout the project’s execution.