China’s Ice World is poised to be the biggest indoor ice- and water-themed park in the world, putting entertainment, sightseeing, and hospitality all in one place.
As part of the Changsha Great King Mountain Tourist Resort, Ice World—along with a five-star hotel—is a modern, integrated complex located at the western side of an ancient mine.
Great King Mountain Ice World Tourist Resort is nestled at the south-western side of Changsha province, 8.5 kilometers from the city center and supported by a convenient transportation network. The resort faces the famous Xiang River and Great King Mountain to the east and west, respectively, offering broad geographical views.
Great King Mountain Ice World has an astonishing area of 1.5 hectares and the gross area is 180,000 square meters.
Situated at the top of an ancient mine pit, Ice World blends with the breathtaking scenery around it.
The sculpture-like, shell-shaped façade rests across the tip of the deep mine, spanning 170m and only revealing the east and south sides of the pit. There is a hanging garden between the deepest part of the pit and the cover of Ice World, creating an island space for the ultimate show of natural and man-made beauty.
With the lake water and the cliff pathway in view, visitors see the pieces of this natural heritage as one spectacular experience, with unique open space located between the architecture and the scenery. The water element in the pit inspired the creation of a water-spiral rooftop.
Another impressive architectural feature is the glass pyramids in the centre, designed to reflect sunlight on both the surface of the island and the surface of the water.
Complex Project, Large Team
Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design (Group) Co. Ltd., a service company that utilizes advanced technology, is one of the main design firms in this project. The company has more than 60 years of experience.
It wholly owns East China Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries, East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (ECADI), Urban Design Institute of Xian Dai Group, Shanghai Architectural Design & Research Co., Ltd, Shanghai Xian Dai Architecture, Engineering & Consulting Co., Ltd., Wilson &Associates LLC, etc.
The design group itself has more than 10 professional institutes and employs 6,000 professionals, including 700 that are well-versed with Building Information Modeling (BIM). Xian Dai has employed Dassault Systèmes solutions in a number of projects already.
“This project has been very, very challenging,” Mr. Kai Wang, Executive Manager and Technology Director, Digitization Technology Center, Shanghai Xian Dai Group, said at a Construction Playground talk at the 3D Experience Forum China 2015 held in Shanghai on June 4.
He spoke in detail about the various teams and complicated subsystems required. There was standing room only at the session, as Mr. Wang described how Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA was used in the design of the project.
The project involved a large number of different teams, including more than 20 design teams. There were also many complicated building, structural and electrical subsystems required. This meant a large amount of data and information had to be shared; the BIM model was 2.4G in size and had 33 different modules.
While the total investment for the project was RMB 2.9 billion (approximately US$467.2 million), the high level of complexity made keeping to the budget and controlling costs tough. The sheer scale and number of different parties involved made coordination and communication extraordinarily difficult.
“Because of the complexity, conventional software was inadequate,” Mr. Wang explained. Highly detailed designs were required right from the beginning. And the firm also had to minimize cost and expedite processes, reducing the time spent on each stage. “In the end some of the original targets proved to be too ambitious and we had to scale back and lower some of the targets,” he said.
The targets included reducing budget deviation by 30 percent and above, keeping budget accuracy to within a variation of 3 percent, reducing the time required for setting the budget by 50 percent, reducing drawings review time and work cycles by 50 percent, and attaining a two-star rating for Green Building Design.
According to Mr. Wang, a platform that could facilitate more precise modeling and make coordination easier was required. The system also had to be efficient to enable better transmission of information.
They needed a platform that was mature but was also modular, with an open structure to cater to the different users: consultants, architects, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), and structure and teams, as well as knowledge management (KM).
With CATIA, reports, spreadsheets, drawing specifications, models and analyses are all linked and integrated, and made accessible through the collaborative environment.
The advantages of using the CATIA include its ease of use with a tablet or notebook computer, which means more portability and easier sharing and showing during project discussions. In addition, no additional installation was required on individual computer terminals before the system could be accessed.
Mr. Wang cited superior computing and rendering speed as an advantage, while discussing its use from conceptualization through to design and data management. The system first looks in the cache for data and sends it to the CPU; if the information required is not in the cache, it will then be fetched from the RAM. With CATIA, 3D modeling, rendering, and exporting are made possible with CAD software.
Mr. Wang illustrated the use of CATIA from concept, design development, fabrication, and construction planning for the frozen 3D façade of the Ice World. The system is compatible with other software functions and generates precise information necessary for 3D modeling in a central knowledge management database.
Shanghai Xian Dai Group also generated and stored construction standards documents in the central database in the form of a BIM, eliminating the need to print out thick hard copies as it used to do. The standards can then be accessed and checked like an online glossary at any time.
With the number of professionals and teams involved, a database with consolidated information and diagrams that is open to consultation facilitated smooth communication and quick reference. The models and information are stored on collaborative environment so that data can also be used across different projects.
Information and data is categorized systematically which makes for greater ease in search and better access.
Parameters and data range can be set to make the design process easier. The system also has a 3D printing function for producing models. And real life behavior of the surface design – including the effect of light and views from different perspectives – are also accurately simulated.
Many problems were resolved or avoided with CATIA and the resulting cost saving was estimated at RMB 100 million (approximately US$ 16 million), according to Mr. Wang.
Review times were cut by 38 percent and design time was successfully cut down to just two months. Precise and accurate construction plan were produced and the project also successfully met the criteria to qualify as a Green Building.
“I would say that the system’s efficiency is outstanding,” Wang stated.