Be Inspired – Infrastructure Fever and Thought Leadership in Amsterdam

Below are descriptions of some of the presentations:

Innovation in Construction

PT McDermott Indonesia won in this category with their Cuu Long Su Tu Vang Project, Mekong Basin, Vietnam.

Su Tu Vang means “gold lion” in Vietnamese. The Su Tu Vang Central Processing Platform project off the coast of Vietnam included a 4,400 ton, eight-jet jacket; 17,000-ton floatover topsides, 66 person, 1,323-ton living quarters; pipelines, umbilicals and manifolds. The project encompassed integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation and had to be completed on an extremely tight schedule, with unexpected cost escalation before construction. This was “a strategic project with high visibility and economic importance to the Vietnam economy,” explained project manager Joseph Anand.

Anand said that they suffered a shortage of qualified manpower, heavily booked fabrication facilities, and there were significant backlogs among industry equipment suppliers. Steel costs nearly doubled before they broke ground on the project.

Their strategy involved a virtual, integrated team, it was an EPCI job with flexibility. They standardized as much as possible, and integrated the 3D model with ConstructSIM.

PT McDermott did all modeling in PDMS, directly from ConstructSIM, and did piping in ConstructSIM. This data was downloaded into PIMs information modeling system where piping fabrication can be visually displayed.

Being able to see progress visually in ConstructSIM helped them cut the schedule time and focus on structural design. They got the steel ready ahead of time and finished two weeks ahead of schedule. The project was completed in 2008.

Structural Engineering

The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore, winner in the Structural Engineering category, is really a series of smaller projects: it encompasses convention facilities on a waterfront promenade, events plaza, multi-level retail arcade, three hotel towers, skypark across a park, “Lion Bridge” and two theaters. A “wave-form” podium roof and canopy structure the size of a football field encloses the buildings.

Awarded to Arup Singapore in June 2006, the project costs were $5.5 million in Singapore dollars. At the height of the project, Arup employed 15 3D modelers and drew in designers from other Arup offices around the globe. Partners on the project included Moshe Safdie Associates, Aedas Architects, Parsons Brinkerhoff and Marina Bay Sands Project Management.

The Lion Bridge spans 55 meters, and supports the cantilever action of that canopy. It measures 120 meters in one direction, 110 in another. Arup used Bentley’s reference management technologies to divide the model up into manageable parts, which could then be brought together for review and class detection.

As structural engineers were dealing with complex geometry with each tower made of individual blocks, they were able to use GenerativeComponents to parametrically model the steel structures and modify variables.

Communicating through Visualization

Not present to present or to pick up their award was Competition Proposal Cultural Centre Zlin, Zlin, Czech Republic, for their international architectural competition entry, the A02-Architecture Office. The office is a cultural and education center located in Zlin. Two industrial buildings are to be renovated for public use and converted into a museum, library and gallery.

For the design and visualization, A02 used MicroStation and Luxology for rendering.

Innovation in Utilities

Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute (CSEPDI) represented by project manager Bailu Quan, spoke about the Jiangxia 500 kV Transformer Substation located in the Wuhan city center, where they use the relatively new Bentley Substation v8i. The $59 million project was the winner in this category.

Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute
Jiangxia 500 kV Transformer Substation
Winner "Utility Transmission & Distribution Networks"

Originally, Quan said they introduced a test project with a total investment RMB 400 million, and the project investment return rate was 7.71%.

CSEPDI’s strategy employed a combination of MicroStation J, v8i and Substation v8i to measure the minimum distance of bodies, by doing a collision check of a spheres’ electric distance. Quan said it was much easier to do an air clearance check using 3D, and they saved on land and materials by using this technology.

They have used the same technology at the Qingdao Converter Station. The converter station with the greatest capacity is Ylong Converter Station, at 7200 MW. There CSEPDI used Bentley Substation, MicroStation, Bentley Architecture, Bentley Structural, STAADPro, GEOPAK, Inroads, Navigator, and ProjectWise.

“China is fast developing,” said Quan. “The scale of these projects is mind boggling – new technology from Bentley is in full scale production. Substation was only launched a year ago.”

Imp GmbH of Germany’s Carsten Lipinski spoke on “Reliable Point Cloud Modeling of Substations.” He said they use 3D laser scanning for asset data capture, design and management as well as for electronic towers.

“Europe is building up windpower at the North Sea, and no one lives there so they have to transport materials and build parts there,” said Lipinski. “We use Bentley Substation, MicroStation and ProjectWise.”

Lipinski made a case for how point cloud modeling can be used very effectively for retrofit projects. After the Berlin Wall came down, people found most of the building plans were Russian or East German. Lipinski said they don’t touch the old plans, it is cheaper and more accurate to go with the point cloud.

“It’s a dream to have point cloud and the 3D model together,” Lipinski said. 

Costs involved for 1 crew 2 people doing a point cloud capture for one substation equals approximately 8,000 euros. Laser equipment is cheap right now at less than 40,000 euros, “but you need people who know what they’re doing and the right software,” said Lipinski.

State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design and Research Institute (SNPDRI)

Located in Beijing, China, SNPDRI business focuses on developing nuclear power projects and thermal power projects, and on nuclear power and R&D. “Our goal is to develop intellectual property rights to promote reform of the energy structure in China,” said Zhu Li, director of Engineering Center for SNPDRI.

The company has signed cooperation agreements with companies in other countries and entered into a strategic partnership with two Chinese companies.

SNPDRI has developed a technology platform for a large capacity thermal power project and for the trans-regional interconnected power grid. In addition, SNPDRI has participated in national major science and technology special programs research which span from the year 2006 to 2020.

The Ningdong – Shandong 660kV HVDC transmission project -+ 660kV level is the first power HVDC transmission project in the world, according to Li. The total investment in this project is $400 million.

SNPDRI has adopted an advanced 3D design platform to address a number of technological obstacles.

For digital engineering in the first trial application in the transformer substation design project, they used MicroStation, Substation, Bentley Architecture, Bentley Structural, BBMS, and GEOPAK.

The new technology encompasses the following requirements:

  • Digital engineering
  • Database is core of system
  • 3D model is core
  • Precision
  • Shortening the engineering cycle
  • Whole life memory
The Substation v8i design platform allowed omission/error checkout, soft/collision checkout and increased engineering efficiency, according to Li. They used GEOPAK for the triangle generation network. “Using Bentley software we only needed nine days to design the substation,” said Li. 

The work for this project was divided between different four design institutes, because everyone was eager to participate, Li said.

This was the first time SNPDRI had used Bentley software and wanted to see what it could do. The owners demanded the visualization and details provided by the infrastructure 3D model and now it is a requirement for all transformer substations.

Li said the used some specifications from manufacturers, and saved all the information for the 660V project, as there are “a lot of different components used in this type of project.”

Connecting Project Teams

Crossrail Limited

Malcolm Taylor, head of technical support services for Crossrail Limited, gave a guest keynote address on their work building a “world class building information management system.” Crossrail ended up winning the “Connecting Project Teams” category, with the other finalists also Crossrail projects.

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