"Using Autodesk BIM solutions, we developed design options and supporting materials that helped project agencies and the general public evaluate those alternatives and make informed decisions on the designs. BIM represents a new approach for civil engineers and delivers tremendous efficiency to our design process — allowing us to quickly develop what-if scenarios to inform design decisions."
—Mike Rigsby, Project Manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff
"One of our biggest challenges has been to develop a series of design alternatives that are very different from each other, yet all seismically safe and fiscally responsible replacement structures for the viaduct," explains Ron Paananen, WSDOT’s program administrator for the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program. "Replacing the viaduct opens up enormous opportunities to improve quality of life in Seattle, by increasing mobility through the downtown while making the waterfront more accessible to the public. We need to clearly communicate our design proposals to the project stakeholders and the public—helping them understand and visualize how they can reclaim their waterfront."
To develop replacement design options for the viaduct, the design team aggregated disparate data using AutoCAD Civil 3D model-based software. “This is an extremely complex project in a very dense urban area with a web of existing underground structures and utilities,” says Paananen. “Integrating GIS data and using the geospatial analysis and mapping features in AutoCAD Civil 3D software were essential.”
The team used AutoCAD Civil 3D to design subsurface utilities, earthwork, and other infrastructure as well as to generate direct quantities and drawings from the resulting infrastructure model. The team also used Revit Architecture to design architectural elements, such as vent structures, and 3ds Max Design for lighting design and analysis and shadow/visibility studies. In addition, PB used Navisworks to bring all of the BIM-based design and visualization models together and perform clash detection and schedule simulations for different construction areas, details, and options.
PB routinely transferred the BIM-based infrastructure models to 3ds Max Design to help enhance the design—adding surrounding city features, for example—and to create renderings and animations. These visualizations were vital for public outreach efforts and environmental studies. The visualizations and collaborative capability of Navisworks were also crucial for design reviews. “Our design teams met regularly with project stakeholders for collaborative design review sessions,” says Paananen. “We updated our BIM-based models on the fly to visualize and evaluate trade-offs in real time—helping to speed up our decision-making and design time.”
Facilitate Public Outreach Programs
In early 2009, the committee recommended that an underground bored tunnel—combined with improvements to transit and surface streets—should replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. “Using BIM to clearly visualize the viaduct’s replacement options was essential for reaching this consensus,” says Paananen. “As the program moves forward, timely decisions and communication based on more accurate BIM-based designs will be extremely important for managing contract packaging and avoiding construction delays. And our visualization models will help keep the public informed and help them experience, in advance, their reclaimed waterfront.”
|Parsons Brinckerhoff (pdf - 459Kb)|