The Louis Berger Group: Navi Mumbai International Airport
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"Where there are transport structures like viaducts, bridges, fly-overs, retaining walls, cross-drainages and culverts, it helps to identify the exact coordinates of the geometry and translate these coordinates on the ground. AutoCAD Civil 3D provides better visualization techniques for analyzing complex situations in road design where there is super-elevation and acute grade changes. This is where AutoCAD Civil 3D surpasses other design software applications and helps designers to visualize design options very efficiently."
-Dr. Elizer Abrea, Technical Director – Design, The Louis Berger Group (USA) - Asia Pacific Operations, Mumbai – India
Founded in Pennsylvania, United States, The Louis Berger Group has grown into an internationally recognized firm that provides engineering, architecture, program and construction management, environmental planning and science, and economic development services. For nearly 60 years, the firm has been a devoted and trusted partner to public and private sector organizations. The Louis Berger Group has worked on countless infrastructure projects, including the Mumbai monorail system, road reconstruction in Afghanistan, airfield design reviews for the Florida Department of Transportation, and the expansion and development plan for Brazil’s Port of Santos.
The Indian government is focused on building the nation’s physical infrastructure. The Louis Berger Group Asia Pacific submitted a bid for a prestigious infrastructure project that captured the entire nation’s attention – the new Navi Mumbai International Airport. With a pressing need for an additional international airport to service the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the Indian government required a quick turnaround on project submissions. The project is ambitious and complex. The first phase of the new airport is expected to be operational by 2015, and the target completion for all four phases of the airport is 2030.
Louis Berger was given a timeline of just three months to submit their proposal bid, which involved finalizing the master plan for the new airport, with comprehensive quantity calculations supported by detailed 3D models of building. Bidders had to access large amounts of survey data provided by the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO). They had to adhere to stringent international civil aviation standards and contend with regulatory demands as well as political and environmental challenges. The situation fluctuated frequently, as negotiations around land acquisitions were still in progress and the earmarked location rests on low-lying areas in an ecologically fragile zone.
With an ever-evolving state of affairs, the bidders needed to work with a solution that supported Building Information Modeling (BIM) processes with great flexibility, so teams could quickly recalibrate their proposals as the world changed around them.
Mr. Uttam Shekhar, Senior Designer at Louis Berger, explained, “Working within the parameters of such a complex project, it was crucial for us to provide real-time information and analysis based on often changing variables. We needed a robust visualization tool that would allow us to provide and present design solutions on the spot.”
Louis Berger historically used non-Autodesk design software for its civil engineering and infrastructure projects. The demands of the Navi Mumbai International Airport bid led the firm to search for other software options. They looked for software that would allow them to consolidate designs into a single integrated model that could be easily understood across multiple stakeholder groups. After evaluating several solutions, Louis Berger selected AutoCAD® Civil 3D® software. The software supports BIM for civil engineering design and documentation. It allows users to stay coordinated through an integrated 3D model while providing flexibility to explore multiple design options, analyze project performance, and deliver high-quality documentation, all within the industry-standard AutoCAD software environment.
Dr. Elizer Abrea, Technical Director – Design at Louis Berger, explained: “Where there are transport structures like viaducts, bridges, fly-overs, retaining walls, cross-drainages and culverts, it helps to identify the exact coordinates of the geometry and translate these coordinates on the ground. AutoCAD Civil 3D provides better visualization techniques for analyzing complex situations in road design where there is super-elevation and acute grade changes. This is where AutoCAD Civil 3D surpasses other design software applications and helps designers to visualize design options very efficiently. This helped us even more to communicate our design intent effectively between cross domain teams and our prestigious clients.”
Signing on as a subscription customer in 2010, Louis Berger was able to quickly start using AutoCAD Civil 3D across the project team due to hands-on training and technical support from Autodesk India.
Using AutoCAD Civil 3D, Louis Berger rapidly incorporated and aligned all of the archival data provided by CIDCO into one integrated model. Working with multiple data sources, the team integrated land survey data and aerial photography. AutoCAD Civil 3D software’s advanced integrated geospatial analysis functionality played a vital role in helping consultants add a greater level of intelligence to the 3D models.
AutoCAD Civil 3D integrates CAD and geospatial data for a better understanding of how a proposed design co-exists with the built environment. As the team imported spatial data into the software, it automatically managed the coordinate systems. They performed spatial queries, created thematic maps, and conducted buffer, tracing, and overlay analysis, allowing for better evaluation and informed planning.
Typically, the team relied on Google Earth™ to present their land-survey analysis. With the connectivity between Google Earth and AutoCAD Civil 3D, they did not need to re-invent their existing processes. Instead, they added an enhanced level of accuracy on top of Google Earth imagery with the help of AutoCAD Civil 3D.
Using the Google Earth command’s wizard-driven interface, Louis Berger was able to publish 3D models created in AutoCAD Civil 3D directly into the Google Earth application. They also imported a Google Earth image into AutoCAD Civil 3D, published 3D models to Google Earth, draped a Google Earth image onto a 3D mesh in AutoCAD Civil 3D, and attached time span information to the models they developed.
Using AutoCAD Civil 3D, Louis Berger generated view frames, plan and profile views, multiple layouts and 3D models; and presented them in an accessible way to decision makers, contractors and engineers – no matter where they were based. This helped multiple stakeholders gain a deeper understanding of how the designs would look and perform, before they were built.
In civil engineering, intersection design has conventionally been a tedious, difficult process. In the case of the Navi Mumbai International Airport, bidders had to develop more than 40 intersection designs and contingencies.
The wizard-driven intersection design feature in AutoCAD Civil 3D afforded the project team a streamlined and efficient way to develop intersection models. Louis Berger was able to present multiple options for the entire facility design to the decision making committee, from buildings and airport runways to taxiways, layouts, hangars, maintenance bays, passenger bays, and more.
In May 2010, Louis Berger projected that it would take 10 team members six months to develop the proposal for the Navi Mumbai International Airport. “By using AutoCAD Civil 3D, we cut the proposal development time in half, and only needed four people working on it instead of the projected 10,” said Mr. Shekhar. “Based on access to real-time and accurate information, the project team presented data-rich, intelligent 3D models with multiple builtin contingencies and options, which were easily communicated to various stakeholders.”
Louis Berger successfully bid for and secured the project, and is now playing an integral role in the development of the Navi Mumbai International Airport.
“A key advantage of adopting AutoCAD Civil 3D is that we have more time to engage in bottom lineenhancing and business growth activities, such as providing quality project management and customer service to our clients,” said Mr. Milan Dave, Vice President, Louis Berger. “AutoCAD Civil 3D gives our team the power to access right-here, right-now information to render multiple designs in universally understood 3D models. The competitive advantage we reap benefits our partners and customers too.”
|Louis Berger Group Customer Story (pdf - 787Kb)|