London Underground’s Northern line extension, which is being built from Kennington to Battersea with a new intermediate station at Nine Elms, uses Building Information Modelling (BIM) as the basis of its design and documentation. This requires LU to put the same level of rigour and governance into creating and managing information about infrastructure assets, as it does in building and operating the assets themselves.
BIM is a process involving the collaborative production, use and management of digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility or asset. The resulting information models, when fully coordinated, provide a shared knowledge resource to support decision-making about a facility or asset throughout its life – from early concept stages, through increasing detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance, and ultimately decommissioning, removal and demolition.
The objective of BIM is to procure/produce, manage and maintain data and information about engineered assets that are complete, consistent and trustworthy for use across operational and business intelligence purposes. This aims to drive efficiencies in the production, modification, operation and decommissioning of engineered assets, through data analysis that helps improve decision making to deliver best value to stakeholders.
BIM is a collaborative process that leads to better solutions for clients and their supply chains by enabling lean, accurate and complete design information for an effective construction process and leaves clients with better tools for asset management. Assurance is at the heart of BIM and, arguably, its most important use.
Telecoms and BIM
As part of its work on the Northern line extension, telecommunications systems integration specialist ADComms, a Panasonic company, has been implementing BIM within the business through both the design and construction phases and is working towards Level 2 BIM compliance. This will ensure that the company creates and shares appropriate information, in a suitable format, at the right time to facilitate better decisions throughout the delivery and operation of a built asset.
ADComms is currently committed to updating its current ISO 9001 suite of quality management documentation to incorporate BIM for integrated project delivery design, CDM, safety planning, and assurance.
On the Northern line extension, this will contribute to LU’s duty to deliver design, construction and maintenance/operations handover information (both graphical and non-graphical), in line with the April 2016 mandate from Government that all UK public infrastructure projects meet BIM maturity Level 2.
Carl Pocknell, ADComms managing director, commented: “BIM is not the future, it is now – a day-to-day reality. With the advances in communications technology being developed under Industry 4.0, this is an opportunity to engage and develop holistic, collaborative, digital approaches and methodology workflows and realise tangible benefits for our clients and their end users.
“Once BIM adoption has been agreed, then BIM must become the norm.”