As the Building Information Modellling (BIM) Manager of Leighton Asia’s Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 2 Foundation and Substructure Works (T2) project, Francesco Tizzani, is known for his passion in seeking new and creative approaches to construction. 

With the vision to remove unnecessary work, share information and connect people, his BIM team at the T2 project has been working closely with other teams to optimise operations through digitisation.

Extract of a drawing automatically generated from the BIM model demonstrating the use of Geotechnical data.

Removing unnecessary work – geotechnical design automation 

The challenge to maintain up-to-date data for geotechnical design is often regarded by engineers as one of the most time-consuming and repetitive tasks. The solution offered by the BIM team automates the workflow, reducing the effort spent on daily data input, interpretation and amendment. 

“A smart script has been developed to read and interpret site logs, update drawings and evaluate the site conditions,” said Francesco.

A similar approach is also used to record the as-built status of different elements for internal checking and coordination with the client. The result is a more effective use of resources which significantly increase efficiency and quality.

Francesco TizzaniLeighton Asia BIM Manager

Sharing information – temporary work drawings from 3D models

After the first few successes, the enthusiasm for digitisation has become contagious. The Engineering team at the T2 project has embraced Sketchup as a 3D tool for temporary work design, producing fine and highly coordinated 2D drawings directly from the models.

This has enabled the BIM model to be brought on site, enabling all site staff to better understand and coordinate work to be carried out.

To keep track of site progress, another smart script allows the team to extract information from project diaries making it visually available to members of different teams.

“It helps us to read the status of hundreds of foundation and structural elements,” said Marlon Rellora, Leighton Asia BIM Modeller.

By inputting the collected values into the models, data can be recalled and displayed in meaningful ways for different teams to analyse.

Marlon RelloraLeighton Asia BIM Modeller

Connecting people – BIM for complicated works planning

Because of the complexity of the modification works at the existing T2, the BIM team reproduced all existing structural elements into the digital twin.

The collected data was then converted to generate a set of animated method statements for each stage in the virtual reality. These animations allow the operation team and engineers to work together, refine their planning of works and significantly mitigate safety risks on site.

“Today we maintain a big federated model of the whole project, capturing all key permanent and temporary works,” said Francesco.

The entire project team can make use of these models for coordination and to get a better understanding of the site conditions before the commencement of the actual work.

Francesco TizzaniLeighton Asia BIM Manager

The approach has had an impact on commercial aspects as well, where the BIM model has been used to compare and quantify design changes, facilitating more effective communication with the client.

“When people realise the benefits of digitisation, they become curious, and start conversations which often lead to new and creative ideas,” said Francesco.

Example of commercial comparison displaying the client’s design changes (in red). Volumes can be easily quantified and extracted from the BIM model.

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