An Arup-Cardno Joint Venture utilised 12d
Model software for its work on the detailed design for Portion C of the
Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade. The software proved an asset and
a time saver for the design team.
The Woolgoolga to Ballina project (W2B) is an immense
undertaking that involves a 155-kilometre upgrade of New South Wales’ Pacific
Highway to dual carriageway, along with major grade separated interchanges and
upgrades of existing roads.
The Australian and NSW governments are
jointly funding the $4.36 billion Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.
Roads and Maritime Services Pacific Highway Project Office and Pacific Complete
(joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and WSP) are working together to deliver
Due to the sheer scope of the project, Pacific Complete
separated the extensive design process and construction work into a number of
The brief called for digital
engineering processes to be incorporated during detailed design as part of Roads
and Maritime Services initiative to use building information modelling (BIM)
technologies. This was to provide the capability to create and manage the
delivery of the project effectively and streamline future maintenance of the
An Arup-Cardno Joint Venture (ACJV) won the detailed design
contract for the section between Devils Pulpit and Richmond River, Broadwater in
This work package involved a 35-kilometre realignment and
upgrade including grade-separated interchanges to provide access to the Woodburn
and Broadwater townships from the highway. Niall Brady, Senior Engineer –
Transport & Resources at Arup, worked on the project and explains that its
design challenges required a unique solution from the get-go.
of the highway included accurate 3D models of all pavement layers, earthworks,
kerbs, line marking and safety barriers, divided into 100-metre intervals to
facilitate integration with Pacific Complete systems (quantification, 4D etc
The naming – or tagging – of all elements within the model and drawings also had
to align with the Pacific Complete Integration naming protocols.
Likewise, the drainage elements required a 3D model for all pipes, headwall,
culverts, basins and drainage channels, all of which required their own tag.
“The brief was quite complex in that every element had to be named using
these protocols – every signpost, barrier – every aspect had to have its own
” says Mr Brady.
He explains that one of the benefits
of such comprehensive tagging included allowing the asset owner to individually
identify elements that would require maintenance, such as safety barriers,
Pacific Complete’s naming protocol for design elements
contained more than 100 components that needed to be tagged and subdivided into
location, direction, family and number.The Solution
The ACJV would eventually have nearly 100 staff working on the project at its
height, so the sheer scale of the undertaking was always a challenge, but Mr
Brady says the design team had to approach the project unlike any other highway
project because of the complexities of the modelling, tagging design elements
and dividing the alignment into 100-metre sections.
started the project, we had to see how we could deliver on these stringent
” says Mr Brady.
Pacific Complete did not mandate the
software to use, so in order to address this challenge, the ACJV team needed to
find the right software to provide a comprehensive solution. Mr Brady was
responsible for completing a review of the available software for implementing
the digital engineering aspects on the project. The aim was to identify the most
efficient process to complete the project’s BIM requirements, while also
catering for cross collaboration between different disciplines.
latest developments with 3D mesh surfaces (known as trimeshes), use of snippets
(coding tools) to standardise naming, and workflow tools – or chains – to help
streamline processes, 12d Solutions’ design software was selected for the civil
aspects of the project.
The design team was responsible for developing
the customised snippets and chains to create the BIM models for the highway and
drainage elements, as well as applying unique attributes to each element and the
correct naming conventions.
To ensure the project met its design briefs,
predominantly adhering to the BIM naming protocols set out in the brief, Mr
Brady developed a 12d Project Plan.
“The alignment was divided into
individual 12d projects with strict naming convention for models and strings to
ensure clean collaboration between sections and disciplines and consistent
naming for BIM tagging,
” he explains.
Mr Brady says the software’s
user-friendly design meant it saved hours of time, cost and effort for the
overall design team.
“We had up to 15 12d users working on the
project who all came with different experience and it was easy for them to pick
up the software and run with it,
” he says.
road alignment and drainage elements could be done in 12d and then shared in
other discipline’s models, which meant we could do clash detection very easily –
it was all very dynamic.
He says the BIM models were exported from
the 12d model consisting of 3D mesh surfaces saved with Industry Foundation
Classes (IFC) files. This industry standard format allowed the BIM models to be
imported into Autodesk Navisworks along with the structural bridge and culvert
models, to check for said clashes between design elements and existing
Mr Brady says this approach allowed the design models of all
portions, from different design software, to be collaborated and reviewed in one
To undertake the process of labelling and scheduling all kerbs,
barriers, line marking and water quality basins, the team developed chains using
12d Model software to automatically tag these elements in the design plans. The
schedules were then outputted to Excel with little manual input from the team.
He says the ability to create macros within 12d allowed the team to then import
the tags from the Excel schedule to AutoCAD to display the tags on all the
drawings. Not only did this process ensure consistency but it helped to remove
human error in AutoCAD labelling the elements.
Mr Brady surmises that the ability to control the naming and to set up standard
snippets using 12d software meant it was a real asset to the project.
a result of its successful use of 12d Model software on the W2B project, the
ACJV was awarded the 2016 Customisation Award at the 2016 12d International
Innovation Awards."It was very new what we were doing with BIM in
12d, but it showed just how the software helped deliver the project and the
benefits that it brought to the design team.”
--As featured in Roads and Civil Works Magazine, April/May2017, and
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