BIM ‘bonfire’ drives collaboration on Stockholm’s tunnel bypass

Construction of one of the tunnels that is part of the Stockholm bypass’s 18km of tunnels (courtesy of Doka)

BIM technologies are driving collaboration on the construction of the £300m Stockholm bypass, according to formwork contractor Doka, which is working on six sections of the mega-project.

The bypass is 21km long, 18km of which are underground and when complete it will be one of the three longest road tunnels in the world. Doka is working for the main contractor, Spanish infrastructure giant Comsa.

Doka’s recent focus has been on two tunnels to the south west of the city centre, both open cut and measuring 160m and 130m in length. As well as the two tunnels, including entrances and exits, the work includes two 20m-long routes in rocky terrain as well as a pair of trough structures, the expansion of existing infrastructure and numerous stabilisation measures along the route.

As the tunnels were round and thus similar to underground rail tunnels, Doka used its experience in the latter sector to inform its approach to the Stockholm project.

The positioning of pouring equipment was a challenge, so Doka turned to BIM 360 from Autodesk and Revit to build a 3D model of the tunnels’ challenging geometries, and then shared the model with Comsa.

Jan Radlbauer, head of engineering Europe at Doka, said: “We surprised Comsa with a 3D model on our initiative.”

The visualisation of the tunnel model (courtesy of Doka)

According to Doka, the benefits were clear. Via mobile devices, all employees were connected and able to view up-to-date models and data. Problems were evaluated quicker and errors rectified “more easily than if everyone had to be individually briefed on the vast construction site”.

Doka added: “When different countries are involved, data and sketches help everyone understand what’s going on. And participation means understanding. BIM is a digital bonfire at which project partners warm up every day for their tasks and discuss all manner of issues surrounding the tunnel construction.”

Comsa manager for concrete/formwork, Martin Klimt, said: “The BIM model was great and helped us to plan the works before execution, since it gave us a unique possibility to see how everything will look in reality. This is very helpful when it comes to production and crane planning. When you combine the knowledge from a professional formwork supplier like Doka, an experienced subcontractor and our expertise, the result becomes great.”

The six sections involving Doka are set to be handed over to the client, Sweden’s traffic authority, on time and within budget after roughly five years of planning and construction.

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