Technology

Scaffolding takes BIM to new heights

6 August 2020

Although BIM adoption in the scaffold sector is still in its early stages, the prospect of what can be achieved through the implementation of this technology is significant, writes Priscila Escobar

Better collaboration, smoother project delivery and a reduction in risk are just a few of the many differences BIM can make.

For the scaffold and temporary access industry, BIM is enabling design engineers to produce simple 3D scaffolding blueprints for complex structures. Unlike 2D CAD drawings, 3D modelling produces detailed designs in far less time and with more reliability.

With that in mind, Haki has created a BIM tool that helps designers to reap these benefits: it’s a solution that advances scaffold design configurations onto Revit for greater customisation, capability, and interaction with the components within the 3D model.

BIM tool in action

The tool was used on a project for Urban Utilities, which delivers drinking water, recycled water and sewerage services to more than 1.4 million people in Queensland, Australia.

Leading scaffold design consultancy, 9Design, used the Haki BIM plugin tool to streamline project delivery, save time, and attain better control and visibility of a programme of scaffold works on a public water station in Queensland operated by Urban Utilities.

9Design created a scaffold design for domestic and commercial scaffold specialist NJS Australia that would bring the project to life, highlighting the areas that needed to be accessed on the circular structure and identifying any clashes that could emerge in hard-to-reach places.

The BIM model enabled 9Design to carry out detailed analyses of the models easily, which quickened the process on this time-sensitive project. The simulation also negated the need for manual calculations, thereby increasing reliability and preventing any duplication of effort.

Oliver Daughtrey, design engineer at 9Design, explains: “Haki’s tool can formulate simple designs for complex, safety-critical structures and means our clients can completely visualise and interact with the entire scaffold design.

“Traditional, manual 2D drawings cannot compare. We all know 2D drawings on can become messy at times, if and when amendments are necessary. Yet, with the Haki BIM tool, changes to the model are automatically updated in all of the views and sheets, and can be accessed by everyone.

“Clients can make decisions onsite in no time at all, and can be confident in the choices that are made.”

Other benefits

The tool also helps 9Design secure future prospects, as its designers can give presentations to potential clients to showcase the benefits of using such a tool.  

“Clients can see for themselves how the tool can improve workflow and reduce reworks at later stages,” Daughtrey says. “Any errors can be identified at the beginning, which means you can analyse and visualise the entire design from early on.”

This also means 9Design is able to calculate how many parts are needed to do the job, to reduce waste and ensure customers get the exact amount delivered to site without having to order more.

The Haki BIM plugin tool can also capture the reality of the scaffold design, enabling thorough structural analysis to be performed.

“More than anything, this tool assures safety. With Haki BIM, we can be assured any figures are correct,” Daughtrey notes. “The plugin drives productivity, saves time, and is a huge confidence boost. This is primarily down to its capacity to spot any areas of conflict before it goes out to the customer.”

Empowering 9Design and its supply chain to make important decisions on time-sensitive projects, the adoption of the Haki BIM plugin tool has streamlined the company’s processes, improved relationships with its customers and enabled 9Design to secure future work on temporary access projects across the globe.

Priscila Escobar is UK design engineer at Haki.