BIM: managing quality, cost and deadlines from the very start
Building information modeling (BIM) takes project planning, design and construction for rail lines – with all of the bridges, tunnels, stations and technical equipment – from the initial idea to operations and maintenance. During the design and construction phase, BIM combines 3D design with cost and deadline information. Construction happens digitally first, then in real life. This method identifies conflicts in the construction workflow long before work begins at the construction site. As Europe's largest infrastructure operator, Deutsche Bahn is promoting digital construction because it improves quality, helps better manage cost and deadlines, and ultimately reduces the workload for design, construction, operations and maintenance.
Transparency from the idea to the start of operations
BIM is an optimized method for designing, building and operating buildings that takes a partnership approach. It makes information available centrally so that everyone involved can use it. BIM should be thought of as a work method, not a software package, that facilitates project control and collaboration during all phases of a building's life cycle.
It is based on transparency, trust, openness and cooperation from all project partners, from the project idea to commissioning and beyond. It makes projects easier for members of the public to understand even before the first excavator rolls up to the site, and it points out cost and deadline risks to the project manager before they occur.
The German government is providing funding for 13 DB pilot projects
Digital design and construction will be standard in all of the German government's large-scale projects beginning in 2020. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has provided funding for a total of 13 pilot projects at DB since 2016, which have been used to develop BIM into the standard for complex infrastructure projects.
The Fehmarn Sound Bridge is one of these pilot projects. With traffic continuing to increase, the current bridge will reach capacity in a few years. BIM is being used to compare designs for a new bridge to cross the sound. There are more than a few details that need to be considered. Where is the data from? Who is updating the information? And in the end, the different designs will be able to be experienced as more than just virtual structures. How the different designs would be built, what they would cost and how long construction would take will be planned down to the detail. The result is a good basis for deciding which design will ultimately be built.