Using BiM technology to manage site activity, reduce risk and improve on programme

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The GRAHAM Coupland project is a heritage restoration, renovation and refurbishment project for the University of Manchester.

Removing the ground floor slab (clinker-type concrete) and allowing natural light into the basement had one piece of information missing – how the floor to be removed interacted with the rest of building; the floor was supported below by several walls which needed to be demolished.

Andy Wertylo, GRAHAM Project Manager asked GRAHAM BiM Manager Melanie Dawson to look at scanning the area to see if 3D modelling technology would help with understanding the floor and how it related to the structure. Leica visited for free and filmed the scan – three different pieces of scanning equipment were tested to find the best.

These were the BLK360 Validation tool, the Leica Scan Station and the Pegasus Backpack that was used by the BBC to scan Florence and it scanned the Coupland Building in a matter of hours rather than days. The BLK360 was the smallest, about the size of a tin of beans, but the most accurate was the Leica scanning station which was accurate to 3mm in 10 metres.

The results highlighted how the bulk head below the slab was independent from the floor to be removed; it supported the already understood relationship of the supporting walls in the basement and it gave the added information of the position of the supporting steel that was buried in the floor.

The new plan to remove the floor slab with suitable scaffolding selected from the outset in the correct sequence significantly reduced the duration of a high risk working at heights activity, improved co-ordination and resulted in the safe removal of the slab with a 2.5 week saving against the programme.

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Entry submitted by GRAHAM Construction.


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