University of Auckland Undergraduate Laboratories

BIM assisting detailed building services co-ordination.

An upgrade of the University of Auckland’s School of Sciences required a suite of new and modern chemistry laboratories to replace the original laboratories dating from the 1960s, which didn’t meet current requirements. Beca provided building services and structural engineering design for the new laboratories using BIM to precisely plan the location and integration of services, with a view to optimising future comfort, safety, performance and ongoing energy management.

Beca used BIM to develop a services model and a new structural model of the existing building, and integrated both of these models with the architectural model, produced by Architectus, of the reconfigured spaces. This integrated model enabled Beca to look at how to best service the functions required by the client and modify the design accordingly. For Beca, working collaboratively with the client and architect on the virtual model of the laboratories was a vital part of this process.

The integrated model was supplied to the contractor to help them build the new laboratories. On completion of the upgrade, the model was passed to the University of Auckland’s Facilities Management department to assist with ongoing operation and maintenance of the new laboratories.

Detailed co-ordination of services in a tight space using BIM enabled construction to proceed smoothly. A BIM-enabled, innovative engineering solution to the ventilation system saved on installation and ongoing running costs. BIM allowed the estimators, contractors and subcontractors to visualise and co-ordinate a fully integrated system before and during installation, resulting in reduced material and labour waste, and a shorter construction time, saving almost two weeks in a very tight programme.

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Project duration:
Mid 2011 to January 2013

BIM Uses:
Design authoring
Design review
Engineering analysis
3D co-ordination