Rugged 10 inch Tablet for BIM in the Field

To help you get the constructible model from the office to the field, Trimble has designed the Trimble Kenai Rugged Tablet Computer.

Built to withstand the daily abuse of construction work, it meets military standards for drops, vibration and humidity; and is protected against dust and water. The full-colour, ten-inch screen is scratch and impact resistant and enhances sunlight readability for outside work. A multi-touch, gesture-controlled touchscreen allows users to type, pan, and zoom with fingers, a stylus or capacitive gloves.

The Kenai works with Trimble Field Link and a Robotic Total Station, the Trimble Rapid Positioning System, or even a Trimble R8s GNSS receiver in the field. (Learn more.)

Find out more or request a demo.

How to use BIM to its full potential

Most structural steel companies aren’t using BIM to its full potential. Are you one of them?

3D models were first used to make drawing production easier, but these days, information rich models are the key to better productivity throughout intelligent steel fabrication. However, many of the benefits of building information modelling remain untapped Using the entire model opens up a world of possibilities, beginning with design.

Tekla have provided a free eBook to help you optimise your workflow, get more out of BIM, and make your projects as profitable as they should be.

Download the eBook.

Tekla BIM Award 2017 Winners

The winners of the Tekla BIM Awards for 2017 have been announced.

Overcoming challenges seemed to be a common theme in this year’s entries and winners.

While converting an existing warehouse to host a food processing and packaging plant CSD Group started with a 3D scan. The scan showed that cambers were not added during the construction of the original building, causing some rafters to sag over 110mm in the middle, and bow in the horizontal axis but up to 35mm.


The striking Adelaide Medical and Nursing School building contains just under 100 tonne of steel and quite a few challenges during erection for SA Structural. The feature stair structure and edgescape glazing frames had to be transported and erected on to the steel structure with the glazing already installed. A modified trailer was manufactured to transport the steel glazed frames. Coordinating steelwork with other contractors was all completed by model BIM reviews and was carried out successfully.

During the detailing of a multi-storey office and retail building in Napier, Detail Connect received major design changes – namely the upper level carpark becoming offices.



Other entries include Kawarau Falls Bridge from Draft It (below left). The bridge is a modern two-lane bridge on SH6, over the Kawarau River at Frankton, New Zealand. The project contains 780 tonne of Weathering Steel.

A hobby project is to build a 1/8th scale working live steam model of a South African Railways 23 class 4-8-2 locomotive from Structural Detailing Solutions (below centre).

And a creative disc and arbour from Watkins Steel (below right).

Thanks to everyone who voted to decide the People’s Choice winner.
Congratulations to the winners of the BIM Awards for 2017! Your models will now be entered into the 2018 Tekla Global BIM Awards.

Well done to all entries – we had many outstanding models this year.

See them here.

Resource for MEP Engineers and Contractors

Trimble MEP has released Connects, a magazine designed to offer direct and relevant information about some of the most topical issues affecting the MEP sector.

In this edition there is a range of articles including “Boosting Business with Buy-in-BIM”, and “Is your Business Suffering from an Estimating Skill Shortage?”.

Download your copy of Connects from the Trimble website.

SGI reaching beyond the limitations with Insight (BIM)

Superior Garages & Industrials (SGI) is a local, independent, shed manufacturer specialising in the design and construction of structural steel buildings. SGI handles jobs of all shapes and sizes, from a carport, shed, or garage, to an industrial building. Its aim is to separate itself from its competition by continuing to evolve, and to reach beyond the limitations of the more traditional companies in its field.

This continual development lead to the realisation they were stuck using out-dated systems. Not knowing where to begin planning the growth of their business and systems they turned to Insight (BIM).

Insight (BIM) is an Australian based structural BIM system and workflow development business. It works closely with companies in the steel construction industry, creating and developing customised systems and workflows using BIM technologies. These technologies help promote business growth, increased productivity, and increased value for clients.

With Insight (BIM), SGI started streamlining workflows and creating efficiencies. Automated systems and workflows for BIM model production, reports, drawings, structural design and project handover were constructed. A deliverables handover system was also created, having been designed to ensure the sharing and updating of deliverables were streamline.

The team also created a complete shed processing system using Tekla Structures. This system allows customised design freedom and automation. Tekla Structures also allowed Insight (BIM) to create a collection of custom developed connections, APIs, and templates. Combined with the systems and workflows Insight (BIM) provided the system yields all of the details a shed manufacturer will need to quote, order, fabricate and assemble cold rolled and hot rolled structures, metal cladding and flashings.

Project managers and site contractors are now assembling structures using a virtual model in Tekla BIMsight on a tablet, thanks to training provided by Insight (BIM).

Since working with Insight (BIM), GIS has been able to drastically reduce error and time lost in the pre-construct and construction phases. The material waste has been drastically reduced and there has been a 30% reduction in time assembling complex structures. All resulting in an increase in revenue and profit on each project.

Innovation with 3D Point Clouds shores extension

Big-box retailer, The Warehouse wanted to expand its already-massive distribution centre in Rolleston, NZ. However, in addition to the usual challenges of expanding a structure, the centre had been shaken by the 2010 earthquakes.

The expansion project was to add 15 000m2 of storage and distribution space. Plus 2 000m2 of extra container canopies, new racking and conveyor systems, as well as extra yard and parking areas. The facility stores goods for distribution to The Warehouse’s 25 South Island stores, and every day it is occupied by two shifts of up to 75 workers each. Throughout any construction project, the facility needs to remain fully productive– demanding maximum efficiency from the construction process.

As the original designers of the distribution centre, Holmes Consulting Group were the logical choice to design the expansion.

Before any expansion work could take place, a thorough forensic examination of the existing building was required to determine how the quakes had impacted the centre’s structure and position.

“First we needed to make sure the building was structurally sound and still positioned as indicated in our 2D models,” said Jeff. “So we contracted surveyors to scan the end frame of the building using 3D laser scanners.”

The scans showed definite movement – not a lot, but enough to create unpleasant surprises during construction and cause costly delays. “We integrated this critical information into the documentation right from the start,” said Jeff. “It meant we didn’t need to modify key connections on site during construction.” Saving costly delays and rework.

See how they did it.


Read more about laser scanning
Scanning and BIMTek save the day
3D Scanning to turn a 20 year old hotel into a hospital

Optimising models for mixed-reality

Work is being done to a better view of your model in mixed-reality.

3D BIM models contain a lot of information, that’s the point, but the problem begins when you try to load this information into a wearable device.

“The computing power needed to visualise large and highly detailed 3D models can outpace the capabilities of mobile and wearable devices, which lack the processing power of professional high-end desktop machines, says Aviad Almagor, director of Trimble’s Mixed-Reality Program.

That’s why Trimble is collaborating with Umbra. Umbra is a Finish company that has been power up graphics performance in video games for the last 10 years. Umbra are on a mission to make it possible to display any 3D content in real time on any piece of hardware. Working with Trimble they will be exploring the use and integration of Umbra 3D graphics optimisation technology into the Trimble mixed-reality solutions to process and optimise complex 3D models.

By collaborating with Umbra, we can leverage technology proven in video gaming to improve the user experience and enable visualisation of large and complex Architecture, Engineering and Construction 3D models,” adds Aviad.

When working in conjunction with Trimble technologies for BIM and mixed reality, Umbra can preprocess 3D BIM models and produce optimised content that can enable Trimble clients to work with large amounts of 3D content on virtual and mixed-reality devices.

“Mixed reality enables professionals and their clients to interact with 3D models. Trimble customers are involved in some of the largest and most complex projects in the world and it’s important to provide a solution which will support their needs,” said Aviad Almagor, director of Trimble’s Mixed-Reality Program.

As part of the Trimble Mixed-Reality Pilot Program, Umbra technology can be used to optimise the performance of 3D graphics applications. The software automatically generates varied levels of detail of the 3D content. When viewing the 3D visualisation, Umbra is able to choose the right level of detail and show only the objects that are visible to the camera at any given time, essentially streaming in only the necessary 3D assets based on what the user sees.

“Using Umbra, Trimble pilot program users will be able to focus on what’s important about 3D and mixed reality: better communication, richer interaction and faster design review cycles,” said Otso Mkinen, CEO of Umbra.

What is BIM to Field?

What’s the point of investing in the accuracy at the front end of the process if you don’t use that accuracy to actually construct with, out on-site? It’s a very good question posed by Fred Mills of The B1M. Taking 2D drawings from a 3D model to layout points is like printing an email to send as a fax. Not only are you going to lose detail but valuable time as well.

But before we get carried away with the benefits of BIM to Field, let’s have a look at what it involves.

What is BIM to Field

BIM to Field is basically connecting the digital world with the real world. Taking that highly accurate and clash checked model that has been created and translating it through layout points into the real world.

A popular method of getting these points accurately to the site is through a robotic total station (RTS). A RTS is a tool designed to help a tradesman easily and accurately layout a project. The model is imported into the layout device, which is referenced to the job by measuring known points. Using these known points it identifies the location to layout.

Benefits of BIM to Field

This makes being confident that you are constructing in the correct location one of the biggest benefits of BIM to Field. This technology also corrects for points on uneven surfaces and locates wall penetrations. Changes due to changing conditions on site, can be logged and fed back as as-built data. All of this means that your virtual and actual building will remain aligned.

Then there’s the time-saving. One worker with an RTS can layout up to as many as five times more points as a two person team using manual methods.

Faster and more certain, it just makes sense.

In the video below Fred discusses BIM and BIM to Field in more detail.

Find more great video resources from the B1M.

Companies across the country are using BIM to Field to improve their efficiency and accuracy. Hutchinson Builders lay out points for their plumber on their Brisbane Skytower project. Centigrade and Nilsen ensured accurate set out of their services for the QEII Hospital project. Hansen Yuncken joint venture set out all trades on the high-level BIM New Adelaide Hospital project. They used an innovative system of digital set out on top of the poured deck to lay out points for all services and create a safe working environment for the underside of the slab with no overhead drilling for hangers or electrical cable trays.

If you would like to learn more about BIM to Field get in touch.

Read more about how BIM to Field is being used
rightArrow Using technology to build Brisbane’s largest tower (Hutchinson Builders case study)
rightArrow Reducing rework in construction projects
rightArrow Tech-savvy steel fabricator eliminates rework

The best of BIM in 2016


Back in June we entered four noteworthy models in the Tekla Global BIM Awards. The Village Exchange from Red Steel competed in the Commercial projects category and the Holmes Consulting Group model, The Warehouse distribution centre, in the Industrial projects category. While the Krupp reclaimer model from CADDS Engineering and the Sun Trust Park model from BDS VirCon contested the Small projects and Sports & Recreation project categories respectively.

These four Australian and New Zealand models competed against 69 other models from around the world. Winners were chosen by the jury of experts based on their constructability, level of information, complexity in modelling, and use of BIM.

warehouseWe are proud to announce that the Holmes Consulting Group won the Industrial projects category with their model of the extension to The Warehouse distribution centre.

Based just outside Christchurch, the extension adds 15 000m2 to a building that had moved during the 2011 earthquake. To match the structures and ensure structural safety the team used a point cloud and aligned the models virtually. The construction process was smooth and the owner now has a wealth of useful information for maintenance and potential future extensions.

See the model on the Tekla website.

Other category winners are:

More information about the winners, other entries, and the competition is available at the Tekla Global BIM Awards website.

Congratulations to all those who compete and especially those that won their category.

What Structural BIM should do

Dr Peter Carrato from Bechtel Engineering spoke at an American Concrete Institute seminar about making construction more efficient. He talks about how using a complete model based exchange made communicating design intent much easier for constructing a power plant.

Models were sent directly to the detailer, as well as the rebar fabricator. They also estimate that the new process would save around 728 hours of field labour.

He also shows the benefit of taking the model directly to the field and laser scanning for double checking your work.

See this fantastic example of what structural BIM should do (solve problem after problem) on the American Concrete Institute website.