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Randselvan silta

Innovation and collaboration made Randselva bridge the best BIM project in the world

The world’s best BIM projects have once again been selected. The winner of the Best BIM Project & Best Infrastructure Project category of Tekla Global BIM Awards is the Randselva Bridge in Norway, the world’s longest bridge that has been designed and constructed using a drawing-free, model-based process. Sweco was in charge of the modelling and parametric design of the bridge.

Innovation and collaboration have been the cornerstones of success in this challenging bridge project. The project challenges the status quo by relying on a parametric information model as its only official documentation and source for information needed to build the bridge.

The construction method of the bridge that contains many complex geometric forms is unusual, which is why the information model had to be organised with care. “The model was designed to ensure that every member of the project team stays informed of the status of all model elements and knows what information can be used. The model also served as the only official piece of documentation at the worksite,” says Rasmus Sainmaa, BIM specialist and developer of parametric modelling at Sweco.

Sweco involved as a pioneer in parametric design

The bridge project utilises a method of parametric modelling, which provided numerous concrete benefits.

“Even though we received the initial data at the last minute, the parametric method allowed us to model several details agilely in advance,” Sainmaa says. With traditional modelling, the information model could not have been implemented on schedule. “Now the basic details had already been modelled, and we only needed to update the model with the final calculations.”

The massive project would be very difficult to manage without an accurate information model. “The bridge currently contains more than 250 unique tendons and over 200,000 reinforcement groups. It would have been extremely complicated to process all the information manually.”

Sweco’s specialists also joined forces in Norway, Denmark and Poland, in addition to Finland. “The bridge project is an excellent example of multitier networking between leading experts. At Sweco, we work together across borders, which allows us to produce innovative and sustainable solutions for clients and for any kinds of projects,” Sainmaa says, summarising the company’s methods.

The jury evaluated the projects based on collaboration, implementation, innovation and constructability. “The winning projects achieve the perfect combination of using technology in ground-breaking ways and having the courage to push the envelope in search of a smarter, more efficient design and construction process,” says jury member Aarni Heiskanen. “The Randselva Bridge, in particular, showcases the efficiencies that can be gained with parametric modelling and cross-team collaboration as well as the creativity and structural possibilities that modelling technology brings to incredibly complex and large projects.”

The Tekla BIM Awards are intended for projects that expand areas where structural design and building information modelling can be used innovatively. More than 135 projects from 36 countries entered the competition this year.

Read more:
Trimble Announces Tekla 2020 Global BIM Awards Winners, Trimble news release 1 October 2020
Tekla Global BIM Awards 2020 winners