Streamlining rail development with new digital solutions
One of Norway’s biggest ongoing railway projects, UDK (Drammen – Kobbervikdalen), has high ambitions: the best digital solutions on the market are used to streamline the work.
The client, Bane NOR, has laid down strict standards for how the project should be implemented. One of the main requirements was a fully digital model implementation using BIM (building information models). The project also called for further development and innovation in digital solutions and work processes.
“I had no doubt that we should use Gemini Terrain for this project. It is a good and effective tool for design, modelling and mass calculations of groundworks, which is a large and important part of the job,” says Torben Dyvik Jacobsen, who manages this area at Norconsult.
Streamlined the planning of the groundworks
Gemini is developed by Powel Construction and is used in most infrastructure projects in Norway, from the smallest to the very largest. Norconsult has provided substantial feedback and input to the development of the solution for many years. The development of the Drammen - Kobbervikdalen line presented fresh challenges. Norconsult needed to further streamline the groundworks.
“On complex rig areas, we spent a lot of time in the design phase. So we asked Powel if they could improve the excavation modelling tool and after a short time we got a beta version with the tools we needed for testing,” says Jacobsen.
The BIM expert was very pleasantly surprised. The new modelling tools significantly reduced the time spent on excavation works.
“The great advantage was that complex models now were much easier to design and especially edit for further revisions. Before, you had to be a superuser to achieve this. Now the user interface is so simple that even people with a basic knowledge of Gemini Terrain can do it,” he continues enthusiastically.
Models exchanged between many disciplines
This section of the railway includes double-track construction, a cut and cover tunnel, a rock tunnel, a new Drammen station, and modifications of Gulskogen station. The groundworks are queuing up, therefore it is extremely important to have a digital solution that can handle multiple and complex groundworks.
“Gemini Terrain is a well-suited platform for data exchange and quality assurance of the models. Not all disciplines work with the same software tools, so it is a great strength that we can still import different models via different formats from multiple disciplines into a single model through Gemini,” he says.
Saves money and improves the quality
There are many different disciplines involved in the planning and designing of groundworks (Water and Waste, Geo-engineering, Landscaping, Electrical cabling and routing, Construction, Road and Rail, and more), all of which contribute to the completion of the development by 2025. The groundworks are handled in Gemini Terrain and one of the strengths of the solution is efficient communication and data flow between the disciplines. The size of the project also called for a large number of new Gemini users. Norconsult itself provided the training. Around 30 users were over several months trained over three-day course. Many others have been given individual training.
“The requirements and the knowledge needed to carry out such a project are so specific that it was necessary to run the training internally,” he says.
Powel has been closely involved in the project throughout the planning and development period and is pleased that Norconsult is happy with the improvements that have been made to the solution. This project joins a long line of projects in the construction sector where Gemini is used.
“We have a strong focus and ongoing activities on the further development of Gemini Terrain. Much of the development is done in close collaboration with our customers, which we have many years of good experience with,” says Frode Solem, CEO of Powel Construction.