The Victoria Station Upgrade (VSU) project in central London will provide one of the best examples seen so far of how Building Information Modelling (BIM) can be used in ground engineering.
A joint venture between BAM Nuttall and Taylor Woodrow (BNTW) will deliver the project worth around £700 million and will include a bigger, new ticket hall, along with 400 metres of connecting tunnels 7 metres below ground level.
The project is a complex one on a congested site which is crisscrossed by power and communication cables, sewers and pipelines, with a series of tube tunnels and the culverted River Tyburn in close proximity.
London Underground has been pushing for the use of BIM for the last 10 years when it first planned the project, although it was believed to be nearly impossible without a 3D record of third party and existing assets, which drew on “as built” records along with laser survey data.
Furthermore, BNTW has removed and excavated all services in the ground, analysed their condition and put them back, which has given the model more data about the services, while information from trial drill holes has also been included.
Craig Prangley, Project Manager at Taylor Woodrow, explained that this negated the problem of a lack of underground visibility.
He added that the BIM model has allowed them to drill with confidence under the Victoria Palace Theatre and a number of tube tunnels.
BIM was also used in the coordination of the design of 2,500 jet grout columns, which were injected to stabilise the water bearing river terrace gravels on the site, while creating an impermeable barrier to the new station box. Due to the complex nature of the existing infrastructure, these are ranked in a number of different directions.
The BIM model is able to uniquely identify the orientation and position of every drill string.