From Extensive to Refined, the Exploration of BIM+GIS Application in Expressway Construction Management

29 Nov,2023

Expressway projects feature difficult acquisition and relocation, complex technical processes and difficult project management. Many practitioners say that traffic engineering is an "extensive" project and has historically had various management problems, such as huge difference between the drawings and the actual construction, distortion of process data, and problems in construction quality supervision, project progress monitoring, and land acquisition and demolition management, etc.

In order to eradicate the above-mentioned " stubborn problems" in expressway projects, improve the informatization and standardization level of project management, and improve the utilization of design results, the Sichuan Highway Planning, Survey, Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “the Institute") has started to actively explore the application of BIM+GIS technology in expressway engineering management since 2017.

At present, the Institute has developed multiple BIM+GIS application software products including the expressway construction management BIM system (hereinafter referred to as “the system"), and has applied them to actual engineering.

BIM technology, with its visualization, coordination, simulation, optimization and other unique characteristics, can quickly achieve comprehensive management of project quality, progress, and cost, and plays a vital role in refined project management. GIS technology can be used to collect, manage, analyze and output geographic information and spatial data. Driven by analytical models and achieves comprehensive spatial analysis and dynamic prediction capabilities, and can generate high-level geographic information, which provide technical support for macro management of the entire highway.

Expressway construction projects have characteristics such as long route spans, wide areas, and have complex and diverse construction sites. Therefore, there is confined usage of BIM or GIS technology alone to promote informatized management in the transportation industry. By combining the advantages of the two technologies, the application method of BIM+GIS technology in the process management of expressway construction provides a brand-new digital tool for visualized, and precise management.

1Multi-source data fusion: solving data management problems

Highway projects are distributed in strips, featuring long distance, narrow width, complex terrain, diverse environments, and various types of data. The Institute adopts SuperMap’s multi-source data fusion technologies to manage multi-scale, multi-type, and multi-region spatial data, forming a unified highway engineering geospatial database. Among them, the technology that seamless integrates high-precision terrain in strip areas and low-precision terrain in large areas solves the technical problems that have long plagued the expression of terrain in highway projects; at the same time, through this technology, BIM, oblique and vector data are organically integrated, which solves the thorny problems of complex organization and difficult maintenance of highway engineering data.

Longchi Section of Chengdu-Changdu Expressway (seamless integration of BIM and oblique photography model)

Leshan-Xichang Expressway (seamless fusion of high- and low-precision terrain images)

Dadu River Bridge (seamless integration of BIM and high-precision terrain)

2 Electronic sandbox: digital Twin of Highway Project

Relying on the BIM refined model and WebGL technology, the system intuitively and accurately demonstrates the overall image of the highway project and the component-level information of each facility on the front end, and provides interactive browsing and visual display of design drawings, station numbers, design and construction-related data information based on the 3D model, supporting on-site construction and construction management, making it easier for users to understand the project construction process and post-completion status through this module.

3 Expropriation and demolition management: an overview of land supply in one map

The system combines detailed information on land acquisition and demolition with GIS, allowing users to see the actual situation of land acquisition. The system can drill down into the scope and status of each piece of land to be acquired, and at the same time provide an overview of the land acquisition status of all plots. Combined with the comprehensive calculation of land acquisition data, the system can automatically generate statistical reports and launch the land acquisition status overview chart, allowing users to see the land acquisition status of the entire highway project at a glance, and owners to understand the demolition process timely and accurately.

4 Data log: seamlessly supervise every detail

In the on-site data and project log module, the system uses APP management standards and requirements to dynamically collect and manage on-site construction data information to improve the timeliness, accuracy and completeness of on-site data collection.

The design unit can feed back the design information into the construction process in real-time through the system, and at the same time, handle the information feedback during the actual construction, which is helpful for the rapid processing of subsequent project construction.

Construction units and supervision units can fill in the construction data through the system's APP terminal. In this way, the submission of construction data can be standardized, achieving simple and fast filling, and saving part of the cost through the paperless filing.

During the process of the management of engineering design and construction, users can access and view electronic drawing resources at any time through the PC or mobile APP, effectively avoiding the difficulty in finding drawings in the past.

5 Progress Management: visual management and control of project progress

Using BIM refined models, and construction data logs, and combined with the thematic display capabilities of SuperMap 3D GIS, the system displays the project design progress, actual progress, and expected progress in the form of 3D thematic maps on the front end, allowing users to quickly and intuitively view the real-time status of the construction, and owners to understand and effectively control the construction progress in real-time.

Progress management (from virtual to reality, visual display of project progress)

6 Summary

The Institute has innovatively realized the standardization of BIM data, sub-item data, and on-site construction information filling, which is conducive to data management and extended application. By visualizing facility components, land acquisition control, construction processes, and project progress, users can quickly and clearly understand the project situation.

The system uses BIM+GIS as the basis to realize the integration of all engineering data and lay a solid foundation for full-cycle data applications. At present, the system has been used in the management of multiple expressway projects such as Leshan-Xichang Expressway, river-side expressway, Luding-Shimian Expressway, and Chengdu-Mianyang Expressway expansion.

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