India: London-based architectural firm HOK is heavily relying on building information modelling (BIM) to design an air traffic control (ATC) tower at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGAI) in Delhi. The state-of-the-art digital modelling technology is being used to construct the ATC tower at IGAI.
“BIM allows an architect to create a digital model of their designs, giving unprecedented insight into how a building will work long before it’s even built. It improves our ability to stress test our designs and undertake much more detailed and advanced feasibility testing,” explained Project lead, Anthony Leslie.
“As a client, instead of looking at 2D drawings or architects’ models, you can now go inside a digital model of the building, walk around and see what will work and what won’t,” Leslie added.
The use of BIM not only allowed HOK to prove that the design of the technically complex structure would work, but also that it was buildable in the reasonably tight timings dictated by the design and construction schedules.
“Not only can we create the designs in BIM, we can also break these down and start to plot out how the building will be constructed in much more detail than architects could previously,” said Leslie.
“And because all of the designs are so well tested, it reduces the likelihood of running into difficulties once construction starts, cutting out unnecessary delays which can cause additional costs,” he added.
One area where the design team struggled was how to actually construct the tower. “As the airport was still operational, and the new tower is being built close to the existing ATCC, we had to ensure we maintained clear sight lines across the airfield and couldn’t just bring in lots of conventional cranes, as they were all too wide,” said Leslie.
“Instead the team decided to use BIM to design their own crane – high enough to construct the taller tower, but still slim enough so as not to obstruct views across the airfield.”
Construction is currently under way and the new ATCC tower will be operational by 2014. Once complete, the tower will have 21 air traffic controller positions — including 12 positions at operational ground level — and a 360-degree view of the runway positions from the visual control room, increasing efficiency and achieving higher air traffic movement per hour.
Source: Airport World