Puuvilla: From Factory to Shopping Center with BIM collaboration

August 24, 2018

One hundred years ago the Porin Puuvilla factory produced cotton and offered livelihood for 3,000 persons. Today, the factory has turned into a shopping center combining old and new structures and housing retail, office, warehouse and parking space. 

Puuvilla is located on the bank of the River Kokemäenjoki, in Pori, Finland. The construction project includes extending the old textile mill Kutomo and Lusikkalinna, converting Värjäämö (dyehouse) into office and business facilities, and demolishing Uusi Kehräämö (spinning mill) and the repair shop.

3D modeling-based design has been adopted throughout the project. The 13 project parties agree that both construction process and the quality improved significantly with modeling-based design. This is the story of the Puuvilla project showcasing viewpoints of some project parties.

The precaster: Parma utilizes model information to the max

At Puuvilla the precast concrete provider Parma faced a very tight schedule, a challenge which they tackled with collaboration, design, detailing and production status management and model information. The company supplied precast concrete elements with a contract reaching from element design and detailing to manufacturing and installation.

The team utilized building information modeling from the bidding stage when Parma created a model for calculating quantities and presenting solution suggestions.

For Parma Puuvilla was a big job. With two detailing offices, seven factories and two assembly subcontractors they delivered about 10,000 precast units. For example just the Lusikkalinna part has total 4793 precast components, including 2097 hollow core slabs, 463 beams, 192 columns, 1595 composite planks, 55 stairs and 130 load-bearing walls.

Collaboration using common Precast Modeling Guideline enabled precast delivery at record speed and without errors. Status management kept everybody in design, fabrication and construction informed.Detailed model with exact dimensions and information

After the successful bidding, Parma continued to work with BIM. Two contracting detailing offices, A-Insinöörit and Narmaplan, seamlessly collaborated although they were located in different parts of country to create a Tekla model that had zero dimensional mistakes. For the afore-mentioned Lusikkalinna, no drawings were created as the hollow core slabs as the designer received the detailed information using a Tekla model.

To support element design management, the team utilized the model’s element status information about the progress of detailing, and used it in meetings.  Despite the hectic schedule, the detailers met the deadlines successfully and received praise for the error-free work  - thanks to achieving efficiency with BIM.

Accurate, rich Tekla model information allows utilizing the model in production and construction.

BIM for production

A key to keeping the tight schedule was abandoning email and paper and instead using models as communication tools. With the status information in the models, Parma monitored and managed the progress of element design and production so that the plant could prepare in advance and produce the elements fast. Parma’s ERM systems read the dimensions and material specifications of hollow-core slabs directly from the Tekla model thus avoiding human errors.

Information about the elements’ materials, formwork and quantities was available in the models even before the element drawings were ready for production so that the model information could be also used for material purchase. The status information was read from the ERP system back to the Tekla model daily, while the other project parties used Tekla BIMsight to access the information on site.

Fast installation

The framework installation proceeded at a record speed. The rich model information kept the site crew informed and was used for visual review before and during installation. Production engineers entered the actual element installation dates in the Tekla model for monitoring the schedule. Any element being ahead, on or behind schedule was indicated in the Tekla model.

Precast modeling guidelines for collaboration

A crucial success factor in the Puuvilla project was using the Finnish Precast Industry’s Modeling Instructions (BEC 2012) as it offered a common guideline that worked as the basis of the work of design and detailing offices A-Insinöörit and Narmaplan. Thanks to the guideline, the two companies could work on the same project following the same manner of modeling.

However, primarily the modeling guideline supports precast fabrication facilities and site work. At Puuvilla, especially the installation contractor and the element factory benefited from the correct, easily usable model information.  Models with consistent content could be effectively utilized bringing benefit to the entire project by saving cost, time and material as following the precast modeling instructions should produce similar models regardless of the design office or modeler.

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