Reimagining Urban Planning with 3DEXPERIENCity: New urban morphologies for connected work- and lifestyles

By Akio
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Rocker 9-22-2015 7-52-28 PMBy: Ingeborg Rocker, PhD, Vice President of 3DEXPERIENCity | Geosphere and member of Dassault Systèmes’ Corporate Strategy Team. Rocker is responsible for developing a vision and strategy for modeling and simulating our planet with a particular focus on urban settlements.

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3DEXPERIENCity, Wind Simulation for Singapore City, Singapore.

3DEXPERIENCity, Wind Simulation for Singapore City, Singapore.

Traditional models of urbanism are challenged today by the growing and increasingly diversified population in cities. Urban planners will find they need a new planning model that takes into consideration the needs of hyper-dense cities. They will need to re-think how we imagine, plan, design, analyze, simulate, realize and manage cities in order to better plan for the future. New urban planning tools also are needed to foster better communication among governments, business and citizens.

One solution with the potential to transform urban planning is the 3DEXPERIENCE city map. By creating a data-rich virtual model of the city in all its complexity, and linking it back to actual existing conditions in real-time, we can understand through simulations the potential effects of various systemic changes before implementing them.

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Taking a Holistic Approach to City Planning

The key to this holistic digital map of the processes of life and work in the city is that it is continuously updated. Everyone who has access rights to the model—from city planners to business interests and even citizens—sees the most current data, creating a real-time shared point of reference. Through this data, we can understand the entire lifecycle of the city. You will know which lot is empty, which lot is occupied. You will know which segment of the population lives where. You will see how certain changes might decrease pollution or improve traffic flow. This model can capture everything we possibly could know about a city and gives all players access to this collaborative platform.

Most traditional smart city approaches have focused on technology to address urban challenges by collecting massive amounts of sensor data. But this rather technocratic approach—focused on projects narrow in scope and often siloed in individual agencies and research bodies—left cities and citizens alike with vast amounts of data related to very narrow fields of inquiry. A holistic view of the city’s system of systems, the interrelation between people and city, remained elusive.

What has been lacking in these smart city approaches is the intelligence necessary to capture the city and its processes as a whole and to capture and integrate this knowledge into a holistic, real-time virtual model of the city that dynamically updates. A holistic approach is a key aspect of Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCity, as is the dynamic data model, which enables real-time collaboration and communication.

Using Dynamic Models to Recreate Cities

Think of a city with many players working together: urban planners, urban designers, engineers, architects, landscape architects, developers and many more. Imagine building an extension of a city. One that does not consume more energy than it creates. One with a minimum carbon footprint. One that is hyper dense and yet offers great life-work experiences to all its inhabitants. Different collaborators involved in the planning process of this city interactively explore various design various, and run analytics and simulations to find a design solution with the maximum spatial quality and functional operability.

The dynamic data model keeps track of each version, checks continually for incongruences as different people optimize the city design, and gives warning if the design version does not comply with existing building codes. Once all parties agree on a design version, it will be finalized and its realization is developed, analyzed, simulated and optimized in the virtual model. Every step of the construction process can be explored virtually before it actually will take place in reality. Once the city extension is built, the dynamic model can serve to manage the city. Essentially, the entire lifecycle of a city can be captured this way.

It is here that a 3DEXPERIENCity dynamic data model becomes critical in coordinating the imagination, planning, design, analysis, simulation, realization and management of the city—involving city officials, businesses and citizens alike.

The Interactive New Model for Urban Planning

The 3DEXPERIENCity is the virtual double of the real existing city, capturing changes as they occur over time. The continuous feedback between the virtual dynamic city model and the real city ensures that both represent each other. It maps the entire city lifecycle, exceeding by far the smart city approach, which typically focuses on one topic at a time.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: #3DEXPERIENCity maps the city lifecycle, exceeding a typical smart city approach which focuses on one topic

Dassault Systèmes is currently developing an advanced 3DEXPERIENCity project called Virtual Singapore. Singapore is no larger than 278 square miles, and consists of a main island and 62 islets. Land is scarce in this densely urbanized environment. Because Singapore is running out of space for expansion, lacks natural resources, and is facing both a tremendous population growth and change in demography (aging population and multicultural diversity), the country launched a Smart Nation program in late 2014.

Within the framework of this initiative, Dassault Systèmes and Singapore work closely together on Virtual Singapore. It’s an extensive effort to collect data of the city-state’s daily activities and to reflect them in a 3DEXPERIENCity that actively involves city agencies, businesses and citizens alike. Virtual Singapore is the virtual double of real Singapore in the sense that the project’s online platform gives insight into the country’s real-time functioning, and the government shares data with the private sector and the public. The program is designed to improve government services through technology, better connect its citizens, and encourage private-sector innovations.

The 3DEXPERIENCity for Singapore also enables the city to envision and plan future city extensions and densifications in a significant way. The centerpiece of Singapore’s effort is a dynamic data model that will store building’s exact dimensions, window placement, types of construction materials, etc. Virtual Singapore’s options for direct application and experiences seem unlimited.

With the city project, Dassault Systèmes leverages all of its diverse capabilities, including authoring, analytics and simulation capabilities. City planning based on a dynamic data model will be much more sophisticated than ever before.

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Related Resources

Collaborative, Industrialized Construction

Offsite Construction and Prefabrication in Civil Engineering

By Akio
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#CivilEngineering | @3DSAEC @Dassault3DS”

Prefabrication is the designing and manufacturing of assemblies under factory conditions, then transporting them to—and assembling them on—a construction site. The technique is most widely used for concrete and steel sections in structures where a particular part or form is repeated many times.

In civil engineering, prefabrication plays a key role in the construction of bridges, roads, tunnels, and more. Prefabrication can be used for:

  • cantilevered decks of elevated bridges in highway projects
  • parapets of expressways and road curbs
  • precast girder units and beams for elevated roadways, tracks, viaducts, and pedestrian footbridges
  • decks for long span bridges
  • tunnel linings, especially for tunnels formed by tunnel boring machine
  • sea walls
  • railway platforms
  • noise barrier panels
  • overhanging ducts and service channels for underground facilities
  • storm water discharge culverts

… and many other elements of a civil design project.

Contributing Factors to the Prefabrication Trend in Civil Engineering

The main reason for prefabrication construction is to reduce the overall construction time on a project. This time savings can yield significant budget savings.

Prefabrication allows for work to be conducted simultaneously onsite and offsite, as well as helping with better coordination among the project team.

Less onsite staging, such as scaffolding, is needed. Weather does not impact construction. Prefabrication can also reduce onsite resources, such as labor and equipment, and minimize waste. Factory conditions offer quality control checks on each piece produced.

Prefabricated concrete, for example, can avoid the imperfections frequently found in concrete poured onsite. The lack of exposure to the elements, and the ability to fabricate in factory conditions rather than on ladders or from scaffolding also improves quality.

Examples of Civil Design Projects Using Prefabrication

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using #Prefab | @3DSAEC @Dassault3DS”

Goethals Bridge

Goethals Bridge Prefabrication

Goethals Bridge. SOURCE.

The new replacement Goethals Bridge, linking Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Staten Island in New York City, is currently under construction and has a cable-stayed design. The replacement bridge will be located directly south of the 88-year-old existing Goethals Bridge.

The design of the $1.5 billion project was led by Kiewit-Weeks-Massman. Prefabricated steel will compose two spans, one eastbound and one westbound, to measure 1,635 feet. The project team is constructing 36 precast concrete structural support columns for the foundation—18 each for the eastbound and westbound roadways—consisting of prefabricated steel rebar shafts.

Prefabricated anchor boxes will be installed at the top section of the bridge’s eight towers. The new bridge is scheduled to open in 2017 on time.


Crossrail Prefabrication

Crossrail. SOURCE

The Crossrail railway project in London is Europe’s biggest underground construction project.

Twenty-six miles of twin-bore tunnels have been built for the addition of 10 stations and linking to 30 existing stations. Eight tunneling machines bored the 6.2 diameter rail tunnels, 40 meters under London.

Over 200,000 prefabricated concrete segments line the tunnels. Seven segments and a keystone will be used to make up tunnel rings, locked together to build a concrete tube reinforced with steel fibers. Each segment weighs 3,000 kilograms and each keystone weighs 1,000 kilograms. Crossrail construction is being delivered on time and within budget.

Panama Canal Expansion

Panama Canal Prefabrication

Panama Canal. SOURCE.

The Panama Canal expansion project adds a new lane to the existing two lanes to allow for passage of large vessels, such as container ships, bulk carriers, and tankers. Work began in 2014 and is expected to be complete in May 2016 at a cost of over $5 billion. The new lane will have two locks chambers, one on the Pacific side and one on the Atlantic side.

Installation of 16 prefabricated rolling steel lock gates was completed last year. They were manufactured in Italy, then shipped, tugged, and “rolled” to the site.

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tugged & rolled to @thepanamacanal | @Dassault3DS #Civildesign

When complete, ships will enter through two-pair of buoyant gates, which are 7-feet-thick, weigh up to 3,200 tons, and are up to 82-feet high. In addition, 46 prefabricated steel lock walls were put into place to hold water in the lock chambers that range from 45- to 55-feet thick at the base to 8 feet at the top.

West Kowloon Terminus Station North

West Kowloon Terminus. SOURCE.

West Kowloon Terminus. SOURCE.

The West Kowloon Terminus Station North is the largest civil contract awarded for the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

Located in Kowloon, the terminus will serve as Hong Kong’s international gateway to China. Engineering firm BuroHappold designed a curved, steel, and glass roof to accommodate a large central space to provide natural light and views of Hong Kong Island. The free-form roof will be made up 7,000 tons of prefabricated steel trusses weighing up to 40 tons each.

Doubly-curved trusses, triangular in cross-section, will form three long curved lattice trusses. These will be supported by prefabricated curved steel columns up to 50 meters in height. A concrete roof beam for the steel roof will be comprised of six concrete cantilevering beams, with eight concrete sections spanning between each beam.

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#CivilEngineering | @3DSAEC @Dassault3DS”

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INDUSTRY SOLUTION EXPERIENCE: Civil Design for Fabrication

WHITEPAPER: Civil Design Innovation – Innovative Industrialization Methodology Achieves Breakthrough in Civil Design

WEBINAR: Extended Demo of Civil Design Industry Process Experience


Collaborative, Efficient Design Processes with “Civil Design for Fabrication”

By Akio
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A Growing Global Infrastructure

As the global population continues to rise, worldwide spending on civil engineering projects is expected to grow. Emerging markets such as China, the Middle East, and Latin America will be looking to facilitate rapid increases in infrastructure projects quickly and cost-effectively.

To keep pace, civil engineering and infrastructure professionals will need to address industry challenges, such as managing costs and schedules, reducing waste, and improving efficiency.

One key reason for inefficiency in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) infrastructure projects is fragmentation. An integrated, collaborative environment would eliminate fragmentation, address business challenges, achieve higher quality, and improve efficiency.

Civil Design for Fabrication does just that:

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Processes with “Civil Design for Fabrication” [VIDEO]

Building Infrastructure through Collaboration

Civil Design for Fabrication provides collaborative access to design models and data. The solution creates an integrated Building Information Modeling (BIM) design platform that allows owners, designers, engineers, and fabricators to have simultaneous and real-time access to design models and project data.

Flexible Design Change

Civil Design for Fabrication enables the team to work in parallel, share data, and create a single-source mock-up. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform makes it easier to accommodate changes in design, such as from onsite construction dependency or a change in design direction at construction phase.

A template-based design method lets customers change the design quickly and easily. Users can work from a full civil engineering catalogue of reusable, adaptive 3D templates, or can create their own template for future use.

templates - Civil Design for Fabrication

Templates make it easier to accommodate changes in design, which can be frequent. Time is saved by importing prototypes from a list of components, which can be easily modified and instantly updated, ensuring consistency while reducing errors.

Large Model Handling

Infrastructure project planning and designing require holistic observation, since projects are connected between road tunnels, bridges and highways, and railways.

true terrain - Civil Design for Fabrication

Large BIM data like “true terrain” information is integrated into Civil Design for Fabrication, adding new geo location tools for more precise excavation calculations.

Design for Fabrication

The same platform of collaborative data is linked to fabrication data and to construction costs, quantities, specifications, and schedules. This will promote time-saving pre-fabrication, reduce rework, and cut waste.

Result: Efficient Infrastructure Projects

The outcome of using Civil Design for Fabrication will be integrated design, improved efficiency and productivity, faster delivery, and cost-effective design and construction.

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Processes with “Civil Design for Fabrication”

Related Resources

Civil Design for Fabrication Industry Solution Experience

WHITEPAPER – “Civil Design Innovation: Innovative Industrialization Methodology Achieves Breakthrough in Civil Design”

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