Managing Denver International Airport with BIM | The B1M

Managing Denver International Airport with BIM | The B1M


Denver International Airport in the United
States is in the process of using building information modelling to support
facilities management. We’re going to tell you more about that in a moment but first
– as with all our airport BIM case studies – here are the stats: Denver International is the fifth busiest
airport in the United States and the largest in terms of area – covering an enormous
85 square kilometres. Over 53 million people travel through it each year and its positioning on the map makes it a hot-spot for connecting flights and transfers. The airports scale
means that there’s a lot of built assets to manage and the traffic it receives makes
it considerably prone to wear and tear. The airport recently added a new landmark
structure at the front of their terminal combining a railway station with a new 519 room hotel.
The new facility includes numerous sustainability features and has become a gateway for passengers
arriving. The project was designed by Gensler and Anderson
Mason Dale, and has been managed by HNTB and Parsons. The construction was undertaken by
three contractors – Mortenson, Hunt and Saunders – working as the MHS Joint Venture.
By their very nature airport projects are demanding, requiring all manner of things
to be considered: from travel distances and passenger flow, to security considerations
and – in the case of the US – oversight from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The team worked in a building information modelling (BIM) environment, co-ordinating
their information and proposals in a mutually accessible common data environment (CDE).
This enabled remote working from different parts of the country where necessary, and
ensured that the team were all singing form the same hymn sheet – i.e. they were accessing
information and making decisions upon it from a single point of truth. Developing in a BIM environment, the project
benefitted from improved collaboration, co-ordinated timelines and a faster construction period. But for Denver it didn’t stop there. The
Hotel and Transit Centre was sort of a warm-up test project for a much bigger BIM effort
right across the airport. The airports operators see the benefit of
having a better understanding of the facilities they’re running in order to run them properly
and get the best out of them – that means improving the experience of the people moving
through them or going to work there every day and saving money by bringing down their
running costs. The digital picture that Denver are building
is not about going out and creating 3D models and visualisations of their entire airport.
For them, having a detailed database that informs all ongoing actions is far more important
than visualisations. It would also be quite impractical and very
expensive to model the entire airport in one go. They have a skeletal model for the whole
place that is added to with more detail as it steadily becomes available.
The Hotel and Transit Centre is part of a number of extensions and alterations that
they are undertaking to improve airport operations and increase capacity. As these occur, the
model is updated and the picture of their airport becomes ever more reliable. In the longer term, a key benefit is the ability
to do detailed feasibility studies – designing and scoping a new element, based on a detailed
“perpetual as-built” of what is currently there. There’s no need for surveys and a
reduced need for time-consuming feasibility studies. So where do you start with something like
this? Well of course the airports operators want to convert and carry over as much data
about the facility that they already have. But getting hold of some original record data
isn’t exactly a digital process. Denver International was built in the early
1990s and opened in 1995, at a time when the transition from hand drawing to CAD was itself
still fairly new. The result is a vast array of drawings spread
across floppy disks, hard drives and filing cabinets. If you’re one of our younger viewers
then a floppy disk is basically a flimsy square piece of plastic that acts rather like a memory
stick… you know what, never mind. The first step in Denver’s cataloguing was
to bring that and over 9 million CAD files together in one place. In the early stages of the Hotel and Transit
Centre project, the team used laser scanning to capture the existing above and below ground
conditions to better understand how the new building and railway station would relate
to them. The first three bays of the terminal building
were scanned from the roof down to the ground and this helped to model it in great detail.
The interior was mapped over three days during the middle of the night. The result was accurate as-built scan data
that was important for the new project and could be used in the airports ever enriching
facilities management database. Ultimately Denver International Airport want
to run their entire facility from a single source of digital information, a single point
of truth, for what is what across their vast site. They are trialling tablets to put this information
into the palms of their staff and operatives, giving them instant access to the data they
need and saving time that is often lost travelling across the terminal or airfields. They’re also working on an automated, bi-directional
information exchange between the models used by project teams on capital works, and their
Facilities Management platform. The challenge, as one of the team put it,
is in getting those delivering capital projects to think of data as if they own it, rather
than just creating a set of documents. They need to have the mind-set that will eventually
have to come back to the model, and use it to inform future work. If you enjoyed this video, don’t forget to leave a comment below, like the video,

23 thoughts on “Managing Denver International Airport with BIM | The B1M

  1. Nice Video, Now im working as a BIM MANAGER for the NAICM which is a similar challenge and implies not just the terminal building, but the whole campus including support buildings, tunnels, aprons, roadways, runways and landworks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwsJnNd__1I

  2. Between the low audio levels and the narrator's mumbling I can barely understand what's being said. I had to turn my volume up to 50 to have at a comfortable level and normally 10is fine fr other videos. Heaven forbid there should be an advert.

  3. Cant understand a word your saying… WHAT INTERNATIONL AIRPORT????? sounds like you say BWAHHWENH INTERNATIONAL>>> SPEAK CLEARLY DUHH

  4. Less distracting to use presenters who don't look like the Taliban. It's like sleeveless women with hairy armpits or legs wearing skits

  5. Having worked in Facilities Engineering for a DOE research lab; BIM is a laudable goal for managing existing structures; but I'll believe when I see it as after commissioning a building, maintaining the as-built condition falls by the wayside, usually because of budgetary reasons.

    By the way; DIA's terminal is getting a serious remodel to deal with post 9/11 passenger security screening, and they discovered the original concrete floor is substandard, which has driven up costs and caused significant delays.

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