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Ashgal Building Information Modelling Programme

State of Qatar

Client: State of Qatar The Public Works Authority
CAPEX: US$200 billion
Location: Doha, Qatar
Project Duration: 2011-2016
Key Services: 3D BIM Modelling, BIM Consultancy, Design

Projects Details

Ashghal was established in 2004 to design, build and manage Qatar’s infrastructure. It currently has a workforce of 1,200 people.  Ashghal has adopted a vision to be the regional pioneer in the provision of infrastructure development and management. In line with this vision, Ashghal has identified Asset/Building Information Modelling (A/BIM) as a key strategy for the efficient, effective and high-quality delivery and operation of Qatar’s desired infrastructure. It currently stands as the largest capital programme in the world.  One of the PDC staff provided executive level thought leadership in initial engagement with Ashghal and PMC Contractors and development of implementation strategies.Ashghal was established in 2004 to design, build and manage Qatar’s infrastructure. It currently has a workforce of 1,200 people.  Ashghal has adopted a vision to be the regional pioneer in the provision of infrastructure development and management. In line with this vision, Ashghal has identified Asset/Building Information Modelling (A/BIM) as a key strategy for the efficient, effective and high-quality delivery and operation of Qatar’s desired infrastructure. It currently stands as the largest capital programme in the world.  One of the PDC staff provided executive level thought leadership in initial engagement with Ashghal and PMC Contractors and development of implementation strategies.

The scope was to provide assessment of the development and implementation strategy of the Ashghal Building Information Modelling Programme.  This included the analysis of existing project design standards and refresh into schema and data standards that could be used downstream in the virtual management of country wide assets and infrastructure. Many of the Project Management Consultants (PMC’s) were using “home office” design standards from country of origin and authoring platforms that were not conducive to the end requirement of the client.  Analysis of Civil and Infrastructure design deliverables and specific coding of design software to export geometry and data to interface with client specified GIS platforms etc., were some of the initial findings.  Development of country wide BIM standards to identified to address these issues and push these back to the Project Management Contractors (PMC’s) and General Engineering Contractors (GE’s). As well as specialised contractors.

Identified implementation outcomes were the development of Ashghal CAD to BIM goals and standards published for:

  • Standard Models for Roads, Sewers, Buildings & Other Utilities;
  • Standard BOQ/BOM Generation;
  • Standard 2D documentation deliverables;
  • QA/QC process and deliverables validation;
  • BIM Project Performance Management;
  • Visualisation & Animation Standards.

Projects Challenges/Highlights

  • Ashghal was faced with enormous growth of its built assets over the next decade and beyond.  In five years the country was going to be transformed with upgrading of its roads and drainage/sanitary infrastructure.  Then a decision was made to bid and host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.  A further nine new stadiums, 50,000 new hotel rooms and the $35b Qatar Rail Project were announced.  This already compounding the minimal delivery infrastructure capability within the country;
  • Larger and more complex projects required faster implementation.  This required a re-think of conventional delivery methodologies and Integrated Project Delivery and BIM solutions were targeted as first responders;
  • Major global branded software organisations were selling BIM solutions without a “best for project” outcome.  The client was confused with the many offerings available and sought independent advice;
  • Qatar’s organisational capability was stretched to support major capital programs and deliver centralised services at the same time to the many and varied delivery partners.  There was uncertainty in its capability to successfully implement BIM technology as a standalone organisation and a recommendation was made for this to be outsourced;
  • Project definition and scope documentation did not have adequate client requirements and performance specifications that clearly articulated BIM deliverables;
  • The size of some of the major projects and the Ashghal capital project portfolio as a whole created competition for specialised BIM resources from the same labour pool;
  • At that time the current project submittal standards were focused on 2D drawing and GIS submittals with no BIM standards in place.  Quality of design deliverables audited was poor from PMC’s;
  • Aggressive cost targets introduced unnecessary risk to the inherent vulnerability of major capital projects.  Lack of alignment among stakeholders, schedule driven front end loading, not understanding local requirements and unrealistic cost and schedule targets contributed to some project drivers and an environment that created the ability for conflict.
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