SBEnrc - Project 3.27: Using BIM for Smarter and Safer Scaffolding Construction

Project name: Project 3.27: Using Building Information Modelling (BIM) for Smarter and Safer Scaffolding Construction

Completion/expected completion date: 30 September 2014

Main participating organisations: Curtin University, Seoul National University, Qld Dept of Transport and Main Roads, and John Holland

Project goals and objectives: This research will facilitate the design and construction of smarter and safer scaffolding through the use of rule-based modelling systems that link with existing Building Information Modelling (BIM) software and technology.

Context: It will develop digital modelling tools and processes that integrate construction and safety constraints directly into the design, analysis, assembly, inspection and disassembly of these temporary structures. Building on a QUT funded pilot study, this project will identify opportunities for improved safety practices and more efficient design and construction processes, both in Australia and Korea, and seek to extend the results to other parts of Australasia.

Proposed deliverables:

  1. A comprehensive understanding of practices related to the design and construction of temporary scaffolding structures.
  2. Digital modelling tools and processes that aid scaffolding design and construction to improve the safety, productivity and profitability of construction projects.
  3. Education and training requirements to facilitate the uptake of these digital modelling technologies and thus reduce workplace accidents while maximising social and business benefits for construction workers and organisations.

Planned 2014 activity:

  1. Refinement of the research methodology in conjunction with industry partners to ensure practical outcomes.
  2. Data collection in Australia and Korea to gather relevant information about safety and construction practices for scaffolding structures.
  3. Analysis of data gained from both countries and translation of results into rules that guide scaffolding design and construction.
  4. Identification of success factors and barriers to the development of BIM-based scaffolding design and construction technologies.
  5. Consolidation of findings for dissemination to project partners and the broader industry.

Expected audience: All construction personnel, agencies and related organisations in Australia

Approach, methodology: The development and use of the proposed BIM-based tools for the design, analysis, assembly, inspection and disassembly of scaffolding structures will:

  1. Enable rule-based design in accordance with construction and safety requirements.
  2. Incorporate rule checks against related construction design and safety codes.
  3. Provide 6D information for design and construction activities, i.e. scheduling, cost and lifecycle-management information in addition to the 3D model.
  4. Provide visualisation of the installation procedure, design and installation options, and give working condition analyses, such as clearance limits within the surrounding environment.
  5. Link to structural analysis to evaluate non-standard site conditions.
  6. Provide BIM checklists for routine on-site inspections that would benefit practical safety assessment on construction sites.

Once a prototype BIM tool is ready for use, the research team will identify two construction sites for preliminary validation - one building construction project and one infrastructure project. These case studies will be important to assess the usability and practicality of the developed tool. The designers and contractors who work on these case-study projects will review the new scaffolding software tools under the guidance of the researchers and propose opportunities for further refinement and optimisation of the links between the various BIM-based modules, to improve application to real-life construction processes.

Project contact:
Name: Xiangyu Wang
Position: Professor, Curtin-Woodside Chair Professor for Oil, Gas & LNG Construction and Project Management
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +61 8 9266 9059