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How Constructible Modelling Improves Precast Concrete Construction




Harsh Pareek
Regional Sales Director,
India and SAARC, Trimble Solutions


Construction is a highly intricate, time-consuming and often complex process regardless of the type of structure constructed or materials used. Complexities multiply for projects that demand high precision at every stage of construction. Given the complexities of modern architecture, managing large scale projects can be an onerous task as contractors recognise that smallest of errors in planning or detailing can lead to significant loss of time, manpower and cost.

In India most structures are still built from concrete, and when this material is used on-site, it requires a higher degree of accuracy in planning form works or scheduling concrete pours, thus adding another dimension to the construction complexity. This is primarily the reason why we have seen a rapid increase in precast concrete-based construction in recent years. The benefits are compelling enough: precast concrete saves time, circumvents labour shortage and ensures a high-quality finished product with minimum wastage.

These benefits are maximised when stakeholders involved in a project use cutting-edge digital technology to streamline their workflows. A connected and constructible process connects all stakeholders resulting in seamless flow of real time information, which minimizes chances of errors and rework. Besides, it’s content-enabled and includes truly constructible models, and when it integrates with precast machinery, it enables designers, engineers and contractors to deliver the project with maximum efficiency.

Embracing the Constructible Process

Tekla Structures, Trimble’s flagship modelling software for the construction industry offers Constructible 3D BIM right out of the box for precast concrete producers. A model-based workflow with Tekla software minimizes costly surprises and waste, improves efficiency and quality, and ensures that the correct, error-free elements are delivered at the right place and in time. The Constructible 3D BIM envisioned by Trimble has been welcomed and embraced by progressive concrete contractors and fabricators around the world.

Being a truly constructible process, Tekla Structures integrates and facilitates communication and collaboration between the design office, factory and site. In the design stage, Tekla Structures produces a rich and detailed conceptual design which can be used to develop architectural and structural designs in the form of 3D models. The output data can be used for subsequent production and onsite work. Owing to the accurate estimation of the model, stakeholders are able to reduce the risk of bidding.


In the next stage, the same 3D model can be sent to the factories for fabrication. Once the fabricators add details in this model, the data can be further used downstream for production management and storage management. For instance, these data can be sent to CNC machinery as well be integrated with the production process. Also during erection of precast structures, the model assists in erection planning and project coordination on site. In fact, the entire erection sequence can be planned through the model itself.

A constructible model brings home optimum return of investment for all stakeholders. As MEP, rebar, cable and electric layout details are added to the constructible model, it enables them to reduce assumptions and allows them to approach their segments confidently. As such, the same model is used throughout the project’s lifecycle, albeit with ever-increasing detail and information as a project progresses through the stages.

In the constructible model, the absence of conflicts in detailing documents and seamless flow of information ensures that there is negligible scope for errors at any stage of construction. It reduces clashes and unforeseen problems can be effectively rectified within time thus saving resources and additional cost. A constructible model also offers project monitoring and tracking at every phase of the production and execution.

Open BIM Solution

In conventional processes all information had to be put into the precast production machines manually, and therefore some times human error becomes inevitable. The volume of data flow from models and drawings to the physical machines is generally huge, leading to tedious work when done manually. For precast concrete construction to take place efficiently, it is critical that the same 3D models are used by production machinery to ensure accuracy and waste elimination.

Tekla Structures, in contrast to the traditional processes, integrates with other software and precast production machineries with ease. Constructible model generated by Tekla Structures also facilitates architectural and industrial collaboration, thereby ensuring high quality errorless exchange of data. With the use of same model by the stakeholders and machines, the otherwise painstaking project management happens with much more ease.

A Prime Example of Constructible process in action

Australia-based Advenser Engineering Services, a CAD & BIM service provider, embarked on an ambitious project requiring demolition of an existing 7-storey building and constructing a 47-storey residential tower complex on location. The building structure included 763 units with several layouts, each including a kitchenette, pre-fabricated pod suites and study area. A total of 1,003 precast members were used for the entire project. Agency also had to construct lower level basements and shear walls with varying levels in the project. Tekla Structures was the software Advenser resorted to for precast detailing of the Student Living Building.

Tekla Structures saved multiple man-hours with the help of ‘drawing clone’ property and other advanced options. The 3D visualization of the entire building in Tekla Structures ensured that all design modifications were accommodated in a hassle-free manner. Tekla achieved an unprecedented ‘no error notifications’ after final drawing submission from either the fabrication shop or erection team. Needless to say, the company was happy to be able to bring down the overall building life cycle cost.

Harikrishnan K, General Manager at Advenser Engineering Services noted, “Steel and Precast detailers in the company are pleased to be working with Tekla because they can complete their jobs faster with reduced errors. For our Project Managers too, Tekla is the first choice for structural detailing as it has improved the team’s productivity immensely resulting in better relationship with clients”.

Efficiency at every stage of precast production and construction, and the resultant higher profitability is a proven fact with Tekla’s information-rich constructible models. It allows precast producers and contractors to coordinate design, fabrication and other site operations, thus ensuring timely delivery irrespective of the project’s complexity.


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