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Contractors World 2011 Volume 2 Issue 10
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Tendering Technology
Winning contracts with streamlined planning, tighter bids and lower construction costs - Page 3 of 4

Evaluating alternative routings is possible to find the most efficeint solution. Using a variety of imported data, Modern software can quickly assimilate data that wouold takes to do manually. These new systems are sophisticated enough to consider and propose plans designed around the most significant factors for the specific client.

Evaluating alternative routings is possible to find the most efficeiit solution. Using a variety of imported data, Modern software can quickly assimilate data that would takes days to do manually.

This may include avoiding culturally-sensitive native lands as well as considering fundamental engineering and construction parameters. During the planning process for Queensland Rail, Watkins was able to evaluate everything from corridor alignments, to bridge lengths, to temporary road locations, and on-site waste stations.

Construction Costs Cut by 5 to 10 Percent

The Trimble Quantm system processes the design data and runs millions of alignment scenarios. This gave Watkins the time and accurate information needed to effectively collaborate with designers throughout the iterative proposal process. He used the planning system to manipulate the most effective alignment options and to identify where changes to the design could yield the best results.

The generated alignments were exported to CAD, GIS and 3D visualization software to complete the detailed design phase of project development. This means only the most viable and cost-effective alignments were included in the proposed design to the client.

“I know we were able to identify fairly large savings by proposing different alignment and design scenarios,” said Watkins. “We won the project due to our station design as well as our earthworks model.”

Watkins was able to shift the alignment of a particular section of the rail line, moving it slightly to the west. This shift in the line then shortened two rail bridges at the interchange along the Springfield Parkway crossing section of the track.
This change shortened the bridges by 100 meters. As a result, the railway station was re-oriented to the end of the line, which was built on a large suspended platform. The optimized alignment also condensed the platform and reduced the amount of structural work required to build it.

Watkins estimates that positioning and planning technology saved Thiess significant time and design work and cut construction costs by 5 to 10 percent.

“I think the Trimble Quantm option dropped about a hundred meters off those bridges altogether,” said Watkins. “So when you’re talking $3,000 a square meter for bridge decks, cutting it down by a third gives you substantial savings.”

Tying Actual Costs to Earthworks

Accurately costing and optimising earthworks is also a significant advantage of the new technology. Designs change regularly with the discovery of ground conditions that do not match those used in the original design.

These changes can be rapidly applied in Business Center – HCE from Trimble and then used to quickly determine the cost and material impact on the project.

The system computes the actual design earthworks quantities for a project and the most effective means of moving the earth on site, while incorporating barriers to earth movement. The software optimises haul routes on- and off-site, and includes borrow pit and waste site locations, complete with capacity and cost information. It can instantly calculate the most effective movement of material, allowing for both material and haulage costs.

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Page updated: November, 2011



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