In The Media

Digital Delivery Experts Explain Transportation’s Model-Based Future in Civil Engineering Magazine

Transportation agencies across North America have begun to embrace the benefits of digital delivery for their projects, steadily transitioning from printed plans to digital 3D models. This shift brings with it many benefits, such as improved constructability, fewer change orders and better interdisciplinary coordination.

Three of HDR’s digital delivery experts discussed the state of the industry transition and lessons learned from the company’s work for agencies across the U.S. in Civil Engineering magazine, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Highways Director Will Sharp, Transportation BIM Program Manager Alexa Mitchell and Highways and Roads BIM Director Jennifer Steen shared how many states are already using model-based deliverables on their transportation projects and some are even beginning to use the model as the legal document for projects.

The authors discussed the implications of this industry shift for agencies, including the importance of planning, best practices for outreach to varied stakeholders and technology, training and legal considerations. They also explained some of the implications for individual engineers, such as education and the need to begin “shifting thinking from plan-centric work to data-centric work, where information can be accessed and used in multiple ways.”

The three offered key steps that agencies will need to follow as they move from 2D to 3D plans and they cited recent benefit-cost analysis research, co-authored by Mitchell, that shows the significant financial benefits of model-based delivery.

“After reviewing projects that used BIM and digital delivery, researchers found that its use saved about 15% in change orders — a significant financial benefit,” the authors wrote. “The overall conclusion was clear: A shift to digital delivery pays for itself within a few years.”

Read the whole article, "Transportation agencies shift toward digital delivery," in Civil Engineering.