Streamlining the Assembly of a Factory in New Zealand
Strata Group Consulting Engineers uses Visicon to communicate clearly and fast track review.
Rendering of new plasterboard facility in Tauranga1
Eclipse Architecture NZ
eCubed (all hydraulics and Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.)
Industrial Electrical Supplies NZ – ECS (lighting and electrical)
Strata NZ (civil and structural and all stormwater.)
Rapidfire NZ (Fire engineers.)
Jensen Steel (Structural Steel Fabrication)
Strata Group Consulting Engineers (SGC) is a medium-sized multi-disciplinary engineering firm with offices in Hawke’s Bay and Auckland, New Zealand. Their team of project managers, engineers, and engineering technicians offer a wide-range of civil and structural related services for commercial, residential, and industrial projects. As New Zealand is situated in a highly rated earthquake zone, SGC also specializes in seismic strengthening. The firm considers itself highly resourceful and likes to “balance proven engineering practice and techniques with a thirst for innovation.”
Section of merged Revit and Tekla models of plant in Visicon.
A great example of this innovation is how SGC uses Visicon to keep the design and construction of Tauranga’s $400 million plasterboard manufacturing and distribution facility on track. The project is situated in the Tauriko Business Estate and includes 3 structures (for storing raw material, manufacturing product, and stockpiling finished inventory respectively) consisting of over 3,000 tons of steel framing. Project demands have been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic as tight delivery timelines have been made more difficult to meet as various members of the multi-disciplinary owner, design and construction teams have remained geographically dispersed; these factors can make a dynamic design-to-build environment that much more challenging to keep on schedule and avoid costly mistakes. “The project is getting near the end of the structural work,” according to Fred da Silveira, SGC’s Engineering Technician of the project, “with continued tweaks and adjustments.”
Section of warehouse steel structure color coded to show SGC Revit model and fabricator’s Tekla model.
“We share [Visicon] with the steel fabricator so they can easily understand what’s changed."
On this particular project, SGC is using CSI’s ETABS for structural analysis and design; they are using Autodesk Revit for modeling and drawing production. Steel fabrication and detail modeling is being performed by the steel subcontractor in TEKLA.
View of model showing steel members in Gyptech Mill structure with less than 75mm clearance to equipment. Results generated using clash check operation with min contact clearance setting.
SGC uses Visicon to ensure the entire team stays up to speed with design modifications. “Whenever we make a change in our steel models, we share the corresponding Visicon file using the portable project feature, with the steel fabricator so they can easily understand what’s changed,” da Silveira shares. Visicon makes it really easy for us to clearly document our changes by running the 3D Boolean Difference Operation before sending the updated model. The updated model then clearly shows which steel members have been changed. “They tell us to ‘keep sending the updated models – because it really helps us stay on top of things.’”
“Visicon allows us to spend our valuable time manually checking only on what may be wrong, and not what’s right."
Example of 3D Boolean difference algorithm showing changes in model. The original geometry and position is shown in orange and the new configuration is shown in green.
Not only are design changes being more effectively communicated by SGC to the team, but SGC is now saving days of shop drawing review by comparing fabrication models directly with design models using Visicon’s component matching algorithm. Explains da Silveira, “Visicon allows us to spend our valuable time manually checking only on what may be wrong, and not what’s right.” Any adjustments SGC wishes to make in their Revit model can then be originated directly from within Visicon.
Visicon’s component matching algorithm automates the checking of two separately developed models. For this project, it was SGC’s Revit model (representing design intent) and the fabricator’s Tekla model. The algorithm is configured to pair components from the two models and then run compatibility tests. The models can be checked for a variety of compatibility criteria, including alignment, member assignment, naming conventions, and much more.
SGC has started to roll out Visicon across their office. “Before Visicon, we’d been using Autodesk Revit and more recently Navisworks to check models for issues and compliance checks,” reveals Da Silveira. “Visicon is smoother to use and loads much faster – even with Revit files. With Navisworks, you don’t know where to identify possible problems, but Visicon makes it easier to focus on objects via isolation and can easily click on objects to see all of their properties.” He continues, “And if I run into an issue, the Visicon support representatives are very quick to respond.”
Example of component matching report showing paired components from model A (Revit) and model B (Tekla). SGC configures the report to display the Name property of the Revit components and can record the corresponding Description property used in Tekla. This simple matching report provides a fast and simple way to compare any of the properties between two models.
“Visicon is smoother to use and loads much faster…the support team is very quick to respond.”
Picture of partial steel erection taken May 2021. 2
Fred da Silveira, Strata Group Consulting Engineers (SGC)
- New Zealand Herald
- Strata Group Consulting Engineers (SGC)
About Strata Group Consulting Engineers
Strata Group Consulting Engineers (SGC) was established in 2008 and is a 100% Kiwi-owned, multi-disciplinary, professional engineering consultancy with a strong civil and structural engineering track record. SGC employs 23 staff with offices in Hawke’s Bay and Auckland, New Zealand. Their team of engineers, engineering technicians and project managers bring a wealth of experience gained from a wide range of consulting projects both nationally and internationally. SGC offers an extensive range of engineering consulting services and specializes in seismic strengthening, land development, large infrastructure projects and design solutions for a broad-spectrum of industries. https://www.stratagroup.net.nz/
Visicon is a 3D model review solution used by AEC firms worldwide as a fast and powerful way to view, query and compare their project models. Beyond providing a robust suite of model viewing and comparison functionalities, Visicon is also used by customers to automate their model checking and management tasks, saving them time and increasing project quality. https://www.visicon.com