Mar 2018
Gas Distribution
Automated Pipeline BIM Modelling and Cost Estimating Tool – Stage 2
Mar 2018
Nov 2019
Cadent Innovation Team
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Network Innovation Allowance
GD - Mains Replacement
Gas Distribution Networks
The aim of this project is to build on the business requirements that were established in the “Automated Pipeline BIM Modelling and Cost Estimating Tool – Stage 1” project to develop an automated design software platform, delivering fully costed BIM models for the permanent and temporary works required for >7bar pipelines and diversions.

BIM is a collaborative structured process that is used to assist the strategic planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a building or infrastructure project. BIM software and technology facilitate the exchange and interoperability of the information gathered during the life of the project in a structured and intelligent manner. It also provides an opportunity to challenge the current design process and produce a design that not only meets our stringent safety requirements but also provides optimum cost and carbon efficiencies.

This project aims to develop an automated HP steel pipeline design tool, negating the need for external design consultants and dramatically reducing the time and cost required to respond to customer requests. The proposed tool will deliver 3D pipeline design models, utilising additional BIM dimensions to deliver cost, programme and carbon impact estimates in “real time”, and allowing optioneering of multiple route corridor options to ensure the optimum route is selected.

BIM is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in industry. However, historically, Cadent have had no in-house BIM expertise and this innovative project may have the added benefit of paving the way to realise the benefits that BIM technology can bring to the business and to our customers.
To automate the design process for >7bar pipeline route corridor studies, allowing route corridor studies to be developed by “in house” engineers negating the requirement for external design consultants.
Potential for positive impact on customer perception.
Build on previous NIA projects to deliver a qualified tool capable of deployment within Cadent Gas Capital Delivery.
Proven potential to improve levels of customer service by reducing the time required to develop an >7bar pipeline route corridor study (currently 6 – 12 months) to <3 months.
Develop an automated software system capable of producing cost estimates for >7bar pipeline diversion with an accuracy of +/- 25%. The usual cost estimating accuracy for a feasibility study produced by an external design house is +/- 30% of the final ‘as built’ cost, and this reduces to approximately +/- 25% at the conceptual design stage. The accuracy of the cost estimate produced by the software platform will be dependent on the level of site information inputted, however it will target a +/- 30% accuracy in the initial feasibility stage which could improve to +/- 15% if detailed site information is input in the conceptual design phase i.e. ground information, 3rd party crossings.