Category: Civil

The importance of 3D modelling in designing a 18 km motorway from New Zealand’s Pūhoi to Warkworth

With an estimated cost of more than NZ $700m (including maintenance over 25 years), the 18km Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway extension includes a road corridor that cuts through steep hills and valleys, and the creation of seven bridges including three viaducts. Combine this with the cutting of 7 million cubic metres of earth (and the filling of 5 million)and the challenge of soft alluvial sediments – and it’s easy to see why a project wide ground model is essential as a basis for geotechnical design, and to mitigate project risk

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Leapfrog Works 2.2 is out now with even more interoperability and data visualisation improvements

By their very nature engineering and environmental projects bring together multi-disciplinary teams who need to collaborate and communicate. but this is often thwarted by interoperability issues with specialist software. Experts who want to spend their time understanding and interpreting data, instead waste precious time manipulating software, their valuable skills lost on something that should actually be helping, not hindering.

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Combining technical eminence and digital technology

The objective of any ground investigation is to mitigate project risk.

Embarking on a massive infrastructure project through an area of complex geology, including volcanoes, requires a very clear assessment of the ground conditions. This demanding task fell on the shoulders of global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, Aurecon. Any unforeseen delays could significantly impact the success of the high profile project, which cuts through the densely populated area of Auckland and is the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand.

To help attain and communicate this detailed technical analysis, Aurecon used Seequent’s 3D geological modelling solution, Leapfrog Works, a tool specifically designed for the Civil Engineering and Environmental industries.

Aucklack-CRL

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Why a single source of truth has more than one advantage for the mining industry

Centralising all your data on one platform – such as Leapfrog Central – will dramatically improve your review process. But it also has a far-reaching and beneficial impact on your company culture, argues Seequent Senior Technical Leader Julia Oliveira.

It wasn’t so very long ago that if we needed to review models in the mining industry we would have to send pen drives from the mine to the head office – by plane. Imagine that! If you have to send data by plane, you have a problem.

Leapfrog Central

Even putting data on a server and then downloading it somehow seems too complicated in 2018 for something that should be simple and fluid. It’s also open to error. Centralising all your data on one platform gives you security, reliable version control, and makes sure everyone is working from the same model and can track its history.

But what’s meaningful about centralisation for me – particularly about using Leapfrog Central – is that it’s not just about process. It can also be about inspiration, recognition and better work. Because what’s surprising is that when you introduce new technology you can also introduce a new culture; a better, modern and more effective culture that can inspire your geologists to do more.

To get there you have to realise that talking to users and talking to managers about centralisation are two very different conversations.

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What happens if all your teams are on the wrong page?

By Seequent Civil & Environmental Product Manager Pat McLarin

“If you design something based on out of date information, and perhaps order incorrect materials, the impacts could be cost overruns, scheduling hits or expensive machinery sitting unused.”

Was it version 8 or version 9?

Are your engineers working to the latest 3D model published this morning? Or are they about to make an expensive and time-consuming mistake because they didn’t receive the most up to date revision with that one key alteration?

Version management can be just as complex a process as wrestling with data interoperability – and could even carry more risk.

While geology is generally thought to be static, at least during a construction project lifecycle, our understanding of it will change dramatically as a project progresses.  New data will frequently change the design and details of a project, sometimes significantly. It’s vital to know that everyone involved understands there’s a new geological interpretation and is working from the correct one.

Works-Central-model

Leapfrog Works model managed in Central

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Keeping on top of the ground conditions in BIM

Leapfrog Works’ latest release – version 2.1 – steps up 3D geological modellings ability to integrate with BIM models, with the inclusion of two key export formats, the BIM Industry Foundation Class (IFC) and Autodesk Drawing (DWG).

The release continues our major development programme to provide a subsurface solution specifically for the Civil Engineering and Environmental industries.

BIM with ground model

Leapfrog Works Project Manager, Pat McLarin, explains, “To date BIM has mainly been focused on vertical infrastructure, with much of the detail relating to design and structural decisions now incorporated into BIM models, even down to minute decisions such as wallpaper. However, the ground conditions on which the entire structure rests have not been adequately included. This means that BIM users do not have a detailed enough vision of how the geology is impacting and could impact on future decisions, exposing projects to risk. And the workflows used to bring geology into BIM have been adhoc and manual and aren’t able to make the best use of the data and the geologist’s full geological interpretation.”

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Unearthed: where data will take Civil Engineering next

“The issues that swirl around data, from openness to ethics, and innovation to automation, are vast and varied. We see many different attitudes towards it in the industries we serve.”

The second edition of our Unearthed Report is out now.

The second edition of our Unearthed Report is out now.

How will the smarter use of data transform the Civil Engineering and Environmental sectors in the next few years?

It’s an issue we’ve set out to explore in the latest edition of Unearthed, the technology and innovation report produced by the Seequent team behind Leapfrog Works – our 3D geological modelling software.

You can download the report with all the new features here.

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Seequent’s Singapore event on digital innovation in ground engineering

On 24th May 2018, leaders from Singapore’s civil and environmental engineering industries gathered together at the New Zealand High Commission to join the conversation about digital innovation in ground engineering.

Singapore event - speakers

Speakers Daniel Wallace – Seequent, Michelle Lee – Penta Ocean, and Edward Armstrong – Penta Ocean

With expansive views across the Singapore skyline, invited guests and speakers came together to network, discuss and engage. The presentations were spearheaded by Seequent’s General Manager for Civil and Environmental, Daniel Wallace, who shared Seequent’s vision of the future. Daniel explained how Leapfrog Works, a revolutionary solution to understanding, visualising and communicating ground conditions, is the only 3D sub-surface modelling solution specifically designed for the engineering sector and as such addresses many challenges costing the industry time and money.

To showcase Leapfrog Works in action, special invited guests from Penta-Ocean Construction Company Ltd, explained how they are using Leapfrog Works to better understand ground conditions in Singapore.  Speakers Michelle Lee, BIM Manager and Edward Armstrong, Senior Engineering Geologist, took the audience through their VDC (Virtual Design & Construction) roadmap and explained how Leapfrog Works enabled them to reduce risk both financially and in Health and Safety, ultimately advancing how they complete geological modelling.

“We were delighted that Penta-Ocean accepted our invitation to showcase their recent Singaporean engineering project,” says Daniel Wallace. “The event was a great success. It was a real honour to meet with industry leaders, some for the first time and others we know well, and to be able to also demonstrate Leapfrog Works hands-on in the event’s Discovery Zone.”

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When time is your enemy, you need your software on your side

By Seequent Product Manager PJ Hollenbeck

All projects have their challenges, but those with a fast turnaround have a special set of problems and pressures.

A succession of accelerated construction deadlines may call for rapid iteration of geological models to meet the shrinking timelines. You might need to develop multiple hypotheses from the data you have, often in a very short space of time.

That would be ok if the software you were using was built from the ground-up specifically with geologic modelling in mind, but often it isn’t. Instead, you may be relying on tools co-opted from another industry or discipline and not intended for the ‘artform’ of geological modelling. Not only will that tend to make the initial modeling process slow and difficult, but when new data comes in – as it frequently will – it could take days, even weeks to update the model. Meanwhile, the project is already underway and costing money.

3D model

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Collaboration is easier when you can work directly with a range of data sources

By Seequent Product Manager, Pat McLarin

Collaboration is key in the success of any ground engineering or environmental services project.

However, while the teams involved may be keen to share their data, ideas and detailed designs with others on the site, the software they are using may have different ideas.

Human collaboration can be tripped up by the difficulty of getting different data formats to work together. That shouldn’t be the case, though it’s not hard to see why it happens.

Every stage of a project’s workflow requires its own software package. Ground investigations, topological surveys, GIS, engineering designs, geological and geotechnical models will all have their own variations as each specialist area has its own particular outcome to achieve. That will shape the data format, leading, inevitably, to many of those formats being incompatible.

This can make progressing from step to step difficult, costly and frustrating. Technical experts can waste valuable time manipulating data – sometimes manually, sometimes through multiple software packages – and risk losing key information along the way.
Leapfrog Works CPT data

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