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BIM-driven design made it possible

Lemminkäinen Talo Ltd International
CAD software offering 3D and 4D design potential is driving the latest developments in Building Information Modelling (BIM). As one of Finland’s leading construction companies, Lemminkäinen uses 3D/4D BIM design in many of its projects today, including the Finnish pavilion for Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The goal of the innovative design for the Shanghai pavilion, created by JKMM Architects, was to develop an energy-efficient, low-emission, environmentally friendly solution, both in terms of construction and maintenance. Lemminkäinen Talo Ltd. International provided construction management and 3D/4D design coordination to help turn this ambitious goal into reality.

3D/4D modelling proved invaluable in dealing with the dual challenge represented by the complicated asymmetrical bowl shape of the building and the tight construction schedule.

The structure of the pavilion comprises 21 lattice steel pipe columns, which consist of variable cross-sections and unique curved shapes, while the floor is made up of composite decking. Tens of thousands of bolt connections were needed to simplify disassembly after the Expo closes.

BIM techniques helped minimise waste material and plan for the building’s relocation and reuse – and made it possible to achieve valuable cost and time savings, as most problems could be identified before construction began.

All in all, the project confirmed that BIM techniques offer major benefits to a company like Lemminkäinen, which is committed to developing its business sustainably from an economic, environmental, and safety perspective, and will be used to a growing extent in the future.

Graph: Detail of the structure.

Founded in 1910, Lemminkäinen is Finland’s oldest and most international construction company, with project experience in more than 80 countries. Annual net sales stand at approx. €2 billion and the group employs some 9,000 people, around a quarter outside Finland.

Lemminkäinen operates through four main business sectors: Building Construction, Infrastructure Construction, Technical Building Services, and Building Products.

Building Construction (Lemminkäinen Talo Ltd.) accounts for around half of the Group’s sales, and has subsidiaries in Finland, Russia, China, India, Poland, and Estonia. Projects cover residential, commercial, office, and industrial construction, including demanding projects such as the Expo 2010 pavilion. The most promising markets for international operations currently lie in Russia, China, and India.

> Juha Höyhtyä
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)