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Case Study –Benefits of BIM to Pharmaceutical Facilities

News & Insights2022-09-14

In recent years, Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been increasingly applied in design, construction, and other information management in China’s AEC industry as it’s an important role in preconstruction project visualization, improving coordination and clash detection, improving scheduling, mitigating risk, and reducing cost, etc.


Due to the diversity and complexity of pharmaceutical engineering, it is difficult to avoid clashes at the design stage. Handling those clashes in the site construction phase always leads to loss in project schedule, cost and construction quality. This is one of the big challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry.

Several recent projects by the AUSTAR Strategic Consulting team demonstrate BIM’s potential for better decision-making in the engineering phase.

MEP Coordination 

In a plant refurbishment and re-design project, due to the building height, it is necessary to create BIM models in different design disciplines to detect clashes. The BIM-based approach during MEP coordination facilitates collaboration among all the different discipline specialists, including Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and structural engineers, etc. Also, the 3D model shows the clashes/conflicts between different disciplines, thus improper MEP layout has been reduced by 80% at the design phase. The design optimization minimizes the potential risk of design and construction changes in the later project phase. 

Space Management

In a covid-19 vaccine project, with four different subcontractors working on site simultaneously and on a tight schedule, there were many cross-construction works. In order to properly manage the space and avoid pipeline clashes, we integrated all design work into one 3D model to detect clashes, and extract data from the model so as to optimize conflicts. A 3D CAD model allows you to de-risk construction, minimizing problems on site. 

Visualized Guidance for Construction

The 3D model can visualize and present the design work in a clean room construction project, especially the difficult points. This can make the construction team clearly understand the design work, so as to avoid mistakes and reworks by misunderstanding the CAD paper drawings. With a 2D model, it is very easy to miss clashes which can cause severe problems when the facility is in construction.

VR Application

In an FDA standard biopharmaceutical project, VR technologies are applied in the discussion of equipment layout and building decoration, clients can travel inside of the 3D workshop, which makes the design communication and approval with high efficiency.

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