A BIM Case Study with Maple Reinders

May 17, 2017

Yuri Bartzis, Manager of Maple Reinders' new BIM/virtual team talks to us about his role, experience with BIM and shares an interesting case study.

Karan: Tell us briefly about Maple Reinders

Yuri: Maple Reinders is a full service builder that specializes in building construction (industrial, commercial and institutional); and civil/environmental construction (water/wastewater treatment plants, composting, energy-from-waste, biogas, cogeneration, mining sector). With annual construction revenues nearing half a billion dollars, the company has offices across Canada and has completed over 2,600 projects coast-to-coast. Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, Maple Reinders has grown to become one of the most respected, highly adaptable and trusted construction firms in Canada today.

Karan: Give us a brief introduction to your role and expertise

Yuri: I am the manager of the new Maple Reinders BIM / Virtual Construction Team. The team has just recently been created and one of the first orders of business was to join with the Canadian BIM Council to get involved with the growing BIM community. Maple Reinders has been using 3D Modeling to coordinate and plan construction for the last 6 years with Yuri leading the charge for a higher level of implementation within the company. Yuri’s experience on site has developed his understanding of what construction site teams require and are hoping to achieve from advanced technology. Many Maple Projects like the MidHalton WWTP in Oakville and Port Granby WWTP in Port Hope have been successful due to the advanced level of coordination with owners, consultants, subcontractors and project supervisors. With the creation of the BIM / Virtual Construction Division Maple now has nationwide representation of BIM with BIM coordinators working out of the Alberta and Toronto offices.

Karan: What is Maple Reinder's philosophy towards BIM as it pertains to your firm's projects (focus on BIM capabilities)

Yuri: Maple is trying to achieve an advanced level of project coordination and collaboration using technology. BIM and Lead management tools are helping Maples growth and capabilities to compete in higher market sectors. Our BIM capabilities are utilized during design to collaborate with owners, operators and consultants to insure total understanding of the project. We are able to convey amendments to the design that would benefit construction costs and schedule. The information is then transferred to the construction site where collaboration methods are expanded to project teams and subcontractors. Constructability checks, interference checks and multi-trade coordination are just a few ways we achieve a high level of collaboration that benefits all parties involved on the construction project.

Karan: Share information about your BIM strategy that is not available on your company website, in other words tell our readers something about your BIM strategy they should know they may not already know. i.e. why is BIM so important to your company?

Yuri: The construction industry as a whole is one that has historically been slow to adapt to change. Maple Reinders recognizes, however, that in order to remain competitive in today’s market, we must not only adopt the use of virtual construction techniques, such as BIM, we must embrace them and champion them within our company and with our partners. BIM is the future of transfer and coordination of project information and Maple sees this trend developing industry-wide as the technology will become the normal way to build any construction project. Within Maple we are utilizing BIM on our large projects only but a company-wide implementation of BIM is our goal, within the next 2 years.

Karan: Share an interesting project/case study where BIM is being implemented or has been implemented . Also talk about some of the major challenges of the said project that BIM will help to overcome?

MidHalton Waste Water Treatment Facility (Phase IV & V Expansion)

Fast Facts





CONTRACT VALUE: $101,190,000.00

The Mid-Halton WWTP Project is an expansion to an existing treatment plant located in the Town of Oakville, north of the North Service Road between Third Line and Bronte Road. This treatment plant services portions of the Town of Oakville, Town of Milton, Halton Hills and City of Burlington. The planned Phase IV and V expansion is expected to add 50 Megalitres/day to increase the plant rated capacity from 75 Megalitres/day to 125 MegaLitres/day.

On the MidHalton WWTP Project a 3D model was created to insure proper planning and coordination of the construction project. The model was used as a communication tool between all levels of construction from the owner right down to the hourly worker on site. Construction drawings do not provide a full picture of the project being built so when a model is created that incorporates input from all different trades then all confusion is eliminated.

The model was created to follow the sequence of construction moving from area to area focusing on the critical areas to insure constructability planning was accurate and feasible. Building footprint and excavation details are reviewed to insure that the site teams are aware of any concerns before digging. A structural review of the buildings is done to insure the concrete schedule is optimized to reduce downtime. Cut views and 3D images are created for any complicated structures and provided to the concrete teams. The ability for our hourly site crews to see a 3D image of what they are building reduces the time spent reviewing contract drawings and planning the work. A site wide understanding is created using images that can be understood at any experience level.

The model incorporates specific information that is provided by sub-trades to insure a multidiscipline coordinated model. Penetration information is supplied to the structural teams to avoid rework and unfinished work. Detailed trade information is focused on areas with any construction restraints such as space. Mechanical rooms are common areas where detailed information is required to insure each system has the space it requires.

A full interference check is performed for each area and conflicts are flagged for consultants review. Usually when the 3D model identifies interferences it is also able to identify solutions. Along with the interference check a suggested solution is also submitted. Solutions are displayed using 3D views to insure the information transferred is clear. This collaborative method of solving site issues was proven to reduce the amount of Site Instructions and Requests for Information on this project and turnaround times for information was also reduced.

On the MidHalton Project the Maple Reinders team used the 3D model for the pre-fabrication of pipework to save site installation time. An onsite fab shop was created using sea can walls and temporary floor and roofing. Cut and groove equipment was rented for the project and pipe was stored on site ready for fabrication. Pipe fabrication drawings were created for the fabrication teams using the 3D model. Fabrication, labeling and preassembling of pipe was performed onsite even before the areas were ready for the assembly teams to start work inside the buildings. The fabrication drawings are the same dr awings the assembly crews used to install the pipe reducing any confusion between the two stages of work. This method of installation cut down the required hours for install and allowed other trades to work productively in these areas once the assembly crews moved on.

Pipe supporting systems and design review of expansion joints was another way the MidHalton team utilized the 3D model. Since the full piping systems were displayed in the model it simplified the review of supports and pipe expansion. Design engineers who looked at the supporting system received a clear and detailed drawing of the piping system and were able to easily identify areas where support or expansion was required. The information was then transferred back into the model and displayed to the consulting team for understanding and approval of design. Being able to view a full system of pipe that is accurate in scale has its advantages. With a 3D model we were able to facilitate the design and transfer of information very quickly reducing turnaround time for all parties involved.

Virtual construction methods were used by the MidHalton team to create an understanding of the project from the owner to the site laborer. Information is quickly transferred from one party to another and back. Problems are clearly displayed to insure shorter review times. The model becomes the one main collaboration tool for all project members. Model accuracy is at a level where fabrication and assembly can be done using model generated drawings with little coordination back to construction drawings. The model is seen as more accurate to construction drawings as it contains input from many different sources that will impact the project. The project team can confidently say that the 3D model was an important contributor to a successful project completion

Karan: Thank you for talking to us Yuri!