BIM Made Possible Through Teamwork

July 5, 2016

Interview with Tim Barnes of SNC-Lavalin Inc.


About Tim:
Tim Barnes, C.E.T., is an architectural technologist with over five years’ experience in both architectural and structural disciplines. Originally from St. John’s, NL, Tim transferred to SNC-Lavalin’s Halifax office two years ago, where he is currently the lead for 3-D modelling and visualizations as well as the sole structural technologist designing bridges. Tim also specializes in BIM design, laser scanning, graphic design and architectural and structural design.



CanBIM: Can you tell us a little bit about your role at SNC-Lavalin as well as your team in regards to BIM?


Tim: I’m part of a team of people who use BIM and harness its potential to help with all phases of a project. The people who take the reins in BIM design for our major projects in the Atlantic region include head of business development Vivek Tomar, BIM manager Adam Milligan, lead BIM mechanical designer George McCarthy, lead BIM electrical designers Chris Nott and Devan Coady and lead BIM structural designer Elena Maliougina. I mainly work on the BD end with Vivek, so most of my work revolves around 3D modelling. Vivek and Adam presented at the Halifax CanBIM 2016 Regional Conference. 


CanBIM: Can you give us a general idea of how BIM has been utilized on projects at SNC-Lavalin? What software or workflows have been you been using?


Tim: We utilize BIM on projects of all sizes, from the earliest stages of the project lifecycle all the way to the very end. The software that we use includes InfraWorks, Revit, Revit MEP, Civil 3D, ReCap and Scan to BIM. BIM has also helped us to develop global standards within SNC-Lavalin.


CanBIM: What are some examples of when your team utilized BIM on larger scaled projects? What was the experience like and what sort of benefits did you reap from the utilization of BIM?


Tim: One good example of a project that we worked on at the Halifax office which benefited from BIM and the improved coordination that it offers was Maintenance Hangar 1 at Canadian Forces Base Trenton. This was an $90.4-million project. The final certificate of completion was issued in June 2012, with just 6.7% change orders. That represents a $3.4-million savings compared to the three-year national average of 10.53%. The team was recognized for its efforts with the 2013 Atlantic Region Steel Design Award of Excellence in the Engineering Category from the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction.


Another large-scale project where we successfully used BIM at the Halifax office was the Halifax Central Library. That was a project for which we were involved in the civil and structural aspects. We received the 2015 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Engineering from Engineers Nova Scotia and two honours from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada—the 2015 Engineering a Better Canada Award and the Award of Excellence in the Buildings Category. 


Outside of the Atlantic region, SNC-Lavalin also used BIM for the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit project in Toronto and the McGill University Health Centre Glen Site in Montreal. The Glen Site was recognized with the 2011 North American Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year Award from Project Finance magazine and the 2010 Gold Award from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships in the Financing Category. 



CanBIM: What makes SNC-Lavalin stand out in terms of how your team utilizes BIM on projects?


Tim: BIM gives us the ability to conduct live walkthroughs of projects with our clients and identify potential problems before they arise. For instance, we can consult Navisworks models to detect clashes before they happen in the field.


We’re continuing to push the possibilities of what we can do with BIM, by moving from 3D to 4D, 5D and even 6D and delving into facilities management (FM, Codebook).


CanBIM: Why do you think it was important for SNC-Lavalin to join the CanBIM community?


Tim: CanBIM’s existence has helped to create a stronger sense of community in the field, which was not so apparent in the past. It’s important for us to have a presence in that community, play an active role, share best practices and learn what our peers are doing. CanBIM is also valuable as an organization that is pushing for common BIM standards in Canada, which is something we want to support.


Conclusion: Tim: In our field, there are many different factors to be considered in each project, covering a wide range of specialized fields, so team-work is essential to our success. BIM is incredibly valuable because it enables us to work together more effectively as a team and facilitates the coordination of our resources. Thanks to BIM, we are better equipped to integrate the different aspects of design work, including civil, structural, mechanical and electrical, into a holistic multidisciplinary approach.



Thank you, Tim! Your contribution to the BIM community is greatly appreciated.


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