Vancouver CanBIM Tour

The Tour

The CanBIM site tour of the Vancouver Science World will provide an overview of utilizing Revit in a collaborative BIM approach to facilitate a major Expansion and Seismic Retrofit of a complex existing Legacy Building from the 1986 World’s Fair. The ReGeneration program, which began in 2010, was undertaken to upgrade the building’s foundations and infrastructure as well as improving its ecological footprint. Renovations include a 30,000 square foot (2787 sq. metres) expansion, encompassing a new lobby and 14,000 square feet (1300 sq. meteres) of additional gallery space. Substantial upgrades to the sustainability of the structure include an 11,000 square foot (1022 sq. metres) green roof with an accessible deck overlooking False Creek.


Building History

Originally designed as a temporary structure to be the Preview Centre for the Expo 86 World’s Fair which commemorated Vancouver’s 100th Anniversary and symbolized Vancouver’s transportation and communications history. Original podium base structure and 47 metre high geodesic dome constructed in 1984-85. The dome shape, familiar at  many World Expositions,  meant to symbolize our planet. During Expo 86 the facility was a theatre and a gallery for the display of futuristic technology. When facility was transformed into Science World in 1988 Bush, Bohlman & Partners were the structural engineers for expansion and extensive renovations.


The Retrofit: BIM Approach

Structural scope of work included creating a digital 3D model utilizing Revit Structure in a collaborative environment, phased to incorporate the as-built existing structure, proposed selected major demolition and the new expansion, seismic upgrade and structural renovations. Revit Structure model was used primarily for effective integrated design and coordination with the existing complex structure as well as design visualization, various design options and facilitating construction. Revit model facilitated installation of new pile foundations relative to existing dome structure


Seismic Retrofit of the existing Expo building podium structure was established utilizing large steel moment resisting frames centered along existing radial gridlines on the west face. The frames are anchored by custom cruciform shape wide flange columns, a BBP trademark used extensively at YVR and at Lynden Pindling Airport in Nassau Bahamas. A parametric Revit structural column family was specially created to facilitate this specific purpose built element.


Completed Expansion/Renovation model re-visited (2014 and 2015) to facilitate comprehensive Structural report for condition assessment of the existing pile structure and support elements of the inner dome steel frame support structure. The proposed remediation to the existing pile structure is currently out for pricing and a small portion of this is scheduled to begin in 2016.


Revit Structure model and associated building information data proved to be invaluable in facilitating the design and construction of a very complex existing structure, providing an unprecedented understanding of the entire facility and related structure. Access to a completely digitized 3d model accurately conveys the as-built condition, including expansions, upgrades and current conditions of the existing facility. 


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