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Delivering New Royal Adelaide Hospital with BIM

This video and article, from the forum THE B1M, present Adelaide's BIM project for a new hospital. This project encompasses an initial 3D model, the implementation of 4D, 5D and maintenance aspects.

Adelaide’s new hospital is pretty big… and its use of building information modelling (BIM) makes it one of the southern hemispheres largest BIM case studies to date! Here we take a look at how BIM helped deliver the project from design and construction through to operations and maintenance.

New Royal Adelaide Hospital is a joint venture between Hansen Yuncken and Leighton Contractors (HYLC) for the South Australian Government (SA Health Partnership). When completed in mid-2016, the USD $1.85BN building will become Australia’s most advanced healthcare facility, providing 800 beds and 40 operating theatres across 260,000 square feet of indoor space.


The project was designed by Perth-based architectural practice Silver Thomas Hanley, in partnership with DesignInc. Its scale meant that over 200 people were working on the design proposals simultaneously from a variety of organisations across the supply chain. Such a collaboration served to introduce a number of Australian firms to BIM for the first time.

“The USD $1.85BN building will become Australia’s most advanced healthcare facility”

At an early design stage the building was sub-divided into 19 different sectors, each acting as a stand-alone project in its own right. This enabled design consultants and sub-contractors to progress and resolve design development issues at local level. They could then federate their information models to form a holistic overview where larger issues or trends could be identified and addressed.

BIM enabled the design proposals to be tested virtually beforehand and a number of clashes were resolved before works started on site.

“400,000 three-dimensional objects were created”

The process of design development and approval was elucidated by end users being able to see and experience their new environment in three-dimensional form, rather than having to envisage it from plans or obscure equipment codes. In all, some 450 user group meetings were held with hospital staff.


The project team used 4D construction sequencing to plan the works and monitor their progress once underway. They also trialled some initial 5D BIM work, checking quantities from the information models against the more traditional take-off and costing exercises to evaluate the future opportunities.

Contractors on site were able to access all the appropriate 2D installation drawings via real-time links with the 3D models on tablets. This allowed data to be input, reviewed and analysed in the field, and the project team believe this reduced the waste caused by rework by 12%.

HYLC also developed the cutting-edge Single Point of Truth NewRAH Information Centre System or “SPOTNIC”. The SPOTNIC system streamlined the management, development and operation of design and construction data. It allowed teams to consistently capture, manage, maintain and report all completion data in a highly efficient way. The facility’s quality control and as-built records can now be accessed from a central, reliable source of information.


It’s important to note that the new hospital has been procured as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), meaning that those in charge of developing and delivering the facility have a long term interest in how it performs after completion.

This approach transformed the decision making process at the front end and encouraged the team to consider the whole life impact of their decisions. It also highlighted the importance of having accurate and well-structured data about the building to support facilities management (FM) and operation.

“The facility’s as-built records can now be accessed from a central, reliable source of information”

Whilst the actual results of the operational phase of course remain to be seen, it’s clear that Adelaide’s new hospital will have done much to advance BIM experience and awareness in Australia. It is rightly recognised as a stand-out project.

Should you want to learn more about BIM model's benefits or get your BIM project price instantly and order online, go to our BIM price calculator.

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