Case Studies

Real stories from real BIM people

Warramba Pipeline turned into a Digital Twin- Sydney, Australia


Published by:
Company: Bentley Systems
Location: Sydney, Australia
Bentley Systems software solutions have enabled the development of a digital twin of the Warragamba pipeline located in Sydney, Australia. We share below the execution and resolution of the project provided by Bentley Systems.

Managing Critical Water Infrastructure

Commissioned in the 1950s and 1960s, the aging Warragamba pipeline required close inspection and monitoring to ensure reliable water supply to 80% of Sydney’s population. The 27-kilometer twin pipeline consists of visually similar, lengthy pipe sections amid overgrown vegetation, making conventional survey methods inefficient for effective condition management and asset maintenance. To improve pipeline management, AUAV was tasked with providing aerial drone survey and inspection photos. The scale and repetitive nature of this critical infrastructure made detailed photogrammetry challenging. They needed technology that supports a high-resolution 3D reality mesh as well as one that enables full interaction and accessibility in a digital geospatial context for comprehensive visual inspection.

Establishing a Digital Context

To efficiently monitor and manage the pipeline, AUAV sought a unique data capture methodology that would provide a wider context to assess movement and earthworks along the entirety of the pipeline, as well as detailed visualization of the pipeline sections for asset inspection purposes. The resulting dataset would need to combine high-resolution point clouds, 3D models, and imagery in different formats to achieve full digital context. They tried numerous technology solutions, but these solutions presented client accessibility issues, especially with large datasets that often required specialized software to use the models. They desired an open source reality modeling platform that supported a mix of large data formats to deliver the models to the client in a secure cloud-based environment.

ContextCapture Provides Comprehensive Solution

AUAV realized that ContextCapture had the capability to provide inspection results in a high-resolution 3D model and allow for visual inspection, measurements, and full interaction using a digital geospatial context. Bentley’s reality modeling application helped them process the captured images and bring all sections of the pipeline reality mesh into a global 3D GIS view, alongside satellite imagery, point cloud data, asset identifiers, and access routes to generate a digital twin of the pipeline. Supporting an open platform, ContextCapture provided the flexibility and accessibility that enabled AUAV to deliver multi-sourced 3D data and models to the client via a secure web browser.

A Game Changer for Industry Asset Management

Using ContextCapture, three crew members processed 118,000 images, totaling more than a terabyte of data, in less than one week. The high-resolution 3D models and image data provide full visibility into inaccessible areas, avoiding hazardous manual inspections. Working in a customized, cloud-based environment—with all models and data instantly and securely accessible online in real-time—minimizes the number of manual inspections needed and provides a digital archival record of the condition of this critical infrastructure. Capable of producing high-quality 3D reality mesh models with a direct output to an online format, ContextCapture changed how AUAV processes and delivers data to clients, offering a comprehensive asset view and pathway for the water industry to manage assets.
Type of Work
  • Civil work
How was the BIM Experience in the project?
Reality Simulation: Does it help to get an idea of the final product?
Waste reduction, labor costs and deviations
Greater control of the construction process
Improves collaboration between agents
Conflict resolution and clash detection
Correction and error handling
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