Leveraging 3D Models for Urban Environments

Our projects routinely incorporate detailed 3D modeling to help the team identify issues, discover solutions, and visualize final results. 

Three-dimensional modeling is a large part of our design process and is essential for working on complex projects with integrated teams. Establishing a digital partnership with our design and construction partners is one of the most important aspects of our coordination.

Using a combination of data obtained from survey and potholing at critical locations, we provide modeling data to allow the team to coordinate in 3D outside the building, as they do inside. This digital partnership helps avoid unexpected construction issues and in many cases, streamlines the permitting process.

Modeling in Action: University of Washington Life Sciences Building

Given the amount, and unique nature, of the infrastructure needed to operate their facilities, campus environments have specific risks and challenges associated with utility coordination

The UW Life Sciences Building required very tight control to avoid existing utilities, relocate utilities, and add new services. These then needed to be coordinated with building exhaust ducts, loading dock access drives, and complex excavation and shoring to fit all the pieces within the site.

Using 3D modeling for civil utilities, site layout, and excavation, we integrated our design from the beginning with members of the team. This helped avoid design clash, identify construction sequencing and constraints, and incorporate ongoing changes during design. The 3D digital model allowed information about options and constraints to be shared right away, to allow decision making in the quickest manner possible for all parties.

Modeling in Action: Swedish First Hill Campus Expansion

Careful coordination of the new utility tunnel installation was critical to keeping the medical center’s 24/7 operations uninterrupted, as well as supporting fulfillment of their campus expansion master plan.

Three-dimensional modeling illustrated the complex solution for this tunnel. This imagery was key to obtaining approval from the city, informing the owner, and getting the contractor the information needed to be successful.

A Case Study: Lincoln Square South

In Bellevue’s downtown core, the interface between public and private space is unique. Lines are blurred between the traditionally public sidewalk space and private property.

The Lincoln Square South project responded by incorporating the NE 4th Street pedestrian corridor and the corresponding utility zone into the below grade garage design. A major pedestrian corridor, congested utility corridor, and arterial roadway were constructed over six levels of private underground parking.

The large risk associated with designing, permitting, and constructing this infrastructure required detailed 3D modeling. Using inputs provided by electrical and plumbing subcontractors, we coordinated and then incorporated all the needed pieces into a cohesive model that was used to successfully permit and construct this complicated work. We used the modeled information to communicate effectively and quickly in a visual way with the City of Bellevue, Puget Sound Energy, and communication companies to temporarily re-route existing utilities, construct the new alignments, and build the corridor as planned.