BIM methodology at the Foz Tua Dam, a winning project

BIM methodology at the Foz Tua Dam, a winning project

Last week, Sacyr Somague was the winner of the Year in Infrastructure 2018 award in the Power Generation category for its Building Information Modeling (BIM) model at the Foz Tua Dam in Portugal. Our company led the 57 finalists at this edition of the well-known international competition held in London which recognises advances in the digitalisation of different infrastructures and brings together professionals from around the world to share innovative practices.

The winning project was developed in Portugal with the construction of the Foz Tua Dam, an arch dam with a height of 108m and a crest of 275m in length, a 251MW subterranean power station and an underground hydraulic circuit measuring 700m. The dam is located between the municipalities of Carrazeda de Ansiães and Alijó, in the north of the country.

Its construction has meant a true #challengemet, with the implementation of BIM methodology as an innovative element which this award has now recognised. Applying BIM made it possible to optimise time and human resources, improve information and work flows between teams and achieve savings in terms of time and money, through an intelligent 3D model which helped decisive decisions to be made for the project during the construction and installation phase.

“The biggest challenges during the start phase were determining accesses, implementing the working platforms and setting up the concrete manufacturing equipment”, explained Joana Menéres, from Engineering and Infrastructures at Sacyr and head of the BIM Department. These challenges were met with the help of this technology which, in this case, was used not at the request of the client but as one more challenge for Somague Sacyr as part of its commitment to innovation and quality in the “tradition of building the future”.


The Somague Sacyr Construcción team implemented the methodology to improve the revision and construction phases. Using 3D technology, an exhaustive study was carried out of all the details of the project, no matter how small, “which led to early correction of mistakes and mitigated risks of the project and on-site down times from lack of coordination”, said Joana Menéres.

The most visible benefits included the fewer hours spent in meetings to approve the work and on contractual management. “The use of this technology aided more fluid and transparent communication, thus achieving a highly valuable intangible benefit: the client's trust through a more open and honest relationship”, she highlighted.

BIM also made it possible to calculate precisely the necessary amounts of each type of concrete that needed to be manufactured, thus knowing the exact price per cubic metre. “Without this methodology, it would have been harder to ascertain these details and achieve an efficient result”, concluded Joana Menéres.


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