Forest City of Malaysia Integrates BIM with 4IR technologies for Smart Building Solutions

Smart building projects located in Forest City in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM) for improvement of design quality, sustainable construction practices, and facility and asset management.

Source: New Strait Times Press (NSTP)

Forest City is a recently built smart and green city project located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The project is a joint venture developed by the Country Garden Group and the Malaysian government-backed Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd (EDSB). Forest City is a 30 sq km man-made island, which integrates the existing environment with cutting-edge technology for a technologically-driven living space. The project aims to create sustainable practices for the city to co-exist with natural surroundings. The city was planned with a capacity to host around 700,000 inhabitants, with amenities like hotels, resorts and luxury housing.

Project challenges in environmentally-sensitive area

The project area lies in the environmentally sensitive area (ESA) of the country, which hosts ecologically sensitive coastal wetlands. Thus, it was imperative to build the project with a focus on  creating an energy-efficient, ecologically sensitive, land-conserving, low-polluting, offshore development. Forest City aimed to receive the GrenRE recognition, certified by Real Estate and Housing Development Association of Malayasia (REHDA). In order to achieve this certification, the project had to strategize development of sustainable and liveable built environments with minimal impact on-site from the plan, design to build stage. Furthermore, the built fabric of the city had to be carefully monitored for efficient energy management. 

As-is built data to determine pipeline highpoints and risk

The technicians of PWR plant were concerned about the corrosion of pipelines and wanted to validate the measurement of several pipe runs. Advanced scanned images from 3D laser equipment enabled identification of highpoints in the entire pipe network, as well as validate correct schematic drawings with built data. Highpoints help alleviate gas trapped through installation of vents.

Traditionally, manual hand tools have been used to determine these highpoints, exposing personnel to high levels of radiation. Foreseeing the risk of traditional surveying through tape, ladders and scaffolding, R. Brooks Associates tasked Exact Metrology technicians to utilize 3D and CT scanning for pipeline inspections. The technicians used Leica HDS scanners for accurate measurements and validation of schematic drawings with built structures.

Integration of BIM and 4IR technologies

The project devised integrated technological solutions for optimal building performance with facility and asset management (FM/AM). The innovative smart building system integrates technologies such as BIM, Internet of Things (IoT) sensing platform, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) city applications including green drip irrigation systems, building automation systems, intelligent security systems, smart meters, emergency systems, and community robots. 3D building model development with BIM accelerated design changes validation. This supported successful project delivery with minimal errors and on-site reworks in the different phases of the Forest City’s project lifecycle.

Forest City took advantage of the above mentioned BIM solutions to advance the project’s adoption of Industrialised Building System (IBS) prefabricated factory; this has proven to improve the building quality and standards. Such industrialised systems (including prefabrication) for construction workflows helped reduce environmental pollution on-site, which was of vital importance given the environmentally-sensitive location of the project. In this regard, implementation of BIM enabled end-to-end digitalization of all the construction processes and those related to the prototype of the city. BIM played the role of a nodal tool to facilitate the development of dynamic information models for both infrastructure as well as residential and commercial buildings in the city.

Source: New Strait Times Press (NSTP)

Digital asset information model for sustainable lifecycle management

Country Garden Group commissioned BIM Academy to strategize and create a digital Asset Information Model (AIM) for landmark buildings in the Forest City. BIM Academy developed a multidisciplinary 3D geometry model of the building fabric, structure and services. Subsequently, this 3D data was integrated with non-graphical data of maintainable assets of the fabric and systems. The consultants were also tasked with project management, modeling and coordination with contractors to support development of geometric models and classification of asset data within the digital model (BIM). These digitalized project management models helped improve buildings and infrastructure management.

Forest City Development with 3D Building Model Creation Helped Automate Monitoring of Design to Execution Quality Check. Integrated BIM Automates Operations and Maintenance of Buildings

Forest City has created a prototype model of urban and resource management operating system through the application of intelligent technology integration. The project has achieved this by carefully integrating advanced technological solutions like IoT and AI with BIM to create a holistic digital model. The landmark building and infrastructure development within the project made use of such digital models to create simulations and identify optimal design (and execution) measures. Intelligent technology integrations also resulted in improvement of stakeholder collaboration, conflict resolution and clash detection across the project lifecycle. Overall, BIM integration enabled the project consultants and owners to have greater access and control over the construction workflow.

Project Facts 
LocationJohor Bahru, Malaysia
ClientCountry Garden Group and Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd (EDSB)
ConsultantBIM Academy
Area30 sq km
Digital Technologies UsedBIM, IoT, AI

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