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  • BIM project for the Alagoas Sertão Canal to be presented at Autodesk University in Las Vegas

    DATE: 08/24/2023

    Published by: News OEC

    Event brings together innovators in architecture, engineering and construction to share ideas, promote industry practices and explore opportunities for the future

    The project for Section 5 of the Sertão Alagoano Canal, developed by the consortium formed by OEC – Engenharia e Construção and TPF Engenharia, was selected to be presented at Autodesk University (AU) 2023. The event is one of the biggest in technology and innovation for the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) market and will be held in Las Vegas, USA, from November 13 to 15.

    The case study to be presented is titled “Streamlining Open Channel Design with BIM Execution Plan and Automation” and focuses on the implementation of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) methodology. The methodology enables the creation of a digital construction model, providing support to the project throughout its phases, allowing for better analysis and control than traditional manual processes.

    The largest water infrastructure project in Alagoas, with a total length of 250km, the canal already has 4 sections in operation. The designed section that will be presented at AU has a length of 26.6 km, passing through the municipalities of São José da Tapera, Olho d’Água das Flores, and Monteirópolis. Among its structures are aqueducts, channels, a tunnel, and a siphon.

    BIM is still relatively unexplored in water infrastructure projects, and this caught the attention of the organizers, who selected the project from among approximately 2,700 submissions. According to Daniel Lepikson, the Head of Innovation at OEC, the advent and proliferation of BIM have brought a significant technological advancement to the engineering market, enabling digital transformation in infrastructure and heavy construction projects – a sector that is notably lacking in technology and industrialization. “It’s something that, added to the company’s technical excellence and experience, will allow us to carry out this project with greater quality and within the established budget and deadline, thus meeting the client’s expectations.”

    For Omar Barreto, the Contract Manager responsible for the project, the selection by Autodesk University is excellent acknowledgement for the entire team involved in the project, which has always been committed to using and improving this technology. “At OEC, we always strive to identify the finest offerings in the market to enhance the quality and productivity in project execution. This acknowledgement shows us that we are heading in the right direction, building the present to transform the future.”

    The application of the BIM methodology in conveyance channels is not something you come across every day, according to Tarek Farah, Project Manager at TPF Engineering. He states that this caught the attention of the Autodesk University organizers. “Our case focuses somewhat on the processes and challenges for implementing BIM in the Alagoas Hinterland Canal and also aims to shed some light on subassembly composer and automation using Dynamo,” he explains. Tarek, who holds years of experience in water resources and irrigation projects, adds that this opportunity will be significant for fostering future engagements. “It means a lot, it’s something that seemed intangible. We step out of our comfort zone a bit, which is a good thing, because now we’re challenged to excel and leave our mark at the event.”

    About the Alagoas Hinterland Canal

    The Alagoas Hinterland Canal is a significant project for Northeastern Brazil, with considerable social impact. It’s an undertaking aimed at providing water to the hinterlands of the Alagoas state, benefiting 42 municipalities and approximately one million people. The route starts at the water intake of the São Francisco River in Delmiro Gouveia and ends in the municipality of Arapiraca, totaling 250 km.

    Over 800 jobs are expected to be created at the peak of construction, using mostly local labor. Around 130 pieces of heavy equipment will be used in the work. The total timeframe specified in the contract is 40 months, with 27 months allocated for project execution. With the completion of Section 5, the Alagoas Hinterland Canal will achieve a total length of 150 kilometers.

    One of the major engineering challenges for the project will be the construction of the third tunnel, spanning 1.5 kilometers in length, involving rock masses ranging from Class II to V – the scale varies from I (hardest) to V (softest). Similar to the previous section, the tunnel will be excavated using the same method – the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) Drill & Blast – with progress aligned to the rock mass class mapped by the ATO team, incorporating the corresponding treatments outlined in the execution plan.

    The project shall encompass the construction of 18 trapezoidal channels, amounting to approximately 22 kilometers in total length. a 1.5 kilometer tunnel; a 1.5 kilometer inverted siphon; four 1-kilometer-long canal bridges, as well as three floodgates.

    About OEC

    Throughout its 79-year history, OEC – Engineering and Construction has been responsible for the execution of over 2,900 large-scale projects in more than 30 countries around the world. These projects include hydroelectric, thermal, and nuclear power plants, bridges, viaducts, tunnels, metro and urban rail lines, airports, ports, railways, refineries, industrial, and mining works. In 2021, OEC received the Global Best Projects award for the tenth consecutive year, an accolade presented by the American magazine ENR – Engineering News-Record. This distinction is widely regarded within the industry as the “Oscar” of global engineering. For its sustainability-focused performance, since 2014, OEC has been consistently awarded the Gold Seal by the GHG Protocol program, which compiles greenhouse gas emissions inventories. Currently, OEC employs over 18,000 workers from diverse nationalities, engaged in over twenty projects spanning across countries in the Americas and Africa.

    About TPF

    TPF is a consultancy engineering company headquartered in Brussels, operating across more than 40 countries, and boasting a workforce of nearly 5,000 employees with diverse expertise and nationalities. With over 55 years of presence in Brazil, we have accumulated vast experience in consultancy, projects, management, supervision, and construction oversight across various specialties. Throughout this journey, we have contributed to the realization of some of the most significant projects in the country. Our prominent position in the market has been acknowledged through national and international awards, and it is evident in the ongoing growth of our workforce and company revenue. We are a reference in quality and innovation in the market. We have a multidisciplinary team of engineers, programmers, technicians, architects, management specialists, and various other professionals who work diligently to ensure customer satisfaction. With the Great Place To Work certification and being certified under ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 standards, TPF Engenharia is committed to showcasing the very best that engineering has to offer to society.

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