Severe flood risk mitigation, provision of natural resources

Using BIM applications reduced design errors by 90%, avoiding design changes and rework during construction Image: © Liaoning Water Conservancy & Hydropower Survey & Design Research Institute

Liaoning Water Used OpenRoads and OpenBuildings to Reduce Design Errors by 90% on the Dongtaizi Reservoir Project, Helping to Mitigate Future Severe Flood Risks in the Region

  • Location: Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, China
  • Client: Liaoning Water Conservancy & Hydropower Survey & Design Research Institute
  • Sector: Water Conservation

The Liaoning Water Conservancy & Hydropower Survey & Design Research Institute was responsible for the engineering design of the Dongtaizi Reservoir. This project is one of 172 major water conservation initiatives to address China’s water scarcity and serious flood risk issues sponsored by the Chinese government.

The proposed infrastructure is a rockfill dam with an asphalt core wall and a concrete gravity dam with a total storage capacity of 321 m cubic meters. Located in the upper and middle reaches of the Xar Moron River in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, the reservoir will mitigate severe flooding risks in the lower reaches of the river and provide water and agricultural irrigation to adjacent areas. at the bottom of the river basin.

risk of severe flooding
The Dongtaizi Reservoir Project is one of 172 major water conservancy projects in China and one of 12 key livelihood projects in Inner Mongolia to mitigate severe flood risk and fight against water shortage.
Image: © Liaoning Water Conservancy & Hydropower Survey & Design Research Institute

Difficult boundary and structural conditions

The survey tasks and technical specifications of the Dongtaizi Reservoir Project were immense. The site’s complex terrain necessitated a precise geological study of the types of rock mass foundations and structural plan on which the design of the dam would be based.

A curved eco-friendly fishway that allows migrating fish to pass through the dam required significant excavation that required more than traditional 2D processes. The design of the rockfill dam section involved many control conditions and complicated interactions with the landscape, which cannot be solved with conventional 3D modelling.

In addition, multidisciplinary engineering and visualization capabilities were essential to design the steel structure, hydraulic machinery and engineering, and an electromechanical system. Therefore, Liaoning Water realized that it needed to adopt Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions to overcome the traditional design limitations of this large-scale water conservancy project.

BIM applications overcome traditional design restrictions

risk of severe flooding
Design efficiency increased by 40% to deliver engineering design two weeks ahead of schedule
Image: © Liaoning Water Conservancy & Hydropower Survey & Design Research Institute

After reviewing their options, the team used Bentley’s BIM software for precise 3D design. Liaoning Water has integrated OpenBuildings and OpenRoads Designer to streamline collaboration across multiple engineering disciplines and manage data.

They studied the landscape and created a detailed 3D geological model to accurately calculate excavation volumes and plan excavation processes. This visualization in OpenRoads also allowed the project team to precisely position the ecological fishway and connect the complicated spatial curve of the structure to the landscape.

The rockfill dam section was designed using OpenRoads linear engineering capabilities to generate a faithful 3D model incorporating all control and boundary conditions. Several engineering disciplines collaborated on the design of the concrete dam in OpenBuildings, designing the hydraulic machinery, steel structure and electromechanical equipment to avoid collisions.

Leverage BIM technology to provide a digital twin

Liaoning Water reduced design errors by 90%. Delivery of a technologically advanced model minimized changes to the overall design during construction. Accurate calculation of the project cost at the project design stage reduced the overall government investment.

With the support of open modeling technology, the project team improved design efficiency by 40% to deliver plans two weeks ahead of schedule. They leveraged BIM software to produce a digital twin that provides full dam lifecycle support, including management during construction, operation and maintenance.

Using this project as a foundation for the use of BIM on future water conservation projects, Liaoning Water has implemented corporate 3D collaborative design standards and trained personnel to become a regional leader in BIM app.

Bentley Systems

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