• Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST)

    Beijing Building Construction Research Institute

    500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope

    Karst, Guizhou, China

Project Summary

Project
With an antenna aperture of 500 meters ‒ about the size of 30 standard football fields ‒ and a cable net structure consisting of 6,670 main cables and 2,225 downhaul cables, the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope will be the largest single-aperture telescope in the world when it is completed in 2016. This enormous project required complex designs; highly accurate construction, fabrication, and installation; and collaboration across multiple disciplines and locations.

Solution
From site selection and design to construction, the Beijing Building Construction Research Institute, Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, and National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, deployed BIM technology in the form of AECOsim Building Designer, MicroStation, Bentley Navigator, ProjectWise, and ProSteel. A BIM database ensured precise modeling and completeness of design, and provided a firm foundation for construction quality control.

Outcome
The standardized BIM driven approach saved the team 1,300 man-days of design modification, 400 man-days of review, and 400 man-days of field error handling. Integrating the BIM-based process management with ProjectWise reduced management risks by 85%. ProSteel’s capabilities, including parametric 3D modeling, helped the teams design and optimize the 445 network cable nodes, cutting the cost by over CNY 4 million.

Software
The team used ProjectWise to manage project-related data from multiple software platforms, enabling information to flow smoothly across all upstream and downstream disciplines. AECOsim Building Designer and a BIM database ensured precise modeling and completeness of design, and provided a firm foundation for construction quality control. Bentley Navigator’s clash detection helped the design team quickly find and resolve design issues.

Outcome/Facts:
  • ProSteel enabled the team to design and optimize the network cable nodes, cutting costs by over CNY 4 million.
  • ProjectWise provided a multi-discipline, collaborative working environment that reduced risks by 85%. 
  • Using AECOsim Building Designer, the scientific research design was completed in three years instead of five. The design error rate was reduced by 90%. Bentley Navigator’s clash detection helped the design team to detect over 500 abnormal design points.
User Quote:
  • “Bentley's design and project management software provide the foundation for the telescope’s detailed design and construction.”

    Liu Zhansheng BIM Director Beijing Building Construction Research Institute Co., Ltd.