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Simulations for multi-level Analysis of interactions in Tunnelling based on the Building Information Modelling technology

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SATBIM (Simulations for multi-level Analysis of interactions in Tunnelling based on the Building Information Modelling technology)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2016-05-01 do 2018-04-30

1. Problem statement
Building and construction information modelling for decision making during the life cycle of infrastructure projects is a vital means for the analysis of complex, integrated and multi-disciplinary systems. This project deals with the multi-level information modelling and simulation to assess the effects of underground construction, in particular mechanised tunnelling, onto existing infrastructure.
The goal of the SATBIM project is to propose a multi-level simulation model for tunnel-structure interaction integrated in the framework of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to support engineering decisions during the project life cycle and to allow for the evaluation and minimisation of risks on existing infrastructure. SATBIM provides an integrated platform for structural analysis, visualization and optimization of the mechanized tunnelling process in early design stages. Thus, the output will have wide implications on underground construction technology and interaction with infrastructure, with high academic and industrial impact.

[Figure 1. a) Concept for the integrated SATBIM platform for design, numerical analysis and assessment on different LoDs; b) multi-level approach in information and numerical modelling]

2. Objectives and overview
The approach of the SATBIM project allows appraisal of different design alternatives at low computational costs by dynamically generating simulation models from BIM models at the required LoD for the specific problem to be solved. For example, minimising the overall risk of damage to buildings needs high LoD for structures, while estimating stresses in the tunnel structure needs high LoD for lining but low LoD for buildings is sufficient (see Figure 1 b).
In order to address these requirements, the following Research Objectives (RO) are set:
RO1: To develop a multi-level simulation model of tunnel-structure interaction integrated in the framework of BIM.
RO2: To develop visualisation techniques within a BIM environment to enable condensed, intuitive and comprehensive representation of analysis results.
RO3: To devise simulation-based meta models to enable real-time design decision support.
RO4: To integrate optimisation tools within the integrated model to support the decision-making in the design and construction phase.
RO5: To validate the proposed platform with real industry project data.
During the SATBIM MC IF fellowship, the following major tasks have been accomplished: i) establishing the concept for integrated design and assessment; ii) development of the software framework and iii) verification of the developed framework using real industry project data. The research conducted within this period has been disseminated though three high-profile journal publications (published in Advances in Engineering Software, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering and Geomechanics and Tunnelling), four peer-reviewed publications in proceedings of international conferences and upcoming workshop (EUROTUN 2014, PARENG 2017, EG-ICE 2017, EG-ICE 2018) and one book chapter (Taschenbuch für den Tunnelbau 2019). SATBIM is in the process of being established as open source software, with source code, a detailed technical report, and tutorials available through Github at Finally, permanent contact is maintained with partners from research and industry (RUB - SFB 837 and Maidl Tunnelconsultants and), which resulted in joint publications and has opened perspectives for new collaborations as well as extension of existing collaborations. Overall, the progress achieved during this action mainly fulfils and in some fields exceeds the planned work proposed in Annex I. The main achievements of the project are briefly summarised in the following.

1. Summary of outcomes of the SATBIM fellowship
Unified platform for multi-level information and numerical modelling, and visualisation (D1.1. & D1.2.): Fully parametric multi-level Tunnelling Information Model (TIM) is developed using the industry-standard tools. The resulting TIM serves as a basis for the generation of numerical models for soil-structure interaction in tunnelling using the developed “SatBimModeller” and simulation software KRATOS. The SATBIM software is organized in a way to provide high flexibility not only for further extensions, but also for adaptation to any changes in the simulation software.
Assessment of structural response in BIM – Visualisation (D2): The simulation results are visualised within the TIM to enable comprehensive, intuitive and quick understanding of effects of design actions on the stability and safety of the tunnel and the existing environment, as illustrated in Fig. 2.
Real-time design assessment and optimisation (D2 & D3): SATBIM allows for conducting real-time analyses by substituting numerical simulations with computationally cheap meta models to enable on-demand numerical predictions and optimisations. The design process and optimisation is integrated within a state-of-the-art design environment, avoiding the pitfalls of traditional pre and post-processing workflows (see Fig. 2.).
Verification of the SATBIM framework based on a real industry project (D4): Based on design reports and design drawings of the underground, tunnel structure, tunnel boring machine and Auto CAD City model, the multi-level information model for the tunnel is generated in the SATBIM framework; and the existing design is assessed with numerical models.
[Figure 2. Real-time assessment of the design alternatives in terms of soil-structure interaction effects on multi-user multi-touch video wall.]

2. Progress beyond proposed research
Parallelisation of the simulation model: In collaboration with the Institute for Structural Mechanics (ISM) at the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany, parallelization strategies on shared and distributed memory systems have been developed and applied to the finite element simulation model
Integration of IGA into the SATBIM framework: In collaboration ISM, we are currently working on integration of isogeometric analysis for modelling of tunnel linings to make direct use of the B-rep geometries generated in the BIM for definition of numerical models.
The SATBIM framework will contribute to the minimisation of tunnelling risks in the future, so society directly benefits from increased safety. Consequently, the societal trust in underground construction will be further increased. Moreover, the built-in optimisation and risk assessment techniques allow future tunnelling projects to be designed such that the resource consumption of the construction is optimised. This significantly reduces the environmental footprint in comparison to current approaches allowing for cleaner construction techniques in the future.

From an economical perspective, the techniques developed in the project will allow companies to design underground infrastructure with lower resource requirements, increased safety, and hence ultimately significantly lower cost. The open-source toolbox resulting for SATBIM will allow engineers to carry out quick evaluation, visualisation and risk assessment of various design alternatives. Via workshops and conferences, the SATBIM toolkit will further be delivered in a wider context to companies, industry partners and the general public and due to it open-source nature, the re-usability of the tools has been maximised.
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