Integrated BIM design keeps Zealand University Hospital running during a major expansion


MagiCAD Group

MEP Design

Project: Expansion and Reconstruction of Zealand University Hospital
Location: Køge, Denmark
Completion: design services rendered in 2018, construction from 2019-2024
Overall project management: Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura Soc.Coop
Architecture: Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura Soc.Coop
Building contractor: JV Itinera Spa (Gavio Group, Leader) and C.M.B. (Partner) for the Danish Regional Authority “Region Zealand”
BIM coordination: Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura Soc.Coop
MEP planner: Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura Soc.Coop
Project area: 110.000 m²
MagiCAD software: MagiCAD Electrical, Ventilation and Piping for Revit, MagiCAD Cloud, MagiCAD Sprinkler, MagiCAD Supports & Hangers

The expansion and reconstruction project of Denmark’s Zealand University Hospital in Køge is accomplished while keeping the hospital’s daily activities running. This approach presented a complexity and a challenge for the design and construction process. The solution was a participatory digital design process and integrated Building Information Modelling (BIM) workflow. Politecnica Ingegneria e Architettura, a leading design consulting firm for architecture, engineering and urban planning from Italy, specialises in this innovative solution. A total of 1.050 professionals worked together on this project, which called for sophisticated collaboration and large-scale design and data management. Politecnica relied on cutting-edge BIM software platforms and tools, including MagiCAD for Revit, to design the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems.

 3D image of the New Zealand University Hospital. Image courtesy of Politecnica

Company and project profile

Politecnica is no stranger to overseeing and developing landmark projects in the Healthcare sector. Their track record of successful projects includes the University Hospital Complex in Sassari, the New Hospital of Pordenone, La Spezia New Hospital, the East African Kidney Institute in Nairobi and more. Fully owned by Italian stakeholders, Politecnica is one of the top Italian companies providing integrated architecture, engineering, and urban planning services. With over 40 years of experience, three Italian offices, eight international subsidiaries and almost 250 employees, the company is globally renowned for its collaborative approach to design solutions. Politecnica’s advanced multidisciplinary BIM approach is one of the reasons for their assignment to the Zealand University Hospital project.

Zealand University Hospital (ZUH) is located south of Copenhagen in Køge. The hospital’s existing buildings will be reconstructed, and the entire area will be expanded from 64.000 m² to 185.000 m². The capacity for beds will be 789, making it one of the largest hospitals in Northern Europe. All regional hospital wards, emergency and research facilities will be moved to the ZUH, featuring a single, newly built structure. It will have five storeys dedicated to the wards and three to high technologies, such as radiotherapy bunkers. Denmark’s new university hospital aims to become a hub for the research of modern biomedical sciences while accommodating state of the art hospital facilities. Teaching and congress activities are also being considered in the architectural design. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.

3D image of the New Zealand University Hospital. Image courtesy of Politecnica

The Challenge: Running a reconstruction and expansion project while the building is in use

As the incumbent project leader of the international group of design consultants, Politecnica faced the challenge of keeping the hospital running during the reconstruction and expansion project.

Enea Sermasi, Partner Engineer and Head of International Business Development at Politecnica, explains: “An essential requirement from the client was to assure uninterrupted hospital activity throughout the project implementation. This requirement represented the biggest challenge for Politecnica because it required extreme planning and coordination of all parties, including the operations’ staff of the hospital, in addition to the large construction project teams. A key element in optimising the entire project’s daily management was communication with the personnel in charge of the hospital operations, the authorities, the construction company and other subcontractors. At Politecnica, we rely on a participatory design process as the primary strategy for offering shared, stable and long-lasting established solutions.”

Andrea Relli, Architect and BIM Manager at Politecnica, says: “Politecnica’s design teams worked simultaneously on their respective disciplines from two different offices in Italy. The project stakeholders were located in Denmark, and they were required to participate in every step of the process. Therefore, interaction, collaboration and communication had to be independent of time and workspace. The coordination challenge made it necessary for us to use smart tools to manage the needs and priorities of the project.”

The Solution: Large-scale BIM management

The design process was performed entirely on BIM platforms to ensure seamless exchange, cooperation and communication between designers of all disciplines and the stakeholders. The designed BIM models in this project, including architecture, MEP, structure, furniture and even landscape, provided an accurate digital model of the future Zealand University Hospital and its features before construction.

“The BIM organisation of this large-scale project allowed for parallel budget and timeline estimates during the design phase across all disciplines, furniture purchasing and supplier selection. It resulted in fast client approvals and overall design process,” explains Relli. “The project also required highly skilled BIM professionals. Every client, contractor, design discipline has their BIM coordinator and BIM manager.”

Using MagiCAD for Revit to design the MEP Systems

To manage the large volume of detailed BIM design tasks, Politecnica’s MEP design team worked with MagiCAD for Revit. This advanced multidisciplinary modelling software includes MEP and sound calculations, clash detection and a vast BIM content library. As a result, over 60 Revit files were generated for this part of the project with MagiCAD for Revit, including more than 1.000 kilometres of mechanical and hydrosanitary ducts and pipes and more than 1.2 billion BIM objects modelled.

Saving modelling time with MagiCAD Cloud BIM Object Library

MagiCAD offers the world’s largest selection of manufacturer-verified BIM objects, including functional and geometric specifications.

All the MEP objects used in the models were taken directly from the MagiCAD Cloud library, saving us enormous modelling time and providing greater accuracy at the same time. The extensive database of MEP families enabled us to have a common dataset of families shared with the mechanical system team members located at two different subsidiaries but who were designing simultaneously,” says Andrea Relli.

Designing the New Zealand University Hospital MEP systems with MagiCAD for Revit. Image courtesy of Politecnica

Automated and Real-time Clash Detection

Given the complexity of multidisciplinary models, the possibility of clashes between technical systems, structure and architecture was high. MEP models created with MagiCAD benefit from an easy-to-use native clash detection tool that makes coordination between the different design disciplines easier, faster and more reliable. MagiCAD Clash Detection identifies two types of clashes – hard clashes where the elements physically collide and soft clashes where the clash occurs between the clearance zones defined for the objects. In addition, the tool creates a clash report for coordination, enabling easy sharing of the report and the details with all project partners.

Relli explains, “BIM coordinators of each discipline were putting particular focus on solving clashes between the different BIM models to minimise the risk of clashes during construction. MagiCAD enabled live and on-demand detection of hard and soft clashes in our entire project.”

Data Driven MEP Design

Relli is a strong advocate of data-driven MEP design. In this specific project, prefabrication has been a prerequisite, and Politecnica had to define the performance and parameters of elements in the design phase. Using MagiCAD for Revit helped Relli and his design teams to model more rapidly and more precisely.

Other software features worth mentioning, such as the automated placement of suspension around ducts and pipes and particularly the MagiCAD’s pressure drop report, are very user-friendly and time-saving”, says Relli. “While the old ZUH building is only 10 metres high, the new building height will be raised to 55 metres. In multilevel buildings, pressure drop calculations are very important in mechanical system design. This tool in MagiCAD for Revit is easy to apply, and we’ve used it for pipes, ducts and sprinklers.

“Due to the accuracy of elements, the material estimates for the construction phase were more exact and cost simulation more realistic. Overall, the amount of information inside the models improved timelines and resulted in cost savings during construction through the reduction of installation mistakes and material waste,” concludes Andrea Relli.