UCI embraces logistics innovation using Tekla software for industrial process facility construction.

2018 Tekla BIM award finalist UCI finds innovative ways to use technology to streamline logistics to overcome storage space obstacles. The 2018 Tekla North America BIM Awards celebrates the success of projects modeled using Tekla software in North America. UCI is proud to be part of the contestants in this prestigious competition.


UCI has successfully been using Tekla Structures to assist us in determining build sequence, material movement(s), delivery and demobilization quantities both before (preferably) and during project construction. Since Tekla Structures did not have some specific solutions to the types of hand set formwork we were using, UCI’s Chris Herring successfully created an innovative solution to fit our specific needs as an organization.

This project is a multi-phased expansion of an existing (brown field) petrochemical facility in a large refinery in an industrial region in the southern area of the USA, near Houston, Texas. UCI is working in the capacity of subcontractor on the project to a larger design and construction management organization. UCI’s scope of work includes; installing erosion control measures, demolishing existing concrete structures, preparing subgrade, managing a deep foundation (drilled pier) contractor, rebuilding multiple containment and foundation structures, along with building new containment and foundation structures.

The project is on a very secure petrochemical manufacturing facility and for this project, the project footprint is less than 1.5 acres (6000 square meters). Therefore, excess material storage is not available. The exact sequence, time, rate and pace of deliveries (including rebar, formwork, form accessories, equipment, concrete, etc.) to the facility must be well planned and integrated into the daily operations of the plant. Secondly, due to the lack of available space, those materials that will not be reused must be removed from site as soon as possible. Therefore, we must determine exact numbers of components that will be reused and those that will be demobilized before we begin the work, during our pre-construction planning process. For this project we determined that a deep storm water containment lift station in the center of the project was the critical path due to the complexity and depth.

Due to these previously listed spatial constraints, this project needed detailed planning on each concrete placement to sequence and manage material deliveries in a well-planned and choreographed dance. However, like most construction projects in this day and age, this project is a fast-paced project that afforded very little time for detailed construction operation’s planning before mobilizing to site. UCI was delivered the news of award on a Friday afternoon and was expected to mobilize and be onsite within a week. Many of the projects that we do have a similar owner or construction manager expectation that we mobilize shortly after the news of award.

Since project delivery cycles are expected to be quicker, fast paced, and with the expectation of shortening, we have found that to reduce inefficiencies, risks, rework and errors (within this environment), we must accelerate the rate at which we produce detailed operational or build plans (also called work packages, or what we would call “Playbooks”). Within the operational build plans (or Playbooks), form drawings, materials (formwork, rebar, and accessories) and procurement rates must all be synchronized with the rates and pace of the project plan and the critical path, or critical chain of the project.

The footprint of the lift station was roughly 36’x26’ and over 16’ in depth. There was approximately 180 LF of walls at 15’-2” tall. The walls included 8 pipe penetrations, 18 metal embedments, and 2 blockouts. Based on the complexity of the interior walls, it was important to make sure that we placed the forms in the proper sequence. Therefore, we determined it was most prudent to place the structure walls in 3 pours, starting with the outside walls and finishing with the interior walls.

Using Tekla Structures, we were able to share an abundant amount of information with the field leadership team on site. To show how the Lift Station should look through the different phases of construction, a custom view filter was created to show the sequential forming and placement operations. 3D model views of each pour with formwork were exported to Tekla Bimsight. Using the drawing creator, PDF drawings were made to show form plan, elevation, and section views of the formwork. Each forming component was tracked using the Organizer. Quantities were obtained for each pour sequence and exported to Excel. In Excel, the lists were combined, and an optimized form count was determined and given to the Superintendent to order material.

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“They were efficient, accurate and flexible in their performance…”
- Greg Ameringer, Tenawa Resource Management