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Queen’s Wharf in Australia Takes Shape with Nemetschek Group Software

Open BIM AEC workflows and Nemetschek Group software power Queen’s Wharf mega project in Brisbane, Australia.


One of the world’s largest construction projects is being realized using Open BIM workflows along with data-driven and integrated design approaches. Pictured below, Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane is a new city district that covers over 12 hectares across the Central Business District land. It will feature 50 new bars, cafes, and restaurants; 2,000 apartments over three residential towers; and more than 1,000 premium hotel rooms.

Nemetschek Group Solutions

The Nemetschek Group brands of Bluebeam, dRofus, GRAPHISOFT, and Solibri are all playing major roles in the massive development for planning, design, and construction phases. The Nemetschek Group advances the concepts of “Open BIM” which is contrasted to what is referred to as “Closed BIM” workflows that advocate for all disciplines to utilize around a single BIM platform for all trades and disciplines.

Open BIM at Queen's Wharf, Brisbane, Australia.

Queen’s Wharf, Brisbane, Australia. (Image: Destination Brisbane Consortium / All rights reserved.)

The project design team led by Cottee Parker Architects of Australia coordinated and collaborated with the entire team of stakeholders using Archicad for design, dRofus for the data management, Solibri Office for BIM model checking, and Bluebeam Revu for the comprehensive digital documentation.

“This is a project of immense scale, extreme complexity, and sheer innumerable levels of information,” says Quinton Cooper of Cottee Parker. “Working with a Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach allows the team to clearly organize all of the project’s key information in an easy-to-access, central place.”

Owner Driven

Destination Brisbane Consortium, the project owner, ensured that Queen’s Wharf development leveraged the vendor-independent and vendor-neutral Open BIM approach, allowing all parties to work with the digital tools they prefer and execute best on.

Gabor Gulyas, project lead and operations manager for digital engineering at DBM Vircon, explains that “interoperability and a consistent OPEN BIM workflow are essential for this project. There is no way around it if you keep in mind that up to 300 people are working on the design models at the same time in peak periods, coordinating over 200 different models.” DBM Vircon is responsible for the project management of the overall construction project.

MORE: Viewpoint: Nemetschek Group — The Power of Paradigm Shifts

Gulyas is referring also to how GRAPHISOFT’s Integrated Design principles are at play inside Archicad where architects and engineers are able to review and check models in real-time and work together in a more streamlined approach. Cottee Parker used Solibri Office for comprehensive BIM model checking and validation. Bluebeam Revu was used for developing a comprehensive paperless all-digital workflow. This included document review and collaboration in addition to verifications.  dRofus handled all the project data coming in from many different sources.

“OPEN BIM, data-driven workflows, and an integrated design approach: Queen´s Wharf is clearly a role model for any modern construction project,” says Viktor Varkonyi, Chief Division Officer, Planning & Design Division, and member of the Executive Board at the Nemetschek Group. “Working very closely with the project teams, we are excited to provide the backbone for seamless collaboration across the entire construction lifecycle in this large-scale project.”

Award Winner

The development of the new district in Brisbane, which started construction in 2017 and is planned to be finalized in 2024, has already won two awards — the prestigious “buildingSMART International Award for Best Design” and a 6-star “Green Star Communities” rating for sustainable development.

To learn more about the Nemetschek Group visit here.

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

The economic trade-offs between Open BIM and Closed BIM workflows is a hotly contested issue in the industry. Open BIM workflow philosophy suggests stakeholders leverage best-in-class solutions and solutions firms know and love to gain optimal output and exchange data through Open BIM data exchange standards like IFC and BCF. Closed BIM adherents advocate for efficiencies leveraged via inherent streamlining by using the same BIM platform for all disciplines, thereby eliminating as much as possible data exchange via open file standards like IFC. 

These two methods rarely exist in pure form in such large projects, especially Closed BIM. In very large projects there are simply too many digital tools being levered that are not under the umbrella of a single software provider, thereby forcing an Open BIM approach for at least some portion of the workflow. As the industry advances more sophisticated point solutions develop to tackle problems with pre-design, design, engineering, documentation, tendering, construction, post-construction, operations and maintenance, and real-estate management. These solutions exist around unique selling points (USPs) giving the market concentrated depth and expertise. Trading away the short and long-term productivity and economic benefits of this depth and expertise for mere streamlining of data exchange tied to a single “Closed BIM” format ultimately weakens the economic efficiencies that come from a highly competitive global free-market system. Fundamentally, it presumes that an equivalent and open [BIM] data exchange system would always be economically and productively inferior. 

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