Tetra Tech improves plant project with Revit

Avatar Guest Author May 12, 2017

2 min read

This is a surface water treatment plant for Huntsville Utilities initially rated at 24 MGD but expandable up to 96 MGD.  The project includes raw water pumping (from the Guntersville dam reservoir) with flocculation, sedimentation and deep bed filtering.  There’s also granular activated carbon filters and chemical injection along with chlorine contact into a clear well for storage and pumping. BIM helps improve design, collaboration, and stakeholder review – making the project 1 year ahead of schedule and $15m in savings from original engineering estimate.

Challenges existed on this project.  With regard to the site, the grading was steep in some areas and there was quite a bit of large and small diameter piping throughout the site.  Complex treatment facilities also meant complex piping galleries and chemical feed systems.

From a production standpoint, the project was divided between as many as 5 Tetra Tech offices across the country and they were incorporating multiple drafting/designing platforms to produce a singular cohesive planset.


BIM helps team improve design collaboration and stakeholder review on Huntsville Utilities project


Benefits of BIM in the workflow

Improved coordination between offices and disciplines led to increased efficiency saving time and money during design and construction.  Also, creating complete models allowed for better itemization of all equipment and piping.  And with models the teams are able to plan future phases ensuring a superior product to the client.

3d models allowed for additional 3d perspective drawings in the planset giving both the client and contractor a clear vision of the final product.  Many times, chemical systems are portrayed using single-line diagrams.  But with 3d modeling, all valves, fittings, appurtenances and couplings could be modeled using real world dimensions ensuring a constructible design.  Also, photo-realistic renderings were provided to the client throughout design giving them a better idea or the working space and clarifying complex piping systems.  Utilizing Civil3D aided in cut/fill calculations and helped coordinate coordinates and site elevations for the buildings, drainage and road access.


Time Savings – The construction project is currently a year ahead of schedule.  Because of enhanced coordination, the superior product provided to the client has had fewer change orders and fewer coordination questions which has saved considerable construction time.

Money savings – The winning bid was $15M under the engineering estimate ($85M compared to $100M).  This was attributed to the quality of the plansets and the quality of the models.  Being able to incorporate our models and data allowed B&G to communicate clearly to the entire construction team.

Project performance – With 3d modeling through Revit and Civil3D the team was able to be more efficient and produce a superior product for our clients.  Based on feedback from the contractor and client and the cost and time savings during construction, Tetra Tech has moved forward with Revit being as the primary modeling platform.


Project delivery – With the superior product from 3d modeling we are able to exceed client’s expectations and consistently deliver high quality projects.  Sections are always accurate, detail references automatically are tracked, in-sheet references are updated and coordinated.  Equipment and piping appurtenances are itemized and easily scheduled and labeled throughout the planset.  These detail items which usually take a lot of man-hours to coordinate are all managed by the data within the model, making us more responsive to changes and we can be confident of the accuracy of our submittals.

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