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Network Rail Property Raft Examinations

Sussex & Kent

A number of the raft structures that support commercial properties along Network Rail’s (NR) Sussex and Kent routes have been mapped out in 3D for BIM (Building Information Modelling) for the first time.

As part of an ongoing NR programme to guarantee the integrity of structures, VEDA appraised dozens of raft structures owned by the rail network operator.

The safety of these property rafts is vital not just because of their location above operational rail track but because they are often business premises and therefore, they house people.

As part of the contract, VEDA Associate Director David Booth is taking responsibility for arranging topographical scan surveys and 3D geometric surveys. From those, representations of the rafts can be built up using Revit. The process delivers a computer-generated 3D model of the structure and the commercial property it supports.

With this information engineers visit the site and highlight any structural defects picked up by the surveys. Examples can include spalling and concrete cracking to steel corrosion and lamination of the main structural supports. The main aim of the surveys was to highlight any structural defects and restore the property raft to its optimum design life.

David said the 3D models will assist both NR and contractors in understanding specific maintenance requirements when tenders are issued. “By creating BIM presentations, future contractors assigned maintenance contracts will have access to a more realistic representation of the site than was possible with traditional 2D drawings.”

One of the biggest challenges is that the surveying had to be done on and around the operational rail, during either possessions or line blocks, with limited time access. Although the timing of access to track was organised by contractor Spence, actually accessing rail infrastructure at relevant points often proved a challenge.

Project Details:

Project Name: Network Rail Property Raft Examinations
Type of Project: Civil & Structural Engineering Detailed Examinations
Client: Spence
Date completed: Ongoing

Services Provided:

  • Civil Engineering

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