Streamlining Seismic Mitigation Work with Ideate BIMLink

Aurecon Success Story - Industry Quote

New Zealand lies in the geologically active, seismic event prone Pacific Ring of Fire. The nation that covers 103,738 sq miles (268,680 km²) has stringent building regulations.

In the wake of the especially devastating and costly earthquake of 2011, buildings throughout New Zealand are being upgraded and strengthened, with the most advanced seismic resistant technologies being employed.

Recently, Aurecon has been engaged in projects that focus on building safety in view of seismic activity. The firm has been using Ideate BIMLink in a number of ways to facilitate completion of these vital projects.


Aurecon LogoAurecon provides engineering, management and specialist technical services for public and private sector clients globally. With an office network extending across 25 countries, Aurecon has been involved in projects in over 80 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas and employs around 7,500 people throughout 11 industry groups. The firm seeks to foster human achievement in all aspects of its work.

Aurecon has a client-centric business model that gives it the agility to deliver the full range of its services globally. The firm creates best teams for its key clients, develops strong client relationships and delivers market leading solutions.

The Challenge: Increased Data Required for Design of More Resilient Structures

Aurecon Reingfeder SpringAn increasing number of Aurecon’s clients are following lessons learned from the Canterbury Earthquakes. They are requesting resilient structures in order to facilitate post-earthquake operations of their businesses.

In response, Aurecon designs buildings that employ the most effective known seismic mitigation technologies such as sliding hinge joints for low damage connections and Ringfeder friction springs that cushion seismic vibrations. These technologies allow a building to move during a seismic event with a minimum amount of damage to the building’s structural and architectural elements.

Image: Ringfeder Spring

Data Grows in Volume and Complexity

Aurecon Sliding Hinge JointClinton Maulder, Associate – Buildings, Aurecon has needed a way to get data from an engineering spreadsheet into the Revit model without having to transfer it over manually. In one project, just one of many elements, sliding hinge joints – nine or 10 different ones – had to be tabulated. Standard detail tables had to be compiled. Engineering loads needed to be input into piling schedules; plate, bolt, and pre-stressing configurations for Ringfeder connections needed to be tabulated.

According to Clinton Maulder, “Manually inputting the amount of data involved presents a significant challenge, because it increases the likelihood of operator error. With manual entry, the engineer has to check against all the original source data. If there was a mistake and it wasn’t picked up in a manual check, there could be costly delays to remedy on site, or the structure might not perform as well as expected. If we eliminate as many opportunities for manual error as we possibly can, we minimize these risks.”

Image: Sliding Hinge Joint

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The Innovative Response

As lead drafter, Clinton Maulder used Ideate BIMLink to push processed piling and other data into the Revit file. Pile tables – specific to soil dynamics and earthquake engineering – were created in Excel.

“We have traditionally used Excel to calculate and manage this type of engineering data, so  being able to push that same Excel data directly into Revit saved time, through eliminating the data entry, and also by reducing errors that can be caused when data is being transcribed.”

The volumes of data were calculated and parameter values standardized in Excel. Then, the verified data was pushed back into the Revit file.

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In addition to using Ideate BIMLink for this seismic work, it has also recently been implemented to coordinate sheet and drafting information across (65) emergency response service departments, with the work being done by Aurecon’s engineers at three different New Zealand locations. In the words of Clinton Maulder, “It worked a treat, with 65 emergency response facilities ready for people to populate and we didn’t have to worry about naming consistency, because Ideate BIMLink had taken care of it.”

According to Clinton, “Being able to effectively deal with source data and eliminate ‘double handling’ saved time and reduced the chance of errors. Ideate BIMLink is structured to leave a lot to the individual’s imagination. It is hard to come up with a finite list of things it can do.”

About Ideate Software

Ideate Software allows Revit users to have unprecedented control over their data and solve persistent problems in Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Owner (AECO) workflows. Ideate Software solutions enable Revit users to save time, increase accuracy, improve project deliverables, and elevate design.