24 - 26 November, 2022
BILT ANZ 2022, Gold Coast

Session 3.3

Saturday, 26 November, 2022 | 01:30 PM

Case Study: Modelling the Neville Bonner Bridge from an Architectural perspective

Joshua Stellini, Grimshaw Alan Tier, Grimshaw Architects
Design, Construction
Architecture, Computational Design, Infrastructure, Model Management, Structure
Autodesk, Open Source
Design Technology Manager, Architects/Architectural Designers, BIM Leaders/Managers, Digital Engineers, Draftspersons, Engineers - Civil, Engineers - Road/Rail, Engineers - Structural, Modellers, Team Leaders


Linear infrastructure is notoriously difficult to achieve in Revit . As a BIM manager, what do you do when your firm is tasked with designing a landmark bridge project in the heart of Brisbane? One that needs to be modelled in Revit and support openBIM Standards? This session will focus on how a globally renown architecture firm tackled this very problem on the “ Brisbane Pedestrian Bridge” project; an exemplary case study of linear infrastructure BIM.

Learning Objectives:

1. Gain an insight into the process of a global architecture firm’s approach towards designing and documenting linear infrastructure.
2. Show how intelligent use of adaptive components can result in complex geometry creation using native Revit geometry without the use of dynamo/visual programming.
3. Demonstrate the benefits of being agile during the design process and using the right tool for the right job at the right time. Interoperabilty / OpenBIM standards


Designing linear infrastructure in Revit is traditionally a very difficult undertaking due to the focus of the software being tailored toward traditional building design. Concepts such as levels, grids and categories like walls, doors, roofs, and ceilings make a lot less sense when modelling bridges, roads and rail infrastructure. Architects must also overcome cultural and technical hurdles with these projects, forcing them to familiarise themselves with lesser-known tools in the software to achieve their design intent.
As a BIM manager, it can be a challenge to navigate this, particularly as clients are becoming increasingly BIM literate and requesting information models of their assets, regardless of their topology. How do you reconcile the software limitations with the client’s requirements? This is the challenge that our firm had to deal with for a landmark bridge project in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD.
One that needed to be modelled in Revit and support openBIM Standards. On top of this, the design is a sleek, fluid form that needed to respond to an array of variables and stakeholder requirements, a task also not so straightforward in Revit… (oh, and there’s not a single flat surface either).
Over the years there have been some successful (and less successful) attempts to design, model & document bridges and other linear infrastructure projects in our office using the Revit platform. In this talk, we will highlight the learnings of past projects and explore the “ Brisbane Pedestrian Bridge” project in Brisbane’s South Wharf precinct. This case study is an example of an exemplary infrastructure BIM project and represents the culmination of years of experimentation on bridge & rail design & documentation within our office.
Through intelligent use of adaptive component families, the bridge was modelled entirely with native Revit geometry. The bridge’s structural form is completely parametric, allowing designers (even those with even the most basic understanding of Revit) the ability to update the form to suit project requirements through traditional family parameter control. No dynamo or visual programming necessary.
By attending this presentation, audience members will gain an insight into the design and documentation process of a major global architecture firm. The session will aim to highlight the benefits of being agile during the design process by being software agnostic in the early stages going back and forth between Rhino and Revit environments as necessary. Furthermore, the topic aims to demonstrate the value that the Design Technology department brought to the project from concept design through to documentation and construction phases.



Joshua Stellini

Computational Designer


Alan Tier

Grimshaw Architects
BIM Manager

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