BIM drives design and logistics at Belfast Grand Central Station

The use of BIM is key for this project. Apart from creating 3D and 4D models, BIM is also applied to logistics, analyzing safety and health aspects and facility management.

The FSJV joint venture is responsible for the main works of the Belfast Grand Central Station in Northern Ireland, which started in back in January 2022, and are planned to will last four years.

Belfast Grand Central Station will be a multimodal transport hub with 26 bus stands and 8 railway platforms, plus enhanced cycling connectivity for a more sustainable mobility and will facilitate economic growth and urban regeneration.

Project plans include sustainable design and construction, promoting efficient mobility, respect for the environment and energy saving measures.

BIM applications are critical to this project.

“Models generated with this tool will help manage the station and all its facilities”, explains Patricia Bonilla, Sacyr Engineering and Infrastructure’s BIM Manager for this project.



“Besides 3D models for project coordination, the client has asked for 4D models to show to stakeholders: how project logistics work, how to analyze potential health and safety hazards. On the other hand, we are working on how to promote models to use in facility management for the client to use, by providing them the final models to execute in CAMF”, Bonilla said.

Four design companies are involved in this project, with Farrans-Sacyr JV being the main contractor.

They work with BIM at different project stages. Firstly, at the most basic level, analyzes conflicting construction elements. At a more advanced stage, the use 4D simulation to control construction risks, etc. Lastly, at an even more advanced stage, they apply BIM to facility management.

One of the most noteworthy aspects is that the final client can generate VR simulations from these models to get even deeper project insights.

The project scheme generated from this project through BIM is unique compared to other Sacyr projects, which is also using BIM at Velindre Cancer Center and Trams to Newhaven, but in a broader scope.



 “BIM was created in the UK, so this marked interest is natural. Our client has even purchased a Twinmotion license and VR set when they saw a 2-minute video we produced using BIM from a drone flight. It’s a new way to get new clients to apply to open their businesses in the available slots”, says Patricia.

Our company transforms BIM models into interactive videogames using Twinmotion and Unreal Engine. Sacyr has used these programs too in the Ulster University (Belfast, Ireland) and Puerto Langosteira (A Coruña, Spain) projects.

Guillermo Hortigüela, civil engineer at Sacyr’s BIM department, is responsible for developing these “videogames”. “This is an interactive model that simulates somewhat akin to a videogame. You can walk around it and see. It’s a digital representation of the project that you can also interact with using a VR set”, says Hortigüela.

JV Farrans Sacyr is delivering Belfast Transport Hub for Translink, Northern Ireland’s public transport operator. Belfast Grand Central Station will replace the current Europa bus center and Great Victoria Street station on an 8-hectare site in Weavers Cross, a new neighborhood in the city center that will bring economic growth and urban regeneration.

The project will bring numerous social, environmental, and economic advantages, with the creation of 500 new jobs.

  • BIM

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