pLant visuaLiZation and simuLation
Projects that demonstrate innovative use of visualization technology to help
sell project or design to a varied number of stakeholders as well as integration
with other systems — such as construction simulation and design systems.
Bolton Wastewater Treatment Works atkins Water WINNER
The Bolton Wastewater Treatment Works project is
a $78.5 million improvement scheme that includes
significant refurbishment work on the existing plant.
Construction work consists of t wo new conventional
hopper-bottomed primary settlement tanks, a new
ferric dosing plant, a new sludge treatment facility,
and four new flat-bottomed secondary settlement
tanks, which, at 46 meters in diameter, are the
largest ever to be constructed for United Utilities.
MicroStation has allowed modelers to bring 3D
visualization to life by incorporating animation. The
3D visualization is a major aid in hAzOP and ALM
reviews, providing reviewers and stakeholders with
realistic flythroughs and still images to enhance
their conceptions of the plant as existing, through
the construction process, and on to completion.
This is particularly important when construction of
the new facilities is widespread on the operational
site rather than just in one isolated area.
Visualization helped Atkins optimize placement of
access stairways and platforms needed to operate
process decant valves on the new sludge storage
tanks. Atkins prepared presentations that illustrated
construction sequencing to show the client the
impact on plant operation. Most work on the
project had to be carried out without disrupting
operations of the wastewater treatment plant.
Animations were used to demonstrate to construction supervisors and safety representatives that
certain lifting techniques could be employed close
to existing structures. The four new settlement tanks
were to be built on an adjacent greenfield site and
so were subject to planning approval. The 3D
images of the proposed settlement tanks helped
gain planning approval on the first attempt.
Atkins has also used its 3D modeling experience to
build a database of best-practice designs that meet
the U.K.’s AMP4 requirements for water treatment
plants. It uses one of these as the base design, then
tailors it to fit a specific site — thus accelerating the