Malaysia’s Mass Rapid Transit system comes together in the cloud
- Malaysia’s urban transportation woes are being alleviated by the country’s MRT rail network, thanks to its cloud-ready approach
Like many other urban cities in Southeast Asia, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is currently undergoing a major population spurt, and it is placing a significant strain on the nation’s transportation infrastructure, including the newest Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in Malaysia.
With the population of Kuala Lumpur proper expected to hit 2.2 million people by the end of 2020, and the wider Klang Valley metropolitan area adding another 6 million residents from the outskirts surrounding the capital, the district’s transit authority Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp) decided to extend its overhead, underground, and street-level rail lines to cover a larger area of Malaysia’s sprawling urban center.
Continuing the work from the first phase of the ambitious MRT project in Malaysia, the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) rail line, MRT Corp kicked off its next phase beginning 2017 with the brand new, 52 kilometer Sungai Buloh–Serdang–Putrajaya (SSP) rail line – one of the largest public transportation projects ever in Asia.
“One of the key challenges faced with any mega civil construction project like ours is ensuring seamless information exchange and real-time collaboration, regardless of the platforms they are using,” commented Poh Seng Tiok, Director of Planning and Design for the MRT Corp. “The probability for error is high if information isn’t managed in a common data environment, especially in a highly collaborative project like ours.”
The MRT Corp first implemented building information modeling (BIM) to allow for increased cohesion between design, construction, and accuracy of building information which could be vital to maintaining precision on a grand-scale construction project that involves a lot of interconnected components.
The contractors, designers, ad builders used a variety of modeling tools to build digital environments and to do construction planning, and a lot of communication is digitized nowadays as well. To create a common data environment, MRT Corp turned to enterprise cloud giant Microsoft and Bentley Systems, a leading software solutions provider for engineers, architects, and builders.
The partners are able to better leverage cloud-hosted services, making use of Bentley’s information management and collaboration platform ProjectWise, along with AssetWise, a software for managing accurate information funnels, ensuring accurate delivery and proper change management protocols.
All of the Bentley software is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure, enabling upwards of 1,500 users to work together on around 7,500 digital models and more than 280,000 documents and drawings, equivalent to 2.3 terabytes of project data.
“The Azure-hosted Bentley Systems platform enabled MRT Corp to increase precision of construction, reduce instances of design rework and to improve safety standards by enabling seamless synchronization and information exchange between external vendors. It has enabled all project disciplines to work dynamically using a federated model for coordinated design, despite the participation of numerous external vendors and decentralized information on this complex project,” read a joint statement from Malaysia government-owned MRT Corp, Microsoft and Bentley Systems.
MRT Corp director of planning and design Poh Seng Tiok said in the statement: “One of the key challenges faced with any mega civil construction project like ours is ensuring seamless information exchange, and real-time collaboration among stakeholders, regardless of the platforms they are using.”
“The probability for error is high if information is not managed on a common data environment, especially in a highly collaborative project like ours. These types of errors could lead to construction delays and increased costs, due to change orders and rework to rectify issues,” Poh said.