Civil Design Case Study: Ganjiang Second Bridge

The following article is excerpted from Civil Design Innovation, a whitepaper developed by Dassault Systèmes and SMEDI. To read more, download the full whitepaper here

SMEDI is particularly strong in designing bridges, having designed almost all the major bridges in Shanghai. Of course, SMEDI’s work goes way beyond the city of Shanghai. One notable example is the Ganjiang Second Bridge in Jiangxi Province, which has a “fish-like” design that fits very well within the surrounding landscape.

The complex structure of the bridge comprises of a steel upper part, a concrete lower structure and in the middle, a mixed concrete and steel section.

Ganjiang Bridge SMEDI Dassault 1

BIM enabled a clear division of work for the different engineers and their respective components: 

  • The design work for the bridge was led by SMEDI, with engineers from different disciplines collaborating.
  • The project manager was a senior civil design engineer.
  • A dedicated engineer designed the skeleton, determining the framework of the entire bridge.
  • A specialist engineer focused on the steel structure.
  • A designer concentrated on creating a library of components for the various distinct features in the bridge.

SMEDI’s collaborative design process meant that they clearly defined and divided the work involved, coordinated the roles and tasks and seamlessly managed the entire project.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “How #SMEDI coordinated
roles & tasks on Ganjiang Bridge”

In the conceptual design stage, the software allows designers to quickly create complex curves as skeleton lines and even supports using digital sketch tablets.

Ganjiang Bridge SMEDI Dassault 2

With the skeleton lines created, the component library is crucial to the success of the project. The components (like piers, beams, columns, etc.) are intelligent, rule-based parametric objects and well-categorized in the library.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “Component library was
key to success of Ganjiang bridge”

The designers can select desired components from the library and put them on the skeleton lines. Then, the components adjust their sizes automatically to fit the skeleton lines and generate the BIM model in a well-coordinated manner.

If designers change skeleton lines, it drives all components to update along with it, thus greatly saving modification time.

The SMEDI solutions can be animated to better showcase the proposed design concept, making them more functional than the static 3D visualization drawings which were produced previously.

Ganjiang Bridge SMEDI Dassault 3

During the construction drawing stage, the software can check for conflicting production directions, as well as design errors.

Users input measurements into the software to conduct analysis and optimize the build. These additional safety checks are of paramount importance for bridge design and construction. 

Indeed this software helped make it much easier for SMEDI to make changes to the design, which can be very frequent and even at the last minute.

In the past, making design changes could sometimes take even longer than the original design stage itself.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “[Case Study] How SMEDI used
#BIM on the Ganjiang Second Bridge”

Download the whitepaper to keep reading.

Civil Infrastructure Whitepaper by 3DSExcerpted from Civil Design Innovation, a Dassault Systèmes Whitepaper

Download the full whitepaper here: Civil Design Innovation | Innovative Industrialization Methodologies Achieve Breakthroughs in Civil Design

This whitepaper provides a broad overview of the latest innovations and breakthroughs in civil design and construction, as well as the challenges faced and the solutions devised to achieve higher quality and improved efficiency.

Written jointly by Dassault Systèmes and the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (SMEDI).

Related Resources

Civil Design, an Industry Process Experience from Dassault Systèmes

Civil Design for Fabrication, an Industry Solution Experience from Dassault Systèmes



As head of global marketing for the AEC Industry at Dassault Systèmes, Mr. Moriwaki launches and promotes groundbreaking Industry Solution Experiences including "Optimized Construction," "Façade Design for Fabrication," and "Civil Design for Fabrication." He is a member of buildingSMART.