Located in the high-altitude alpine region of Tibet, the PZ Dam is a hydro complex that is part of a water conservancy initiative, focused on irrigating 2,600 hectares downstream and generating power to help improve both urban and rural water supply and the regional water ecological environment. Knowing the importance of subsurface findings, the survey and design team faced challenging terrain, extreme environmental conditions, and a short construction period. Given the fragile ecological environment and extreme cold, traditional survey methods could not accommodate the investigation. They explored digital data acquisition and 3D modeling of geological data but found that many software products lacked integration and the ability to maximize data potential.
They selected Bentley’s open, vendor-neutral ecosystem to produce solutions that would digitalize the production process. Using ContextCapture to process data for geological visibility and ProjectWise for multidiscipline collaboration, new reusability of data for smart engineering evolved. The team digitalized the whole survey process, including field data acquisition and transmission, data storage and analysis, 3D geological modeling, and data simulation and analysis. The solution saved CNY 400,000 in survey costs and over 50% in survey time, improving data accuracy by over 10% and work efficiency by over 15%. Establishing a digital twin enhanced project management by 10% and sets an industry benchmark. By going digital, the team saw their efficiency improve from 40% to 95% compared to traditional survey methods. The digital twin reduced the amount of excavation needed during construction, reduced the impact on the environment, and provided a successful and proven plan for similar high-altitude projects both in China and throughout the world.