Sittisak Imsombat, Managing Director
What do San Francisco in California, Florence in Italy, Sydney in Australia, Qingdao in China, and São Paulo, Brazil have in common?
They nest some of the most beautifully constructed bridges. These engineering marvels couldn’t have been conceptualized if it wasn’t for the ingenuity of the men and women working behind the scenes. One such firm with a rich history of delivering expert bridge designs to bring to life, bridges, long span bridges, railway bridges, underpasses and tunnels among others is Thai/Norwegian consulting firm NorCiv Engineering (NCE).
Today, enhancements in building information modelling (BIM) is changing the modern construction landscape. The experience of virtually walking through the building and taking a more in-depth look at the structural details even before it is built; is no more a work of fiction in the construction industry.
NCE, which offers multidisciplinary technical services, leverages the power of BIM. The company provides highly economical, aesthetical and functionally efficient BIM services and 3D pictures and animations.
Why do you need NCE?
Development of new computer programs at an accelerated pace is an imminent challenge in the construction tech services space. The real challenge for the construction tech players is understanding the modern programs’ ins and outs to obtain the right output. Staying updated with such new programs and technology rollouts on the market, NCE trains and helps its staff to get accustomed to emerging technology and its applications, and gain clear understanding of the structures’ behaviour. “In collaboration with the Norwegian part owners, we’ve designed and supervised many of the largest bridges in Thailand from day one,” says Sittisak Imsombat, Managing Director of NCE.
Over the years, NCE has been acknowledged as an industry-leading bridge designer in Thailand with several renowned bridges situated in other countries.
Specializing in providing designs for bridges, including long span and railway bridges, NCE provides structural designs of buildings, underpasses, tunnels and marine facilities along with BIM Tekla/Revit design services.
NCE has provided BIM (Tekla) service for several projects in Norway, including bridges on the RV3/RV25 road project, an extension of Gardermoen Airport and Flesland Airport, and New Stavanger University Hospital. Also, the company has offered services like concrete outlining, reinforcement and steel structure. NCE has ventured and applied Tekla model sharing via the internet, which proved successful for the airport projects.
Further, NCE has implemented 3D BIM (Revit) for station and depot buildings in an MRT line project in Bangkok.
While designing the structures, NCE ensures that its shape is harmonized to suit the local environment and culture. For instance, the company ensures that the designs are a blend of Thai experience and culture when working on Thailand-based projects. “It is our policy to provide aesthetical design within each project’s functional and economical possibilities,” states Imsombat.
NCE offers exemplar BIM and 3D modelling services by following a holistic approach; its local engineers and CAD operators comply with the Norwegian standards at a considerably lower cost. The Tekla model sharing system allows users to work on the same project simultaneously in different countries. Besides, the company has provided 3D renderings of several bridge projects in Thailand and 3D animation to visualize an underwater parking house in Oslo.
NCE’s expertise in bridge designs is considered more functional and economical than other designers in the market. What steers NCE ahead of the competition is collaborating with construction companies to optimize construction cost and time and meet tight deadlines.
“Our innovative approach to design has helped many clients to overcome building design roadblocks”. One such instance is when several MRT lines along existing roads in Bangkok required limited heavy road traffic disturbance. On being consulted, NCE solved the problem with the application of multiple precast elements. The company also provided a new central railway station, Bang Sue Grand Station, Bangkok, connecting elevated tracks. Almost the whole of the main structures applied precast segments.
Evolving with the Times
During the last two decades, the field of construction technology in Thailand has increased drastically, with many mega infrastructure projects, including expressways, interchanges, mass-transit railways, bridges, and underpasses. Many of these projects have inevitably encountered problems from live traffic activity in their vicinity, requiring improved construction techniques.
Furthermore, new methods have also been developed to increase contractors’ competitiveness and optimize their resources.
Contractors have requested NCE to prepare new solutions for construction methods to meet their requirements. NCE has innovated several precast construction methods for massive infrastructure units, where the common construction method slowed down the work and risked causing an accident. Examples include station crossbeams, portal frames, and underpass top slab, among others. “Our techniques have proved to ease the activity and utilized resources more efficiently,” notes Imsombat.
In 2009, NCE launched a concept of compact pile caps for railway viaducts using barrette piles. The idea has later widely been used to avoid pile caps extending into road pavements underneath the viaducts, avoiding uneven road settlement.
Once a Pioneer, always a Pioneer
The company looks to stay relevant to all new and emerging technologies in the construction space. With most of its engineers educated in highly reputed universities, NCE ensures they are updated with the market and technological trends using appropriate in-house and external training. “We’ve designed bridges in the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Dubai, Kuwait and Uganda—most of these projects came to us upon the recommendation of foreign companies, who participated in the construction of bridges we designed in Thailand,” says Imsombat.
“We’ve designed and supervised many of the largest bridges in Thailand from day one”
NCE continues to trudge strong into the future. The company which has today established itself as a pioneer in the design of large bridges in the ASEAN region has designed several long-span balanced cantilever bridges over Chao Phraya River, with spans up to 229 m, while during the last decade has carried out design and construction supervision for other long-span bridges, as extradosed and cable-stayed bridges in Thailand and abroad.
With multiple reports stating that the construction industry (private sector) in Thailand being affected significantly by COVID-19, construction of new buildings and factories have slowed down or even stopped. In the Government sector, however, the effect is less because the Government tries to invest in construction to keep the economy going. However being listed in all Thai Government construction agencies, NCE continues to be invited to compete to provide tender documents for all major new projects. As long as NCE continues to offer international standards designs, applying state of the art technology, the firm will continue to be the leader of the pack and a tough nut to crack.