Fornebubanen in numbers

  • What: 6 train stations connecting Majorstuen and Fornebu
  • Cost: 1.8 billion Euros
  • Capacity: Increased from 3 000 to 6 400 passengers per hour
  • Distance: 8.2 km
  • The distance will be in tunnels under ground
  • Construction start: 2019

2025 is when the new metro-line Fornebubanen with six train stations is scheduled for completion. The line will be the biggest investment in public transportation Oslo has done since establishing the metro in the first place.

Multiconsult and Cowi has made a joint Venture-deal to perform the engineering of the project. While A-lab architects together with Zaha Hadid Architects in London are designers of the stations. Design and engineering has begun this year.

Why is VR introduced for coordinate and communciate on this particular project?

Hear what Angie Mendez has to say about the benefits of VR on the Fornebubanen Metro Rail project
“The biggest BIM-coordination project I have experienced in my whole career” – Angie Mendez from A-Lab architects

Prestigious project, filled with challenges

“This is the biggest BIM-coordination project I have experienced in my whole career” Angie Mendez from A-lab says when describing the Fornebu Metro rail project. The project involves a wide range of disciplines that needs to communicate effectively during design, engineering and construction throughout the project to make it all happen. 

The project is big, and big means large volumes of data. Several 3D-models working together, loaded with information from many different sources. These models are produced and coordinated by engineers and sub-contractors and needs to interact in complex ways to make Zaha’s increadible shapes come to life.

Coordination and detecting issues

The project is currently in the design and engineering stage where hundreds of reports of potential challenges and issues that needs to be discussed are coming in. These are gathered and stored in BIM-management tools, and works as the collaboration plattform throughout the project for the engineers, sub-contractors and project owners. It is important for the project group to get a handle on these as early as possible, and to make sure that none of the issues ends up out on the construction site, because that would mean timeconsuming and expensive delays in error correction.

Complicating things further; Zaha Hadid architects are located in London, which makes it difficult to hold traditional big-room meetings. This would normally mean timeconsuming travelling between the offices, and long meetings. The environmental aspects are important for the Fornebubane project, with their high ambitions for keeping the carbon footprint as low as possible.

In short; this is a prestigious project full of challenges for the companies working on it! 

This is where Vrex comes in

By introducing Vrex to this complex project, the team is able to meet in a virtual room for collaboration, no matter where they are located. There are three major activities being done using virtual reality.

  • They do visual inspections, to make sure that all problems and mistakes are discovered, including those not found using traditional clash-tests.
  • They discuss solutions to issues being discovered by the team.
  • They perform virtual big-room meetings to reduce traveling, and to make sure everyone understands the issues being discussed clearly.

The reasoning behind these activities is that; 75% of VR users states that they understand problems more clearly using VR than traditional screens and 2D plans. And that 3 out of 5 meetings can be done in VR without losing vital aspects of traditional meetings.

Visual inspections to reduce mistakes

Inside Vrex the team is able to do visual inspections whenever they need to. Engineers and sub-contractors detects mistakes done by others outside their fields of expertice in VR, because they understand eachother’s work much better in VR. This is valuable because you get ten times as many people performing visual inspections on each other’s work, which results in more mistakes being discovered earlier in the process than before. The result is a better project delivery.

The team can also discuss issues without needing to wait until the next big-room meeting or ICE session. VR enables easy and accuracte communication of design intent and engineering information, using the BIM-models.

By using VR with a direct connection to BIM-hotel and issue management system the team eliminates the need for confusing phonecalls and e-mails.

In short; Mistakes are found earlier, and discussions and clarifications can be done imidiately without delay. Conclusion and comments made inside VR is automatically sent back to the project management system using BCF through the Vrex integrations.

For us, in this kind of complex project, the most important thing is the ability to retain this extremely valuable information that has been built up”


Working in this way benefits A-lab, Cowi, Multiconsult and Zaha in all three parts of the tripple-bottom-line.

Environmental factors: Cuts the carbon footprint through less traveling, and shorter project times due to fewer mistakes.

Social factors: Less wear and tear on the people involved in the project by having less project-commuting, and more effective communication. This means fewer headaces and better workflow.

Economic factors: Lowered cost by reducing costly mistakes, shortening the time spent in design and engineering, and eliminates wasted time on traveling and long ineffective meetings. 

Vrex is the only solution on the market able to handle such a big amount of data using VR, with full automation of moving IFC and BCF in and out of VR. This is critical for working fast and effectively.

How Vrex is used to discuss BCFs and reply to the issue with a suggested solution directly from VR

Talk to us about using Vrex in your projects by filling the form

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