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Cabin Creek Water Treatment Plant

BIM Used for Design and Construction Management of Pennsylvania’s Cabin Creek Water Treatment Plant.
  • AutoDesk Revit BIM model of 4 million-gallon-per-day Cabin Creek Water Treatment Plant-Gannett Fleming

    Shown here, an AutoDesk Revit BIM model of the 4 mgd Cabin Creek Water Treatment Plant.

Red Lion Municipal Authority

York, Pennsylvania

Our Role
Building Information Modeling, Design, Construction Management.

4 mgd water treatment plant, expandable to 6 mgd
Construction Cost
$13 million
New Construction
6 years
  • BIM blended data and intelligent design tools into a 3-D model that improved efficiency
  • First-in-U.S. water treatment plant BIM design
  • Water regulatory compliance and engineering approach that saved nearly $1 million.

Red Lion Municipal Authority’s water treatment plant was one of the first in the U.S. designed using building information modeling (BIM). Gannett Fleming, the authority’s engineering consultant for this project, used BIM as a collaborative tool during plant design and construction from 2011 through 2015. Thanks to AutoDesk’s Revit BIM, project stakeholders could see the facility constructed through a 3-D computer model before shovels hit the dirt. 

The client chose to construct a new plant with a capacity of 4 mgd, expandable to 6 mgd, to deliver optimal water quality to its customers and comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. While designing a plant to meet regulations is routine for drinking water engineers, Gannett Fleming’s use of BIM provided a powerful method of design communication to support Red Lion’s goal of reliably providing high-quality drinking water.

What We Did

Focused on providing customers with a safe and reliable drinking water supply, Gannett Fleming’s treatment plant engineering improvements coupled with BIM innovation maintained the top-notch service that Red Lion customers expect. After evaluating Gannett Fleming alternatives and comparing costs, Red Lion constructed the new plant a short distance from the old one, now reused to treat wastewater and residuals from the new plant prior to the discharge of treated water to Cabin Creek. This approach coupled with BIM implementation saved Red Lion time and money. BIM resulted in fewer change orders that kept Red Lion water customer rates low. 

By using BIM throughout the Cabin Creek project design and construction management phases, Gannett Fleming was able to maximize Red Lion’s treatment plant performance and operations. BIM also provides a great visual tool for Red Lion to share information about its water treatment process with the public. With Cabin Creek, BIM provided a clear picture of all rooms and process equipment within the water treatment plant building. This enabled all design disciplines to work on the same model, eliminating coordination problems during construction.

Key Features

  • Cabin Creek BIM project YouTube video provides public tour of water treatment plant
  • Capability of linking to databases for maintenance schedules and troubleshooting
  • Construction and constructability
  • Operations and maintenance manual preparation
  • Owner and stakeholder understanding
  • Potential for integration with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
  • Smart engineering enabled by BIM collaboration via 3-D model
  • Uncompromised water quality for Red Lion Municipal customers.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Reuse of existing water treatment plant to treat wastewater and residuals.

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