Tunnel design

Tunnel design

To design a tunnel, designers of several disciplines need to coordinate their work. This post describes a scientific case study of how to support design coordination to produce an integrated design.



How to connect the different design disciplines involved in tunnel design?


Efficiency of designing.

Performance criteria

Rework effort percentage (as part of project effort).

First time right percentage (%FTR).



The rework effort percentage is too high.

The first time right percentage is too low.

Root causes

Due to the system of designers from different disciplines working separately on partial designs, some errors are noticed and corrected only when these partial designs are combined.

Impact analysis

Knowledge of the system of designers from different disciplines working on an integral design is essential and scarce, but not unique. It can be partly taught and partly acquired by learning.

Advice for integrated tunnel design


How to coordinate the work of designers from different disciplines?


Connect design from different disciplines by having designers work together in a shared design space.


Elicit the design meta-model, which describes all tunnel element types and relations.

Create a digital design repository, structured according to the meta-model, through which designers can create, view, and modify integrated partial designs.

Train designers to work with the new system.