The Standard Tunnel

In the spring of 2018, the standard tunnel project was established,  focusing on development, preparation and standardizing of methods and technologies utilized in road tunnels safety and everyday use.  


Standard Tunnel: Through the Standard project, VIA utilize best practice, new knowledge and new technology to meet the future with improved safety, operation and maintenance of tunnels both nationally and internationally. (Photo: Istock)

The Standard Tunnel is a initiative aiming to improve standards for planning, building and operating tunnels, but also to improve standards for structural elements and installations including infrastructure, ventilation, lighting, signs, safety equipment, control, monitoring and future Intelligent Transportation Systems.

The Building Information Model (BIM) standard, and BIM object libraries are important prerequisite of the work, which includes the necessary steps to adapt each standard to BIM.  

What`s BIM?

Building Information Modeling is a digital representation of functional and physical characteristics of a facility or installation. It lays the ground for shared knowledge, resources and information about a facility, thus forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle existing from earliest conception to demolition.

A basic premise of BIM is a collaboration between different stakeholders at different phases of the life cycle of a facility to insert, extract, update or modify information of the BIM to support and reflect the roles of a stakeholder.

Source: National BIM Standard US

VIA cluster will organize several resource groups with participants from all across the industry, including participants from the authorities and other national and international stakeholders and organisations.


The resource groups will seek best practice, develop the standards, perform Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) assessments and Health, Environment and Safety (HES) assessments of the standards. Further on the standards will be subject of consultation, revisions and finally approved and implemented at authorities, organisations and in regulations. 

Why standardisation?

The standardisation project includes developing an innovative and sustainable network for improvement and development of standards, and through this work contribute to improving tunnel safety and operations nationally and internationally. 

Tunnel construction and installations have often major weaknesses that affect reliability, availability, maintainability and safety of tunnels. Tunnels with latent weaknesses largely affect costs, lifespan of construction and installations, and in many cases give high socio-economic costs in terms of more frequent shutdowns and less available road network. In addition, weaknesses could significantly affect safety.


Essential in this regard is to apply new research, best practices, new technologies and new experiences. Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster will facilitate research, development and improve how we build and operate tunnels, and most important of all share results in innovative ways.


Standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on a collaboration between organisations and companies including road/rail authorities, consultants, contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, but also users and other national and international stakeholders are an important part of the collaboration. In general, standardisation lead to better compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability and quality. Standardisation facilitate innovation because it provides structured methods that makes it easier to disseminate ideas and knowledge about leading technologies and best practices

Arild P. Søvik, Project Manager, Standard Tunnel


Tunnel Safety: By establishing an innovative network for the development and improvement of standards, VIA will work towards our main objective of improving tunnel safety nationally and internationally. Photo: Arild P. Søvik

This is how we work

1. Seeking "best practice"
Aiming for the best practice, new knowledge and research, and the latest technology globally.
4. Consultation and adjustments
Process of consultation and adjustments that include national and international stakeholders from the government and the industry.
2. Develop standard
Designing an initial specification of the standard for assessment and further consultation with industry.
5. Complete standard: 3D og BIM
Completing the standard, with necessary adjustments according to 3D og BIM, arrange for approval and presentation in the Norwegian Tunnel Center and the Virtual Reality Tunnel.
3. Analyzing of standard
Performing analyzes of reliability, availability, maintenance and safety (RAMS), life cycle costs and risk, as well as HSE assessments.
6. Approval and implementation
Approval and implementation by the government, organizations and other actors in the industry.
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