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BIM Hub helps local businesse adopt digital technology

The region’s Building Information Modelling hub has continued to help local businesses adopt digital technology with a one-day competition.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an innovative way of using 3D digital models to design, construct and manage a building more efficiently.

The Regional BIM Hub is a government backed support network which allows both experts and novices to share knowledge in using this new approach which is spreading across the industry worldwide.

On April 10, teams competed in a one day challenge to design and digitally construct a new community centre in Shieldfield, Newcastle in just eight hours.

Using BIM, fully integrated models can be produced which contain all relevant information to create a ‘virtual building’ where performance, cost and buildability can be accurately assessed.

John Nielsen, Chair of the regional BIM Hub said “We had nearly 30 firms taking part, with probably about 20 real BIM novices so the whole event was a big success.”

The top award went to a the team led by Summers Inman, with other awards going to teams led by Cundall and BIM Academy, a collaboration between Northumbria University and Ryder Architecture.

A team from Darlington-based, Nivens Architecture, won the prize for best interoperability and collaboration.

Led by Niven’s BIM manager Johnathan Munkley, the team brought together building professionals from companies including Billinghurst George & Partners, Thornton & Firkin, Turner & Townsend, JH Partners, Shepherd Construction and Teesside University’s interior architecture course.

The team produced a variety of documents and presentations including project visuals and flythroughs, interior design concepts, budget and lifecycle costings, environmental analysis, structural design, mechanical and electrical design and a data drop from the BIM model created.

Siobhan McMahon, Architectural Director at Niven Architects, said: “This was a great opportunity to engage with SMEs to show that BIM is, and can be, a powerful tool to encourage collaboration within a project team.

“As an event to educate and promote BIM to novice users, I think colleagues from all sides of the construction industry gained a better understanding in the use of BIM and everyone worked very well as a team.”

The UK government has mandated BIM on all projects from 2016.

Peter Barker, BIM Academy managing director, said “It is fantastic to be able to help local businesses in the region learn more about BIM, which has enormous potential to improve how we work in the property sector.

“The competition has given local companies the opportunity to get a hands on appreciation of the benefits BIM can bring and how it can encourage smarter working at a time when the industry is still largely in recovery.”

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