Sharing BIM lessons in £30 million build

Estates staff at the University of Hull are set to share the lessons learned using new building guidelines as its £30 million student accommodation complex continues to progress.

Work on the university’s new complex at its Cottingham Road campus is approaching the half way mark and will see six new accommodation blocks, housing 560 students, open in 2016.

A new protocol for Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been followed from the outset of the project, which saw developers Sewell Construction start on site in June.

BIM already sees collaboration and information shared between engineers, clients, architects and contractors in a 3D format and is widely used within the construction industry, however, the Government will mandate BIM Level 2 for all centrally-procured government contracts from April 2016.

Using these new guidelines on the university site means designs and briefs for the project have been more thorough than ever before, providing further cost and quality assurance for the university.

It also includes looking at the whole life of the building and ensuring facilities management plans are in place from the start, reducing variance in design.

Now, estates staff from the University of Hull along with project partners from Sewell Construction, ARUP, SES, GSS Architecture and Planon will share their findings of a pragmatic approach to BIM Level 2 to date with University estates teams from across the Yorkshire region, in a bespoke event at the Hull campus on Tuesday.

Chris Paget, Director of Estates at the University of Hull, said: “To get the best results from using BIM Level two has been a big learning curve for everyone involved but a vital plan to ensure every base is covered and the longevity of the buildings are considered from the outset.

“In 10 years’ time, it will more than likely be standard practice in the industry, but getting to that point is not easy. A clear approach from the outset and engagement from all parties is critical.”

“BIM Level 2 plays a big part in making sure changes do not necessarily have to be made to the design at late stages and decisions are made earlier, having a positive effect on overall cost and planning and provide useful maintenance data for the University.

“We feel sharing these lessons is really useful for our partners and universities across the region.”

The student residences will include eight bedroom flats alongside smaller four bedroom flats, studio and wheelchair accessible flats, plus communal and learning space.

BIM covers the whole build, from initial design through to construction, maintaining and de-commissioning.

Design and construction teams can communicate about design and coordinate information across different levels, with the details remaining with the project throughout its lifetime.

Sewell Design Manager Ian Yeo said Tuesday’s presentation is a great opportunity for the University of Hull to show how they are managing their estate, and for us to share the beneficial uses of BIM Level 2.

He said: “BIM has always been high on our agenda, as it fits in with our business model, with a single team approach from the outset and facilities management always at the forefront of our minds.

“We’ve previously applied BIM Level 2 on a new development that we own and operate, but, with the size, scale and complexity of the student residences it has been a whole new level of learning and development and we’re keen to share these lessons with industry partners.”

During Tuesday’s workshop, live Twitter updates showing slides from the presentation and sound bites will be made available and the complete presentation will be shared online afterwards.

To find out more about the presentation, follow @Sewell_Group and @UniOfHull on Twitter or search the hashtag #BIMdelivery.