Balfour Beatty Engineering Services is using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to aid in the delivery of a new sports technical college in Stoke-on-Trent, set for completion by January 2014.
Designed by architects Aedas and constructed by Balfour Beatty under a design and build contract with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the new teaching and classroom block at Holden Lane High School Specialist Sports College will feature curriculum-based hubs for teaching and training.
Instrumental to the design process is Balfour Beatty’s adoption of BIM. At Holden Lane High School, Balfour Beatty has created a fully collaborated 3D model of the M&E systems enabling all construction partners to fully comprehend and visualise the complexity in construction sequencing and methodology.
“BIM is a great way to pre-empt the issues you might encounter in a building project, even before you lay a single foundation. It allows us to digitally model the different elements of a building in real time” said Mike Cooke, regional director at BBES. “The benefits are being able to build in a virtual environment and sharing all information between partners so that potential building integration issues and on-site clashes are eliminated.”
The adoption of BIM for the construction of the school means that Balfour Beatty can build a theoretical model which can predict how the building will perform. This in turn eases integration of building services and the elimination of any issues between trades. The approach will also offer greater safety on site through improved planning and elimination of re-work, the firm says.
Architect Aedas has embedded into its team approach. “With BIM, we are able to collaborate with structural and M&E engineers to produce a ‘virtual building’ which helps us manage risk and environmental performance, “ said Imran Kassim, associate director Aedas Architects. “Projects such as Holden Lane High School have a higher degree of coordination through the use of BIM software, resulting in significant savings in cost, materials and waste.”
Balfour Beatty is using BIM processes on all major new projects to strengthen communication and team transparency, in line with the Government’s Construction Strategy and the industry mandate that will require fully collaborative BIM level 2, as a minimum, by 2016.