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How BIM Can Improve Sustainability Within the Construction Industry

An investigation into how BIM can improve Sustainability within the Construction Industry 1.0 Contents PLAGIARISM DECLARATION ABBREVATIONS 2.0 ABSTRACT 2.1 AIMS AND OBJECTIIVES 2.1.0 Main Aim 2.1.1 Objectives 2.2 INTRODUCTION 2.2.0 What is Sustainability? 2.2.1 Where the concept of Sustainability came from? 2.2.2 Climate Change Energy consumption 2.2.3  Construction Industry and Energy Consumption 3.0 WHAT IS BIM 3.1 Background of BIM 3.1.0 Where did the idea come from? 3.2 BIM Explained 3.2.1 Stages of BIM 3.2.2 BIM Level 2 Documentation and Standards 3.2.3 What does BIM involve? 3.3 SUSTAINABLE BIM 3.3.1 Methods that encourage BIM to be sustainable: 3.3.2 Software Systems OUTCOMES FROM BIM FOR SUSTAINABILITY 4.0 DATA COLLECTION & CASE STUDIES 4.1 St Helens & Knowsley Hospitals 4.3 CASE STUDY2 4.4  Q&A With FM systems 5.0 CONCLUSIONS 6.0 BIBILOGRAPHY Bibliography 6.1 REFERENCES 6.2 FIGURES 6.3 APPENDIX 


BIM Building Information Modelling
GCS Governments Construction Strategy
BRE Building Research Establishment
NEPA National Environment Policy Act
IFC Industry Foundation Class
CoBie Construction Operation Building Information Exchange
GSL Government Soft Landings
BS British Standards
PAS Publically Available Specification
GIS Geographical Information Systems
CDE Common Data Environment
FM Facilities Management



2.1.0 Main Aim: The main aim of this dissertation is to investigate how Building Information Modelling (BIM) can influence sustainability within the construction industry. 2.1.1 Objectives:

  • To discuss and review the contribution of energy consumption from the construction industry.
  • Discuss BIM
  • The benefits of BIM in relation to Sustainability
  • Analyse the  methods and software tools that can contribute to influencing Sustainability
  • Discuss and investigate case studies relating to the construction industries use of BIM and what were their sustainable outcomes


2.2.0 What is Sustainability?

  ‘Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Development, 1987) 

2.2.1 Where the concept of Sustainability came from?

Sustainability came from the concept of sustainable development which started to become common talk in Rio at the World’s First Earth Summit in 1992. However the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) came up with the concept in 1969 that they wanted to produce and uphold conditions in which people and nature can co-exist together in a sustainable way in the present and in the future. In 1971, the concept of sustainability was also recognised during a United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. It was within this conference that concerns were raised at a global scale that problems within the environment had consequences on the Earth, which then lead to the idea of sustainable development to protect the environment and its need to save and maintain life within it.

2.2.2 Climate Change

Energy consumption is the amount of energy in which is consumed by a system, process, organization or society. Tackling climate change has become more and more pronounced as emissions continue. Air emissions, waste and use of land, energy and water are all environmental impacts in which the construction industry is accountable for. All of these can have devastating effects on our planet and create global warming in which results in sea level rises, floods, temperature rises and an increase in C02 emissions. 85% of the UKs emissions in 2011 resulted from production and consumption of energy. There are numerous opportunities to save energy from material selection and buildings operations, these have impact on a buildings energy consumption even before construction commences therefore initial design decisions can improve ways of reducing energy within a building through improved insulation, use of heating controls and lights and more efficient boilers, all of these will help reduce energy consumption in a building and can lower costs and save money. The Climate Change Act 2008   “It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline.”(CCA, 2008) The UK Government has set targets in order to reduce carbon levels in the UK. In figure 1 below it shows a five-year carbon budget level. Figure 1.0 (CCC, 2008-2030)  To meet these targets the government has restricted the amount of greenhouse gas emissions the UK can legally consume within the five years. “The construction and maintenance of buildings and other structures is responsible for around half of UK carbon dioxide emissions.”(Excellence, 2008)   This was one of the first Acts which was legally binding that involved and was set out to tackle climate change.

2.2.3  Construction Industry and Energy Consumption

The construction industry in the UK is one of the most competitive sectors; there are outstanding expertise in engineering, Architecture and Design. UK companies are leading this industry into more sustainable construction solutions. The construction industry has great opportunities for growth and with the global construction market things are set to grow by over 70% by the year 2025. Within the UK economy the construction industry plays a major part within it. The Construction output in 1997 was £108 Million and has grown to £137 Million in 2016. In 2014 the construction Industry comprised of 2.1 million jobs which is 6.3% of the UKs total jobs. Most of the construction output is from the public sector in which the central government is the biggest client within construction. The Government aspires for the construction industry to improve dramatically by the year 2025. The Governments Construction Strategy (GCS) includes a range of visions but one in particular which is relevant, sustainability and a smart industry. The government’s aim is to put in place an industry that leads the world in low carbon and green construction. By doing this the government are investing in smart construction and digital design. BIM has already been implemented by committing to the BIM programme; in 2016 the government mandated BIM to be used in all Government contracts at level 2 BIM. HM Government has stated that BIM is a major role to help improve cost, value and carbon performance, this is a 5 year plan.


3.1 Background of BIM

3.1.0 Where did the idea come from?

Today BIM is seen as a new approach in the way we view buildings and is now being implemented by government. However, BIM was established in 1962. The Architect, Douglas C.Englebart came up with the concept of BIM and wrote a paper, Augmenting Human Intellect wherein he gathered data and therefore proposed object based design, parametric manipulation and a relational database, from then this has become reality and sketched a vision of what a forthcoming Architect could be. Ivan Sutherland using Sketchpad in 1962Other researchers such as Christopher Alexander have influenced BIM to be put in place. His influence was with a school of computer scientists which lead to the idea of concepts within a building model with Notes on the Synthesis Form. However even though these systems were well thought out the conceptual ideas could not be comprehended without any graphical boundaries in which could create interactions with a Building Model In 1963, Ivan Sutherlands Sketchpad programme was developed which allowed visualisation of the model. Seen in Figure 1.2. Figure 1.2 (Sutherland, 1963) With the traditional project delivery approach, this created roles of the participants which were needed during the design and construction phase. However, it lacked collaborative involvement between the participants within the design and construction phase. In the 1970’s Charles Eastman introduced Building Description Systems (BDS) this was to better coordination during design development. BDS is a database in which describes buildings at allowing design and construction. Graphical Language for Interactive Design (GLIDE) was then introduced in 1977 in which it was incorporated in with many parts of the BDS. An example is shown in Figure 2.1. In 1984, the first commercial version of ArchiCAD became available to use on the Apple Lisa personal computer, which is now one of the leading BIM tools today. In 1986, Heathrow’s Terminal 3 project was constructed by the concept of temporal phasing for the first time. This was the introduction of the 4th dimension. 2000, BIM was then further developed by the introduction of 5th dimension. Autodesk Revit was introduced which allowed users to work out costs with individual components. This allowed for contractors to produce cost estimates and generate construction schedules. The Freedom Tower in New York was one of the first buildings to have used Autodesk Revit, which was produced in multiple linked BIM files. Figure 2.1 (Brahim, 2014) back to the 1930’s it was aware that there were systematic failings within the construction industry. Many reports were made including:

  • 1934 ‘Reaching for the Skies’
  • 1944 The Simon Report
  • 1967 The Banwell Report

However it wasn’t until July 1994 when The Latham Report titled constructing the Team was published that the industry and government gave support to this report. Sir Michael Latham had written this report in which he reviewed procurement and contractual arrangements within the UK Construction Industry. Its aim was to tackle any controversial issues. Within the report Latham expressed construction industries to be ‘adversarial’, ‘fragmented’ and ‘ineffective’. Figure 2.3 (Latham, 1994) This report established the starting point in which changed the industries agenda. Collaborative working and partnering were key aspects that came from The Latham Report. He predicted that 30% real cost savings to practices could be made within a five year period by adopting collaborative working. He also expressed the role of the client in the construction process that they are an important role in order to achieve success in projects. Image result for latham and egan report summary ‘Partnering includes the concepts of teamwork between supplier and client, and of total continuous improvement. It requires openness between the parties, ready acceptance of new ideas, trust and perceived mutual benefit’ (Latham, 1994)    The Construction Task Force was set up in 1997 by the then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. This was chaired by Sir John Egan in which the task force published ‘Rethinking Construction’. Also known as the Egan Report, it entailed information on improving the efficiency and quality of the UK construction industry. Figure 2.4 (Egan, 1998) Many organisations formed following the Latham and Egan reports, and then in 2003 they united and became Construction Excellence. ‘At Construction Excellence we believe that industry improvement will be driven by all sectors sharing, learning, working together and driving innovation to deliver a demonstrably better built environment.’ (Excellence, 2017)  Construction Excellence is a non-profit organisation and works with clients, which are 30% of their members, contractors, manufactures and other practices. In Northern Ireland they provide professional development programme of events in which include BIM, NEC3 etc. In August 2016 Construction Excellence became part of BRE. BRE is another organisation which includes scientists, researchers, technicians and engineers.   ‘We generate new knowledge through independent research. This is used to create the products, standards and qualifications that help to ensure buildings, homes and communities are safe, efficient, productive, sustainable and enjoyable places to be. Our customers use our expertise and services to deliver their social, environmental and economic goals.’ (BRE, 2017)      These developing documents lead the industry and government into recognizing the flaws within the construction process and persuaded them to act on these problems for a solution.

3.2 BIM Explained

Building Information Modelling   “a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining our assets. BIM embeds key product and asset data and a 3-dimensional computer model that can be used for effective management of information throughout a project lifecycle – from earliest conception through to operation…”(HM, 2012) BIM - Project LifeCycle Phases Fig.2 Project Lifecycle Phases, and sub-phases (FRAMEWORK, 2013) BIM includes all phases that are involved within a project, from the planning and design phase, continuing into the construction phase and further on to the operation and management phase of a building, as seen in Figure 2. It is a system in which allows all practices to collaboratively work together on a project during construction and is used to manage the operation of a building throughout its life span even until demolition.

3.2.1 Stages of BIM

BIM was initially developed by the Government to help control information on its funded schemes in order to provide the best service and value. This lead to a number of successful projects and hence is being used today throughout government schemes, non-government funded schemes and has been adopted throughout the industry. The Bew Richards Maturity diagram was developed in 2008; this was a diagram that represented all the different maturity levels of BIM. This diagram was used to establish the standards at which needed to be met and show practices the development needed to be adopted for each level. Appendix 6.3. Shows the Bew Richards Maturity Level Diagram. Table 3.0 Explains the Levels of BIM

  • This level involves using only 2D CAD.
  • There is no means of collaboration at this stage.
  • Distribution is distributed via paper or electronically printed.
  • This includes working at 2D and 3D.
  • 3D would be used for concept work
  • 2D would be used for drafting of statutory approval documentation and also production information.
  • This is the level at which most organisations operate at
  • Collaboration is used at this stage with CAD standards. These standards are managed to BS 1192:2007 and a common data environment (CDE) is used
  • However project models are not shared between all team members.
  • At this level collaborative working is used.  All parties use 3D CAD and most work with the shared model through software systems.
  • A common file format is used for the design information which enables users to be able to share and combine that data with their own whilst carrying out checks on it.
  • The data used is exported using common file formats such as IFC (Industry Foundation Class) or CoBie ( Construction Operations Building Information Exchange)
  • This is the target level set by the UK government for all work in the public sector. This was introduced in 2016.
  • PAS1192-2 and other relevant documents used.
  • Also known as ‘Open BIM’
  • Full collaboration from all parties is used at this level. The use of a single shared project model is used and held within a 1entralized repository.
  • All parties involved with the design can access and amend the same model. This eliminates any risk of conflicting information.

The 3 Levels Explained from the Bew Richards Maturity Diagram Table 3.0 These steps were put into place by the UK government in order to help achieve their target of reducing waste within the construction industry by 20%. Discrepancies, mistakes, abortive work and inefficiencies within the information supply chain are all considered to be major problems which contribute to this waste. Collaborative working is a way in which will help reduce these problems. By results showing within the public sector, the private sector will ultimately follow also. By increasing BIM Level 2 within government schemes this will eventually lead to the progression into BIM Level 3, in which a fully collaborative working environment will be achieved. All projects would be accessible to all disciplines in which they would be able to access any single or shared model which would solve the problems with conflict of information and whole life approaches would be met. Level 3 BIM will benefit the construction industry by further improvements in construction, better performances within operation and management and lead the industry into making smarter, more connected buildings.

3.2.2 BIM Level 2 Documentation and Standards

The Core documents for Level 2 BIM: PAS1192-2:2013: This Document is available publically. This document specifies the requirements that are needed in order to achieve BIM Level 2. PAS1192-3:2014:  This PAS document includes the requirements for information management in order to achieve BIM Level 2. This is in relation to the operation and maintenance of buildings. BS1192-4:2014: This British Standard gives a methodology for the transfer of structured information which is exchanges between parties, these relate to the facilities which include buildings and infrastructure. It outlines the expectations for the design and construction project phases before handover. Image result for BS1192-4:2014CIC BIM Protocol: this is an additional supplementary legal agreement which is combined within professional services appointments and also within construction contracts by the means of a simple alteration. Additional obligations and rights for the contracted party and employer are formed. This Protocol is grounded on the direct contractual relationship between the supplier and the employer. Image result for CIC BIM ProtocolImage result for pas1192-2:2013Image result for pas1192-3:2014 Government Soft Landings: (GSL) the main aim of this document is to ensure that value is achieved within the operational lifecycle of a product and strive for better outcomes for built assets during the construction and design stages. BS 1992:2007: This British Standard creates a methodology for the distribution, production and quality of construction which is produced by CAD in which collaboration is used and a specified naming policy is used. Image result for BS 1192:2007Image result for Government Soft Landings  

3.2.3 What does BIM involve?

Construct iconMaintain iconDesign icon DESIGN                               CONSTRUCT                              MAINTAIN Design, Construct and Maintain are the three parts of which BIM is involved in. BIM is more than just a visual model. Yes, it does all start with a 3D digital design model in which entails a virtual vision of an actual building. These include intelligent elements which are digital samples of the actual physical building, these include: stairs, windows, walls etc. the 3D digital design model allows us to understand a buildings behaviour before construction starts and lets us stimulate the building visually before construction starts. This can be of huge benefit as it allows initial designers to make immediate decision making on which elements and design they can choose from which then allows for a more high quality and more accurate decisions which in turn will maximise the impact of the sustainability of the building and also cost. Change management is where data is stored within a BIM model. Modifications are made here and can be modified in which the design will automatically be updated in each view. This ensures quality assurance. Before construction commences BIM stores data not only on architectural data but also different engineering disciplines, sustainability information is also with held within BIM. Data Management involves schedule information. This information makes it possible to schedule the necessary needs for labour and other features which can be used in advance of the construction process. Budgets can be estimated using BIM and costs can be evaluated at any given point of the project. Not only is this a huge benefit during the design and construction phase, it can be utilised throughout the buildings life cycle. For example, operation and management costs of a building can be more of a cost than the actual cost of constructing a building; therefore BIM can help reduce these costs being used throughout the buildings life cycle.


BIM plays a huge part when it comes to sustainability.

3.3.1 Methods that encourage BIM to be sustainable:

There are multiple methods in which BIM can make design more Sustainable throughout a buildings life. The reason for BIM is to encourage more advanced and cost efficient designs and buildings by collaboration and more integrated information. BIM has a greater impact with its potential to contribution of design, construction and it’s commissioning of buildings with a lower impact on the environment, in the form of energy efficiency, the cutting of carbon and the better selection of materials or fewer materials. Here are a few of the methods in which BIM helps improve sustainability:

  • The use of 2D and 3D software, drawing in three dimensions allows for sections to be made mostly anywhere in the design of the building. Any thermal bridging can be identified much easier and detailing can be perfected prior the commencement of construction. This leads to a better design and better performance in which creates better energy efficient buildings.

Software licences will need to be reasonably priced now and in the future for BIM to be able to expand i.e. into the private sector of the construction industry. Training and knowledgeable professionals of BIM will also need to create and maintain the libraries and tools of BIM in order for them to remain reliable and up to date.

  • Software systems have made it possible to become more efficient and have greater control over products installed within a building through digitalisation of product information. At the early design stages having data of all the construction products, materials and chemicals gives the designer a more efficient way of designing and allows them to create a better design with all this information that will lead to better decision making and less likely to choose products that harms the environment.  In order for this integrated sustainable design to work, all information and data should be up to date, reliable resources for research based information and also trusted evaluation tool programmes.
  • BIM is also equipped with integrated analysis and evaluation tools. Solar studies, material and product libraries which comprise with Life Cycle Assessment information. Information on de-construction, building management and maintenance foe the whole lifecycle of the building. Understanding how to put a building together will allow for knowledge on how a building should be performing throughout its life until demolition. Estate Managers on the project can access and add to information in order to maintain the building instead of relying on complex or incomplete paper documentation. This is a much more efficient way of working.
  • BIM automatically calculates data useful for analysis such as environmental and heat loss analysis. Heat loss analysis can be used for floor, surface areas and the volume of the building. Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) and Post Occupancy (POE) stages and feedback are utilised within BIM for optimum effect.  Decisions with different design options should be more easily made as the designs can be compared by looking at the analysis. Better informed decision making should be made from the early stages with the help from BIM integrated evaluations, analysis and compliance tools. Therefore reducing the risk of abortive design and improving efficiency when designing at earlier stages.
  • BIM with costs and carbon, how do they both fit into BIM? in the early design process this is acknowledged by enabling the client to budget costs up against the major essentials of the building. the client can give a budget and a target as which the design will have to work towards. This can include many of things, for example:
  • Waste Management
  • Capital Costs
  • Embodied Carbon
  • Life Cycle Costs
  • This information from the client will be processed through BIM even before any software modelling has started.

With early support and input in the design process by using integrated analysis and evaluation tools this will lead to a better integrated and sustainable building design.

3.3.2 Software Systems

BIM has a range of software systems available. These software systems are used for all purposes including:

  • Architecture
  • Sustainability
  • Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Construction Engineering
  • Facility Management
  • Building Control

As a studying Architectural Technologist, I have had the experience of using the Autodesk Architecture software system throughout multiple projects. There are also other software systems that can be used including, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Bentley Architecture etc. There are software systems that are used for the sustainability of a project, some of these software’s are listed below:

  • Graphisoft EcoDesigner
  • Autodesk Ecotect Analysis
  • Autodesk Green Building Studio
  • Design Builder
  • Bentley Hevacomp

Software Systems can contribute with:

  • Massing: Using Mass Modeling as a BIM tool and at the early stages of design can help the designer make informative decisions. Creating a Mass site analysis allows for an early visualization of the environment and the solar impact towards the proposed building. initial analytical energy studies concludes of a buildings location, the type and zone of a building, the local climate and construction material data is generated in order to give an analysis of the buildings heating and cooling loads which can be compared to the performance of other or alternative building design strategies. This analysis allows the designer to decide if changes need to be made to the buildings orientation, building form or the façade design. (Revit, 2015) A performance analysis will be required for a 3D BIM model. In order to access a buildings performance thermal model stimulation and energy analysis can be carried out and hence guides design decisions by being able to evaluate thermal R values, the arrangement of windows in the building and also substitute different building forms.

  • Daylighting and Shadow Analysis: software tools can be used with in BIM to help visually see and quantify the effects of the sun and shadows on a building.
  • Firstly the understanding of the suns path must be acknowledged. Within BIM you can personally select your location which the software automatically collects data and produces you with the current local climate for that day and time.
  • With this information maximum design can be put in place by designing the building that it harnesses the suns light and energy in order to create a good passive design.
  • Designs will be much more efficient with using this tool as you can optimize your design for solar heat gain, daylighting and solar electricity generation and create the most effective shading strategies.
  • KarenKensekFigure3.png (947×312)

(Suk, 2011)

  • Orientation of the building:
  • The orientation of a building should be decided at the early stages of design. The orientation of a building is basically in which way the building is important to get the orientation of the building right as this can depend on how passive the building could be.
  • It is measured with the azimuth angle of a surface which points true north. Orientation of a building can lead to minimizing energy loads and maximizing free energy for the buildings use from the sun and the wind. (Autodesk, 2017)

  • Water Usage: BIM within the water industry uses BIM for management of the infrastructure as well as the construction. Using BIM shows that this concept can be used throughout the industry not only on 3D models for vertical construction. Asset Lifecycle Information Management (ALIM) is becoming more widely used for this type of work. BIM has developing intelligent products within this area in which every product comes with an installation guide, procurement guide and an operation and management data system.

A waste water treatment plant in Cambridge with a population of 15,000, worth £11 million, was made for 20% less cost and 45% less carbon usage just by using BIM. The aim was to go from construction to operation within 12months, by using BIM the project was delivered within 9 months in which the product selection approach was used. BIM allowed for information based working environment, by digitally mapping out the project scheme using Geographic Information System (GIS) and also the standard products it was easier to see that access ways and other safety features were in place. Cost and carbon outputs are cut due to the effective use of BIM within the water usage industry.      

  • Energy simulation Modelling: this is a process in the design phase where energy stimulation programs are used to conduct energy assesments for the proposed building design. This will allow designers to check energy standard compatabilities and also give the option to optimize the design in order to reduce the life cycle costs of the building.

By gathering this data automatically through BIM and not manually it will save time and therefore cost. The prediction of the buildings energy usage will be much more accurate by determine building information such as volumes and geometries. This process will allow for better building design and performances, increased efficiency and the reduction of life cycle costs on a building.     (Team, 2013)


4.1 St Helens & Knowsley Hospitals

Project Name: St. Helens and Knowsley Hospitals Location: 11 Time Park, Whiston, Prescot L35 7NU Building Information Modelling Contract 2006 Construction Completion: 2009 Contract Value: £338m This project was part of a redevelopment scheme with the Government Private Finance Initiative (PFI) programme. The redevelopment of two main hospital sites was undertaking. This was one of the largest healthcare PFI projects at £338m. This contract was delivered by NNewHospitals in which was formed by Taylor Woodrow also known as VINVI Construction UK Ltd (VCUK) and Innisfree. The project consisted of two new builds and refurbishment over the two sites. Building Information Modelling (BIM) was used for the redevelopment of this project. The Avanti approach was used in this case to help for closer collaborative working.                 Avanti PartnershipWhat is the Avanti Approach? In 2001-2005, Avanti was a project in which became the foundation of the BIM British Standard BS1192. This documentation was then transferred into Construction Excellence. This is an approach in which enables collaborative working within construction projects in order for parties to work together effectively. The Avanti approach is introduced at the early stages of a project by all parties, it involvement starts with the supply chain, sharing and exchanging information, such as drawings and schedules in which it is all agreed upon. There are three main goals that Avanti strive to achieve which are:

  • Providing processes which allows for collaboration.
  • Getting people to collaborate together
  • Apply the tools necessary to support collaborative working.

Avanti is an approach in which focuses on processes, people and organising existing enabling technologies. Throughout the projects whole life cycle, team work and access to common information model is Avanti are focused on. This brings benefits such as improving building and business performances, quality information are increased therefore the predictability of outcomes are better and thus reduces risk and waste. The aim was to achieve a 10% saving by developing a fully incorporated set of production information. Planning: One day work shops were set out in order to engage all team members. This included the management team, the lead designers and the CAD managers. Two main concerns came from the feedback from this workshop which was:

  • Because the project had already commenced that a change in the practice would complicate things, become too time consuming and also cost would be implemented.
  • As there was already an existing project intranet, some of the team felt that this would need replaced in order to deliver the project requirements. This was concerning as team members thought that it could lead to a full rework where documentation was already uploaded.

How these concerns were undertaken:

  • With the relevant team members further discussions were held in order to assess the change process in further detail so a more accurate judgement would be made in association with cost and time.
  • Avanti also reviewed the whole process for which existing data was being shared and used by the team. Avanti’s findings were that the data and procedures process was giving insufficient time and devotion in the development of its process. They outlined areas which they felt were at risk i.e. design sign off, checking and approval and the co-ordination of the design information.
  • VCUK and team members took in these concerns which Avanti expressed to them and decided with Avanti to further adapt the approaches given by the.
  • All team members were clearly explained with these concerns and the new approach that would be made. This ensured all team members were aware and fully confident within this decision making process. This helped simplify and rationalize the decision making process.
  • Application od Standard Methods and Procedures protocols were implemented. This involved CAD layer naming, data file naming and documentation naming in which all was agreed upon.
  • The scale, orientation and design data origin and design checking procedures were also discussed and agreed on. This effective data sharing was implemented through a Common Data Environment (CDE)

When the discussions were held about the conversion to a CDE, two areas of software application were over looked. However a solution was made, by updating all the data and to bring into line layer naming and file naming. Any existing data that was produced before the agreement of the common project standard was to be converted to be amendable to any new naming conventions. This helps avoid time and cost implications by avoiding a huge rework. With the existing data supported with their own extranet provider, they developed a way in which the adaption of the agreed methods and procedures would be supported ny this system which would enable them to:

  • Collect, distribute and manage data in a way that data information could be presented in the required formats by using the appropriate browsers.
  • Enable all compliances with the new agreed standards
  • Time delivery of the construction schedule aided by reports on document delivery and data.
  • Assists the design and sign off processes.

With the 3D modelling being put into place, this was new for some of the team members. Between the smaller design contractors, this was not something they were fully integrated with as they were not used to this way of working however as the project progresses integration was achieved. 3D reference files were made available to all team members which enabled them to share and reference data without the need to remodel the design. At the design stage benefits were already shown to the team. With Avanti’s with discussions including the project process and the information data, the team were able to identify the impending problems at this early stage. Avanti were able to help establish everyone understanding of their roles and positions in the project and also in managing risk. By using the BIM process which was structured by the Avanti Process, VCUK and the project team gained knowledge within this area through this process, and are as follows:

  • Increased quality of the data the team exchanged through the observance of the collaborative process.
  • Instead of the operation and management information being pulled together at the asset handover time, in which accurate information is difficult to achieve at this stage, the team benefited from the operation and management process being persistent throughout the process to avoid the pressure of this information hand in.
  •  The BIM process helps achieve 3d co-ordination design information, in which provides greater accuracy and certainty of physical fit of off- site production. This helps enable the delivery and the complete construction information to be presented in a timely matter.
  • Standards and Procedures were found to be completely compatible and complimentary to their business process (VCUK Design Management Procedures) which avoided them having to replace their existing process.
  • Naming conventions used correctly and in compliance with an agreed naming convention reduces problems for and document users.
  • With an approvals process in place along with the project management documentation decreases the risk of having insufficient approvals audit trail.
  • When modelling files are updated and changes are made with the BIM process, without the updated files and the changes being highlighted more time is spent on the model as they have to be reviewed manually by having to observe changes.

In conclusion, better quality information and information sharing was achieved through better 3D co-ordination and first time fit process. By the quality of the information that was shared this created a better social integration between team members. This Case Study shows that the experience throughout the initial project stages is seen to be an extremely positive one with also using the Avanti approach.

4.2 The Bridge Academy, Hackney

Project Name: The Bridge Academy, Hackney Location of build: London, Themes Stat and End of Construction: 2004- 2008 Contract Value: £50m About the Building: This building was a new build in which is located on a small site although is a seven storey terraced building. the core of the building is suspended allowing for flexibility in order for the Academy to be able to change for any future needs. The client set out to achieve a building that achieved their functional needs. This included a certain number of classrooms, alongside the right facility and size which where worked from viewpoints of accessibility which would also be realistic and maintainable. The space within this building is flexible therefore the load bearing elements of the building were designed externally.  This design was complex and initially a 2D sketched drawing with handmade models. The design was to be an inspiring building. Because the building design was so complex a different approach to the detail design was needed instead of just traditional. Once the initial concept design was made, BIM then came into play when the structural designs were being developed. Bentley Systems were used as the basis of this project for BIM. The project team consisted of Bridge Academy Hackney Ltd (Department of Education and UBS), BPD, Mace plus and Watson Steel Company. Before taking on this project BPD were new to this process and this was one of the first times in which they had used a BIM tool 2D/3D modelling tool. Doubts about if the process was reliable with the information produced or not. BIM was used on the outlines of this building, therefore it was not a full BIM model however this demonstrates that BIM can be used to target specific issues of a building.  Using BIM in the operation of the finished building appealed to the client. UBS , which co-sponsored the academy brought their experience to the process by having experienced facilities management, security, engineering and so on. A Design and Build Contract was used for this project in which allowed the team to form together at the initial stages and it ensured that BIM was useable with all members of the team. With the design team and the construction team working together any initial issues were identified and rectified within a small amount of time. As this was a Design and Build Contract the parties are contracted to deliver the project with a specified quality standard, within a fixed amount of time and a fixed amount of cost. Therefore with the team working together collaboratively this helped reduce any delays. Design responsibility is one of BIMs main issues. Due to all parties working together, sharing, exchanging data and changing the design, it is difficult to point out clearly who has model ownership over the project. This was one of the issues that came from having to use BIM in this project, was who the design responsibility for the model lay in the hands of. Therefore to solve this issue, the model was maintained as a design tool for the designers, when it came to the exchange of information on the model i.e. to the fabricators, it was passed on as “For Information Only”. Watsons Steel Company used Tekla X Steel to import the model. Tekla X Steel is a 3D steelwork detailing package. Due to this system a positive outcome became of this as communication between the teams was aided by the process. More aided communication between teams came into play when the sub-contractors set there model up to be viewed online by all team members, ensuring they were all viewing the same model. The sub-contractors were able to set up an online viewer for their model to ensure that all members of the team were viewing the same model. One of the issues that were raised was the risk of changing to this process and having to deliver a project on budget and time. For some within the project team this seemed to much of a risk and some were hesitant to change or just uncomfortable with the new technology. In order to be able to work collaboratively, BDP offered their services of an inter-disciplinary service, this enabled the teams that showed their different opinions with the new technology to overcome challenges with it, which enabled them to work together better as a team. BDP incorporated BIM representatives within their company in each team; this ensures that their expert knowledge is given across the firm. Software compatibility was also an issue that had arisen. Problems surfaced, such as having to downgrade to 2D and use different formats. To solve this issue the project team worked with software merchants, in which they provided information and the explanation of the functionality of software. Even though in usual cases BIMs are developed for completion and hand over, in which is used by a Facilities Manager/s. in this certain scenario the client wanted to used BIM for one specific use on this project. Therefore the use of the model after the contract would be very limited with the built information for future altercations, repairs or maintenance. In this case study were BIM was not used for the whole building, although it shows that BIM can be incorporated into any building and any part of a building. Within this project it presented that BIM enabled rapid problem solving as problems which had surfaced were recognised at the initial stages of design and rectified before construction commenced. BIM also proved to be beneficial within this case by the following:

  • With the design being analysed within a virtual environment, gave all team members satisfaction that building was structurally sound at the design stages. Mechanical and electrical services were also able to access the design in which made it a lot easier to design the services correctly into the steel structure.
  • Client satisfaction was another benefit from using BIM. With the virtual modelling of the 3D model, this allowed the client to see a realistic design in the initial stages which allows the client to make informed decisions of how they want the final building design to be. The virtual model allows us to suit the clients requirements easily.
  • The BIM also saved on energy consumption. Material wastage and time was saved, due to the accuracy of the calculations in which was handed over to the fabricators before any work began on site. The model can be used by the fabricators to develop their own ideas also.

In conclusion, with the building design being so complex, this project would have been exceptionally difficult to undertake without BIM, with the use of BIM it has aided in less time wasted, therefore less expenses and costs. Due to this project being a success it aided BDP to further their knowledge in BIM which resulted in BDP promoting BIM within their team and with clients. BDP were awarded with a Bentley BE Award due to their success in the best use of BIM.


FMS-Office-Sugar-Bush About FM Systems: (Facilities Management) This company was founded in 1984. Their aim was to aid the facilities team to effectively manage building portfolios. In order to help omprove the management of assets, moves, maintenance, space and occupancy, FM-Interact was created within a cloud based integrated workplace. Their promise to customers is that they provide; ‘quick and easy access to key facility information such as floor plans, reports, employee information and critical documents which can enable facilities teams to securely share information and manage facility processes more effectively that impact the entire organization.’(FM:SYSTEMS, 2017) Hi Tanya, how can I help you today? Hi I am just doing some research which entails BIM with sustainability John Great! Do you have any questions that I can help you out with? What would the main methods used in BIM be to encourage sustainability ? John Let me find out for you – one quick minute! So there are a lot of methods in BIM that encourage sustainability: 1. Finding out the environmental impact of energy utilization, 2. Estimating the environmental impact based on equipment, 3. Geo-locating to figure out which areas are already mapped for projects, 4. Figuring out which products are the most sustainab;e, 5. Tracing the path of sunlight to track solar energy sustainable*** Does this information help answer your question? Hi Tanya, did we lose connection? Are you still there? Yes thank you. 🙂 John You’re very welcome! 🙂 John Hi Tanya, I’m not sure if you need any further help – If you ever do need help in the future, please feel free to e-mail me directly at My name is John Ozturk – I am the International Rep, so I work within the UK thank you John, I might have a few more questions if its not a problem John Absolutely! Anytime – please feel free to ask How can BIM help improve carbon reduction? John BIM can help you all track heating and cooling based on solar energy, which could in turn reduce electricity/energy usage and costs, resulting in carbon reduction That is one of a number of features. BIM/Revit is very complex – also including being able to check your duct systems, your pipe systems, even your circuits. There is also an option change your “Energy Settings” and even run “Energy Simulations” I hope that was helpful! Thank You! John My pleasure! Have you any recent statistics on the amount BIM helps in improving carbon reduction ? John I am not sure if any sort of collection of consolidated statistics exists industry-wide. I can find out for you though and follow up via email if I find something – does that work for you? yes that would be great thank you 🙂 John Absolutely! Does BREEAM certify practices using BIM ? John I’m not sure about that – we are not affiliated with them, so I do not have info on them – I am happy to send you more info on BIM via email if you’d like. Yes that would be great, thanks for your time John You’re very welcome! Have a wonderful day! 3 q&a





Autodesk, 2017. AutoDesk Sustainability Workshop. [Online] Available at: Brahim, J., 2014. The Development of BIM Definition. [Online] Available at: BRE, 2017. BRE GROUP. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 2017]. BROQUETAS, M., 2010. CAD ADDICT. [Online] Available at: CCA, 2008. Climate Change Act. [Online] Available at: CCC, 2008-2030. Comittee on Climate Change. [Online] Available at: Development, U. N. W. C. o. E. a., 1987. Brundtland Report, s.l.: s.n. Eastman, T. ,. S. L., 2008. BIM Handbook. New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons. Egan, S. J., 1998. Rethinking Construction. London: s.n. Excellence, C., 2008. Construction and Sustainable Development. In: Constructing Excellence . s.l.:s.n., pp. Section 3, Page 2. Excellence, C., 2010. Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment. [Online] Available at: Excellence, C., 2017. Constructing Excellence. [Online] Available at: FRAMEWORK, B., 2013. BIM Framework. [Online] Available at: HM, 2012. Building Information Modelling , s.l.: s.n. HMGovernment, 2013. Construction 2025, London: s.n. Latham, S. M., 1994. Constructing the Team, s.l.: s.n. Revit, A., 2015. AutoDesk. [Online] Available at: Suk, J. Y., 2011. Project Vasari. Sustainablity Education . Sutherland, I., 1963. History Computer. [Online] Available at: Team, M. H., 2013. Mechanical Hub. [Online] Available at:


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