A NORTH East architects’ practice has teamed up with Teesside University to lead developments in the use of the latest tool for building design and construction.
Niven Architects has begun a two-year knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with the university on building information modelling (BIM) as part of a Government and private sector scheme to improve businesses.
BIM is set to become the industry standard for architects, their clients and professional consultants they work with including surveyors, engineers and construction contractors. It provides computer-based, information-rich 3D model imagery of every aspect of a new building, allowing clients to ‘walk into’ each room and turn 360 degrees.
The programme also hosts all the documents and other information relevant to a new building, giving all those involved in the project access to what they need to build the project on-site.
Johnathan Munkley, a graduate and architect with Niven, will lead the project, which will see him managing the introduction of BIM into the practice while sharing his knowledge and experience with Teesside University.
“BIM has been around for a while, but the industry is only really now beginning to see the real benefits. It allows us to produce a higher quality of architecture and provide a more cost-effective service and improved experience for clients,” he said.
“When it comes to construction, instead of trying to interpret generic 2D drawings, the contractor has access to all of the information they need about every part of the project from the BIM model.
“We want all our consultants to move forward with us in BIM and will help them with their BIM implementation strategies as part of the KTP, which will support design and construction in the region.”
He will split his time between sharing information and drawing on the experience and resources of the Construction Innovation Department at Teesside with applying his knowledge and training colleagues back at Niven’s Coniscliffe Road practice.
In particular he hopes to use Teesside University’s ‘Cave’, a high-quality, immersive virtual environment and gaming facility, which would allow clients to physically ‘walk into’ and experience their new building before it is built.
Professor Nashwan Dawood, director of Teesside University’s Technology Futures research institute, said: “BIM can save time, energy and money. One of the problems in construction is the element of having to ‘suck it and see’. You start to do the work and then suddenly there are problems.
“But now we can simulate the processes in advance on a computer screen in 3D, work out how things are going to be done and communicate this with the supply chain. It enables companies to virtually iron out problems before they happen.”
It allows us to produce a higher quality of architecture and provide a more cost-effective service