Saturday 25 August 2012

It's BIM up North

I was asked to provide a few words for the Construction Excellence in the North East Journal this month on BIM. As there is so much going on around BIM in the north this was an easy task...
[START] How and when the UK emerges from recession is still far from clear but one thing for certain is that the construction industry will play a key part in stimulating future economic growth and employment.
The significant contribution the sector makes to the North East economy, accounting for 10% of regional GDP, is no news to regular readers of this column, nor is the on-going battle to maintain output and prevent further job losses. 
What they might not be aware of though is the emergence of an exciting new business cluster which has seen the North East spearhead the development of a digital process set to revolutionise the UK construction industry.
BIM (Building Information Modelling) is its name and it’s changing the way buildings are designed and constructed. At its essence lies greater collaboration; bringing clients, architects, contractors and other consultants together to share project information in digital, 3D models, replacing documents with data that can be properly checked and co-ordinated.
In doing so, BIM improves efficiency and cuts costs so it should come as no surprise that the Government is a fan and has mandated that BIM be used on all public projects by 2016.
NBS, which employs 200 people at its Newcastle HQ, is equally convinced of the importance of BIM to the recovery and long-term growth of the construction sector and has invested heavily in anticipation of its widespread adoption.
A provider of construction training, information and education for nearly 40 years, we have been busy creating a new specification tool, NBS Create, and converting our information into digital data, launching the National BIM Library in the process.
In creating the library, NBS was able to call on the BIM Academy, which was established in June 2011 by Northumbria University and Newcastle-based Ryder Architecture. This collaboration not only demonstrates the strength of local connections between industry and education but also the region’s training expertise, with courses at the BIM Academy open to people at all stages of their career development.
Newcastle and Northumbria are two of the country’s top 10 architecture universities and at NBS we are seeing a steady stream of graduates with an excellent understanding of BIM. Several are going on to start up companies, join leading North East architects such as Ryder Architecture, Space Group and FaulknerBrowns Architects as well as other existing companies leading the way in BIM developments.
These include Sunderland-based 4Projects and KyKloud in North Shields. Both have benefitted from their involvement in the collaborative North East BIM community and continue to add high profile businesses to their client lists.
As other businesses are converted and BIM moves from being a specialist activity to mainstream use, the scope for growth of this associated North East hub is genuinely exciting and presents a welcome opportunity for the entire region. [END]
Those in the North East interested in getting in touch with some of those involved in the activities above can:

  1. Apply to join the Government's North East Regional BIM Hub - (presentation in Newcastle 25th September)
  2. Join the NE-RUG - 6th September presentations coming up from Adam from BIM Technologies, Ed from KyKloud and Jonathan from Ryder. All organised by Ben from eBIM
  3. Check out the regular BIM events that are put on by BIM Academy.

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