Category: BIM (page 1 of 2)

thinkBIM Summer Conference – Wednesday 12th July 2017

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**Suitable for clients, Facilities Managers, Estates Managers, Building Managers and anyone who wishes to know how to use digital to maximises building assets**

Wednesday 12th July 2017, 13.00 to 17.30 with registration and buffet lunch from 12.00

Squire Patton Boggs, 6 Wellington Place, Leeds, LS1 4AP 

This year’s summer conference has keynote presentations about BIM and digital adoption from both a client’s perspective and the latest BIM guidance published by the British Institute of Facilities Management.

Mark Stogell of PCSG will present on how Sainsbury’s has developed its digital portfolio as well as appropriate BIM processes for their assets.

Paul Thomas from Turner and Townsend, the author of the British Institute of Facilities Management BIM Guide, will give an overview of how BIFM are adopting digital data in their own processes and from design and construction teams.

So not only some great keynotes but also our fantastic blend of round tables discussions led by Bond Bryan Digital, Stroma Certification, Solibri, and BIM Academy.

We look forward to seeing you at our hosts Squire Patton Boggs for another great afternoon’s learning.

Click here to book your place!

Dark and true and technological is the North: Digitising the region

At a recent Constructing Excellence breakfast event we held, we were particularly struck by a statistic from a recent McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) study which proposed that in terms of digitisation, the construction industry lags dramatically behind those in other classically undigitalised sectors and in fact ranks only above farming and agriculture. Having been heavily involved in promoting digital construction across the region and beyond we felt that in light of this statistic it was important to explore our impression of where the industry is and specifically where Yorkshire and Humber currently places in order to meet the demands of the future.

Screen shot from MyConsole presentation at Constructing Excellence breakfast event on 26th April 2017.

We at Constructing Excellence Yorkshire and Humber (CEYH), part of the Leeds Beckett University School of Built Environment and Engineering have been running digitally focussed events through our thinkBIM network for over five years now and have overseen a massive growth in digital uptake across the region. Originally set up as a network to promote the advancement of BIM (Building Information Modelling) our remit has broadened to highlight new technologies and digital processes and their current and future uses.

When we started, the events were definitely for the innovators and early adopters, particularly in larger companies with SMEs being a little unsure of dipping their toe in the water; early problems being the choices of software available, balancing the cost of adoption with business needs and lack of clarity in contractual BIM requirements – all issues which we have had to address through events and targeted 1:1 support. As the network has expanded though, so has the industry’s understanding of the benefits of digital adoption, and this along with the publishing of the Digital Built Britain strategy in 2015 has helped to demystify some of the processes and improved knowledge and uptake of digital tools and processes across the region.

Even in these early days of digital adoption we saw how local organisations were at the cutting edge of the technological innovation that was unfolding. Not always on the large and prestigious projects but on smaller schemes like the laser scanning of the Orangery in Wakefield by DLA Design which showed what was possible already. We also witnessed the great work done by BAM at First Direct Arena working with their designers, structural steelworkers and precast concrete manufacturers who collaborated together using coordinated models form each organisation to resolve issues with the design, create and more effective design and improve the outcomes for the site team. By working together the team delivered an innovative and award winning venue for the city of Leeds.

Federated model image submitted by A1L2B, a Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture, as part of their winning entry in CEYH Awards 2015

The region has also seen the digitisation of infrastructure schemes too. The award winning A1 Improvement scheme from Leeming to Barton, a Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture demonstrated many new and innovative ways to use digital data to assist with stakeholder engagement as well as collecting real time digital quality records during the course of the works too. Over at Immingham, Costain used the combined, federated, model of their scheme to accurately and successfully plan a 76 hour possession over Christmas 2015 where the team jacked a 5000 tonne bridge into place under the busiest freight railway line in the UK. All this was achieved by creating a digital programme that was meticulously planned, checked and reviewed by the project team, Highways England and Network Rail.

Solius Group virtual reality demonstration at thinkBIM conference in April 2017

More recently the thinkBIM network has been able to lift the lid on the future with demonstrations of Augmented Realities and Virtual Realities. These technologies are actually starting to become widespread too as more and more businesses start to see ways to use gaming technology for customer engagement, construction rehearsals and health and safety briefings as well as for operations teams to better understand the assets that they are maintaining with a level of efficiency previously unheard of. #itsBIMupNorth not just a hashtag but proof that Yorkshire really is a centre of excellence for the digital delivery of projects.

But the key thing here is not the technology, but the people behind it. As Steve Jobs once said “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them”. From a niche group of technically minded people the thinkBIM network has grown to reflect and support a much wider community focussed on working more efficiently and who adopt a whole lifecycle approach not just procuring data for the physical asset alone. And here-in lies the challenge going forward, ensuring the industry is constantly recruiting and upskilling the individuals and teams who are able to exploit the opportunity technology offers.

Let us know your thoughts of where the industry is and where it needs to be and where you see the future of digital technologies for construction.


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Clever Procurement = Collaboration, Integration and Communication, it’s not rocket science!

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On Wednesday 26th April 2017 we hosted another constructing excellence breakfast event at Addleshaw Goddard in Leeds, this time themed around procurement, in particular the roles and responsibilities of the clients, key considerations for those bidding for work and some of the crucial behaviours and processes behind successfully winning tenders.

Always an important (and popular) topic, we welcomed around 30 individuals to the event; principally contractors, subcontractors and architects, however it was also nice to see a number of clients in the room. We believe clients are key to driving improvement in our industry so the more we can provide platforms and encourage them to share experiences and learn from each other for the benefit of the industry, the better!

Our first speaker was Cliff Jones, Head of Construction Procurement Team with the commercial division at the Department of Health (DH) UK. Cliff has been working with DH procurement for over twenty years, including developing and implementing the DH ProCure21+ and now P22 frameworks. Cliff talked principally about setting realistic budgets and programmes from the outset and the importance of full supply chain collaboration and integration. He also emphasized client expectations in terms of issues/problems and risks that arise, i.e. the need for early warning protocols and communication – the DH in particular have a huge issue with correcting defects following handover due to the presence of key end users (clinical staff and patients) and therefore good aftercare is crucial. Cliff’s presentation was full of useful advice and tips for all attendees wherever you are in the build process.

Then onto Philip Collard. Philip is Managing Director of Marketing Works Training and Consultancy Ltd and CEO of myConsole a digital platform that provides bidding analytics, real-time bidding analytics based on potentially widespread and disparate datasets held by a business internally. This was not a sales pitch, Philip was actually here to share his insights into the importance of an organised and unified bidding process and how digitisation, data collection and analysis can support this. He then went on to talk about how companies can then leverage the knowledge and efficiencies this process gives to develop winning bid strategies. As always, the central theme to this presentation was collaboration, integration of process and people and the importance of data and feedback & how we can use digital to facilitate this.

Slightly veering into thinkBIM territory here but one final thought from Philip, how far ahead do we think the industry is in terms of digitisation… one above farming apparently (see slide above). Hold that thought.

All the presentation slides are listed below along with our storify from 26th May collating the best images, tweets and comments from the event.

Our next event will be on Wednesday 24th May and is a joint event with RIBA where we will hear the findings from the RIBA Client Liaison Group’s ground-breaking ‘Working with Architects’ survey and debate critical issues in the client-architect relationship. More details and booking here.


Unlocking your BIM specifications with Assa Abloy at our #ceyh2016 breakfast event

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On the 21st January 2016 we welcomed around 30 individuals from across the regional construction sector back to Addleshaw Goddard’s offices in Leeds for the first of our 2016 constructing excellence breakfast events. Our alliteratively titled “Starting to specify the specifics of your specification” (CEYH Chair, Tom Oulton, was especially proud of that title!) event explored the RIBA Plan of Works Stage 2 from the viewpoint of BIM and product specifications.

Our main speaker for this event was Andy Stolworthy, BIM Manager at Assa Abloy. Assa Abloy are a global supplier of intelligent lock and security solutions formed 1994 through the merger of ASSA in Sweden and Abloy in Finland. Andy joined ASSA ABLOY UK in September 2003 working in a number of technical and product management roles. In his current role, Andy is the Technical and Commercial lead on BIM for the company as well as being a member of the BIM4M2 Data Templates group working to develop a useable platform that can support BIM adoption with a number of industry bodies such as CIBSE. A twitter summary of the key points from Andy’s presentation along with images can be found in the storify below.

Following Andy’s presentation, CEYH Chair Tom Oulton gave an overview of some of the CE supported events happening in our region over the next few months including thinkBIM’s much anticipated 23rd March conference, headlined by David Philp and this year’s Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire and Humber awards. Further details at the booking links below.


In the meantime we look forward to seeing you at our next breakfast event on 24th February which will cover CDM from a Client’s perspective with speakers from Turner & Townsend and Addleshaw Goddard. Details here



RIBA Stage 2: Starting to specify the specifics of your spec

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At our breakfast event on 21st January 2016 we will hear from Andy Stolworthy, BIM Manager at ASSA ABLOY UK Specification, the authority in true specification providing a simplified approach to opening solutions.  Andy will talk about ‘A Manufacturers Journey’ with a look back on ASSA ABLOY’s adoption of BIM with an honest view on what they may have done differently given what they know now.  Andy will also provide a view on the current BIM landscape and how they see manufacturer’s involvement growing.

We will also hear from Pete Foster, Technical Consultant for the Plant, Power and Process team in EMEA who joined Autodesk in July 2015.  Pete will talk about his experience in manufacturing and with building product manufacturers, ranging from his work and solutions for BIM in the offsite construction industry and examples of ROI.  He will also discuss his work with the MFG4BIM and PPP teams within Autodesk, including the work with connecting the Manufacturing and AEC communities using common tools and datasets.


To get involved join us on 21st January 2016 at Addleshaw Goddard LLP, Sovereign House, Sovereign Street, Leeds, LS1 1HQ


(If you are using a satellite navigation, please use the following postcode: LS1 4BJ)



North West & Yorkshire & Humber BIM Hubs – Introducing the BIM Toolkit event

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118      Visit our thinkBIM Blog

The toolkit is a free and easy to use web portal which guides users through the construction process. It provides step-by-step support to define, manage and validate responsibility for information development and delivery at each stage of the asset lifecycle.

It organises information through a pan-industry classification system, with well-defined levels of graphical detail and information for each stage, as well as a comprehensive set of product information templates.

It is fundamental to the successful delivery of projects to BIM Level 2 by 2016. It will save time, reduce risk and help users follow best practice to deliver better client outcomes during design, construction and operational phases.

The North West and Yorkshire & Humber BIM Hubs have got together with NBS – which is leading the development team – to offer an early view of the toolkit and an opportunity to provide feedback. John McKechnie, BIM Toolkit Project Manager, will take us through the various elements of the toolkit and explain how it works before inviting comments and questions from the audience.

As a pan-industry tool, this event is suitable for professionals of all disciplines. Places are limited so book early.

When                   Thursday 12th March 2015

Where                  Manchester Metropolitan University Student Union, room 6 & 7

Time                      3-5 pm

How to book    Online at

Refreshments will be served

#CEYHawards officially open for submissions!

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We are pleased to announce that we are now taking submissions for the Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2015. Last year’s awards were bigger & better than ever with a record number of submissions and over 350 professionals, representing a broad cross section of the construction industry, coming together at our gala dinner at Sheffield City Hall to celebrate the best that the regional built environment sector has to offer. Two of our regional winners were also victorious at the Constructing Excellence national awards in London last November, showing that construction innovation in the region is right up there with the best the UK has to offer (read more about last year’s winners here).

There are 13 different categories each representing the core themes underpinning the Constructing Excellence agenda including a new category for 2015, BIM Project of the year. Fully inclusive, entries are welcome from any companies, organisations or project teams involved in delivering built environment projects across the region. Our awards are completely free to enter and you are welcome (& indeed encouraged!) to submit as many entries as you like.

Entering the awards can bring numerous benefits to your business including raising your profile, introducing you to a wider client base and give you new market opportunities. It also gives you a great opportunity to reward the hard work of your employees over the last 12 months.

The close date for entries is Friday 15th May 2015 with the winners being announced at our gala dinner, this year to be held in York on Friday 17th July 2015 at the National Railway Museum.

For details of how to enter as well as information on sponsorship opportunities and table bookings please visit our awards page here

Good Luck!!


Lorimer’s Lunch: with Richard Lane, UK BIM Task Group

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On Wednesday 3rd December Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber (CEYH) hosted the Constructing Excellence BIM Task group Q & A session with Richard Lane, Director of Creonova Consulting and Training Development Officer for UK BIM task group. The Q & A was conducted by John Lorimer as part of his “Lorimer’s Lunch”  interview series for CEYH.


If hypothetically, the government removed the 2016 level 2 Mandate tomorrow, would the BIM transformation have already gathered enough momentum to carry on regardless?

The mandate has been incredibly valuable for establishing Government’s leadership around BIM, creating a broad conversation across the industry and pulling everyone together behind a common goal. It doesn’t guarantee success, particularly as it can be human nature at an individual level to resist when told what to do. Assuming that an increasing proportion of the industry now understands BIM and sees value in new ways of working I’m confident that transition would continue.

Have you seen any evidence of BIM implementation resulting in behavioural change/ more collaborative behaviours in the government departments you have worked with yet?

Definitely. From the outset clients are working collaboratively with their Tier 1 suppliers do define the specifics of BIM implementation within specific clients or frameworks. For example, in the development of template Employers Information Requirements documents.

There has also been been a definite increase in government departments working together, sharing knowledge to try and help each other for example Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and Met Police sharing ideas around standards for secure environments. Collaborative behaviours certainly aren’t universal but on the whole there has been a positive increase in government departments working collaboratively.

The public sector are risk adverse, how are they being empowered to do this?

The key for me is leadership. A great example of this is Terry Stocks, Deputy Head of the Estates Department, Ministry of Justice is setting the example by leading the implementation of BIM, two stage tendering & lean delivery through collaborative approaches.

Where do the barriers occur?

Most commonly where organisations are operating under business conditions which were set up prior to the implementation of BIM, where procurement methods, forms of contract and client requirements don’t support collaborative working or encourage trialling of new BIM working practices.

Is the BIM journey driving people to be more collaborative?

It helps. As long as the value is understood and the business environment is created to support it. As we approach the end of the 4 year BIM journey we are analysing progress made against the 10 tests of the hypothesis originally defined in the BIS BIM Strategy. (Details on government website here – point 3) Key elements of this are that BIM has to be Understandable (something we continue to work on) and Valuable.

Are we recording that anywhere?

We are internally reviewing departmental implementation against the 10 tests, but it is unclear at this time if it would be shared publically in that form or used to inform other outputs such as case studies.


Questions from the floor


Benedict Wallbank, SmartBIM – What percentage of Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence tenders are now going out with EIRs (Employer Information Requirements)?

Those departments have templates for EIRs which we are starting to roll out on newly tendered projects now. We still have some work to do to establish the detailed requirements related to the information exchanges and the Digital Plan of Work (

should help with this. We must remember that we are still in a transition period and as we integrate BIM as “business as usual” EIRs will develop & evolve.

Howard Jeffrey, Skanska – How are you addressing the management of expectations during the transition period? Also what does collaboration actually mean?

When I first joined the BIM Task Group I think we relied too much on the mandate in our engagement with clients. Since then we’ve evolved our approach to where the conversations are much more client led and value driven. Clarity is key, it’s a lot easier to collaborate if everybody is clear on what is expected of each project participant.

David Jellings, Solibri UK – In your unique position what are the common threads and avoid the word “collaboration”

Compliance is key!  Compliance with the 2016 mandate is being measured centrally within Government. Departments are defining the details of their implementation but with common criteria such as the transacting of data at agreed points in the process, the delivery of an EIR document.  The journey is different but the destination is the same.  We are all working to get value from the digital data.


lorimer    About Lorimer’s Lunch

John Lorimer has worked as a client, consultant, major contractor and sub- contractor in the construction industry across the UK, Europe and the Far East. He is Chair of the BIM Academy, a Board member of CITB, Visiting Professor at Salford University, member of the BIS BIM Steering Group and Chair of the Constructing Excellence BIM Task Group. He is also Director of his own Consultancy service, JLO Innovation, specialising in BIM, Procurement and Business/Culture change.

Lorimer’s Lunch is a series of interviews John conducts with different BIM advocates from across the sector. Questions are invited from an assembled audience as well as over social media. Keep checking back on the Constructing Excellence blog for details of the next Lorimer’s Lunch & how to submit your questions.



Do you know what BIM is?

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On 18th November around 30 students & construction professionals gathered at Sheffield Hallam University to hear from four well known BIM advocates to introduce BIM and offer advice and guidance from three different perspectives, architect, engineer & contractor. A summary of what was discussed is detailed in the event storify below.


Constructing Excellence Q&A Session with Richard Lane, UK BIM task group #askTBIM

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On 3rd December, prior to our #GreenBIM conference we are delighted to be hosting a Q & A session with Richard Lane from the UK Government BIM task group. Richard is leading the development of the UK BIM Task Group training strategy and is supporting the implementation of BIM in a number of UK government departments including the Ministry of Defence and the NHS. With 25 years’ experience in IT consulting, project management (ISEB) and training, leading global teams; Richard is a Fellow of the Learning & Performance Institute and a Professional Member of the British Computer Society. He is also Director of Creonova Consulting who provide consulting, program & project management, change management and training services to education, public sector and commercial organisations, specifically focusing on technology and construction sectors.

Richard will be taking questions from the Constructing Excellence members attending the session but we would also like to take this opportunity to invite others to submit their BIM related questions, in particular questions around BIM education, BIM adoption throughout government departments and the government BIM agenda.

To submit your question you can either email it to or you can tweet your question to @cexcellenceYH using the hashtag #askTBIM

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