Exploiting digital technology to finesse project design

Gavin Statham, Regional director, and Mike Robinson, BIM manager, BES, explain some of the many benefits, both to design and construction teams involved in healthcare projects, and the operators and users of healthcare buildings, of effective deployment of BIM technology

‘Building information modelling’ – or BIM – the construction approach comprising best practice processes to manage detailed information around the design and delivery of new developments, has been mandated by the Government since 2016 for all publicly-funded projects, including healthcare facilities. Widely deployed in healthcare beyond the NHS, BIM is not just about delivering a smoother and more collaborative construction process through the control of information; it is also about ensuring the enduring value of an asset, which means developing a building that performs economically, with optimal smart functioning and minimal environmental impact. 

A collaborative 3D approach

The 2016 Government mandate on BIM requires a collaborative 3D approach, which has become a game-changer for healthcare settings. Commissioning teams and facilities managers can now ‘explore’ a new facility, making it much easier to assess whether the design will work in terms of flow of function and personnel movements. However, although 3D design is a significant part of the process, BIM can go well beyond 3D modelling. Building on 20 years of experience at BES, we have already developed an approach to working on projects with an integrated multidisciplinary team, to provide a full ‘end-to-end’ turnkey service across design and construction. However, now we also utilise sophisticated digital technology that dovetails with our existing processes, allowing us to go much further in tailoring and maximising project delivery. We have made major investments in software based on our experience of what we have found helpful in enhancing an efficient design, construction, and commissioning process, ultimately delivering a faster outcome. 

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