The Intelligent Campus – Birmingham City University’s BIM Centre

Earlier this month Faithful+Gould took part in a knowledge sharing evening attended by over 150 guests to mark the completion of the first phase of Birmingham City University’s new city centre campus development.

Organised by Faithful+Gould and Birmingham City University, the evening consisted of the key handover, presentations about the use of BIM during the project, and an open panel discussion with members of the project team.


Situated at the recently completed Parkside Building, the keys to the building were officially handed over to Birmingham City University vice chancellor Professor Cliff Allan. In his address he talked about the importance of the new building as a flagship development for the university with state of the art facilities. He also made specific mention on how well the project team had collaborated with the university and how impressed he had been with the use of BIM throughout the project.


Presentations were then given by Adrian Malone, head of BIM and Knowledge Management at Faithful+Gould, Associated Architects and Willmott Dixon which covered an array of information on how BIM was used throughout the project’s conception to its completion and handover. This included presentations on the use of 4D scheduling to manage the construction programme and a video of the construction sequence within the BIM model. There was also a live demonstration of Autodesk 360 Field which showed how BIM can be utilised as a tool to produce a fully integrated data set to support facility managers.


Adrian then proceeded to host an interactive debate on BIM with a panel of speakers from companies including Faithful+Gould, Associated Architects, Willmott Dixon, ARUP, Ramboll and Tracey Kirby Consulting. The debate saw various questions on the use of BIM during the project, including the integration of H&S information within the BIM model, how useful COBIE is in a facilities management environment and what BIM means for the future of the traditional quantity surveyor.


The campus redevelopment project has been one of the largest university BIM projects in the UK and one of the first to deliver fully integrated modelling within a BIM environment across design, construction and operational management. The lessons learnt from the project are also being used as a showcase for industry BIM learning and development.


Mark Brain, cost consultant at Faithful+Gould, commented: “Birmingham City University mandated the use of BIM from the very start of the project to help them deliver their planned preventative maintenance in a much better way than they ever have done before. It’s been brilliant to have such a driving force leading the BIM initiative and encouraging the team to develop its skills on a real project, especially as the government mandate doesn’t kick in until 2016. The use of BIM has really encouraged us to collaborate better – from a cost consultant’s perspective we’ve developed a closer commercial relationship with the designers and stakeholders and been able to provide more predictable outcomes, with fewer surprises, at a much earlier stage in the project.”