Delays avoided for Willmott Dixon, and it’s all down to BIM

Credit: Willmott Dixon
Credit: Willmott Dixon

Construction behemoth Willmott Dixon have told how the use of Building Information Modelling during one of their latest projects has saved them from costly delays.

Project Director of Willmott Dixon’s Curzon Building development, Chris Hufford spoke with Construction News regarding the major impact the use of BIM software has had on the Birmingham City University site.

“On phase one there was one place where we could see that mechanical ducting, which was due to go below a raised access floor on a sloping bridge link, actually ended up 300mm above the floor,” recalled Hufford. “We would have had to redesign the ducting [on a 2D drawing], approve the design, manufacture it, deliver it to site and install it.” A prime example of how building before you build really helps!

Hufford references the ability to show a client where they will be working before a single brick has been laid is an “unbelievable” feature of BIM, meaning building owners are kept informed throughout the entire build process and have faith in what the contractors are doing. He said: “To be able to take someone up and around a space they would be working in is unbelievable and improves efficiency so much.

“If someone comes up to one of my guys on the sixth storey and asks for a detail, it no longer takes him three hours to get back up there with an answer. Those days are gone.”

Willmott Dixon are using Autodesk 360 software during the construction of the Curzon Building, allowing them to benefit from an unprecedented level of freedom in regards to where they can access the model data.

“Basically it contains the BIM model on an iPad, as well as National Building Specifications, two-dimensional drawings, Willmott Dixon health and safety procedure documents and quality management systems”, said Hufford. “All my team have everything they need when they’re in the field.

“We believe the level of detail in the BIM model we are using for this building makes it one of the most advanced in the UK.”

Click here to read the entire article to learn more about various other construction challenges the project team faced.

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