WATCH – Details announced regarding Atkins, BGS and Innovate UK’s ‘BIM for the Subsurface’ project

Credit: Atkins
Credit: Atkins

Details have been revealed regarding a new project funded by Innovate UK – aka the Technology Strategy Board – that will see Building Information Modelling utilised to examine not what is above the surface, but what is below it.

BIM for the Subsurface will see geotechnical data company Keynetix team up with Atkins, Autodesk and British Geological Survey (BGS) in the hope to create a cloud-based database of geological and geotechnical data to save time and money when constructing buildings or pieces of infrastructure. With a notable collection of 3D models in place, AEC companies will in theory be able to check what is underneath a plot of land before beginning work above it.

Innovate UK will inject cash into the project, estimated at £540,000. The research will be conducted over a two-year period and is funded by Innovate under their Digitising the Construction Industry initiative. Results of the study are set to be available from 2017.

In a video released explaining the project, Keynetix’s Technical Director, Gary Morin said: “Unforeseen ground conditions continue to be a major cause of project delays and construction programme overruns. A big problem is the limited availability of high quality geotechnical data, which is stored mainly in project archives. If this was publically-available, construction teams could access better data, site investigations would be more focused and ground risk reduced, saving time and money.

“Including 3D interpretative models in the cloud will also make it possible to plan investigations in 3D. An added benefit is that the use of geotechnical data in Building Information Modelling should also grow.”

Kate Royse, Director of Environmental Modelling at BGS also commented, stating: “This project will lead to a step-change in how the BGS delivers its data and models to the geotechnical engineering and construction sectors. It builds on an increasingly open and accessible wealth of information in the BGS National Geoscience Data Centre.”

Watch the video below. For quotes from additional members of the team, click here to read the full press release.

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