place : architecture: Social housing has “great potential for reaping the maximum rewards of BIM”

Credit: place : architecture
Credit: place : architecture

A Lincolnshire, UK-based architecture practice has addressed the potential that Building Information Modelling implementation could have on both social and extra care housing developments.

Senior Architect at place : architecture, Philip Stephenson shared his thoughts on the subject for Housing LIN, listing spatial organisation, energy analysis and facilities management as areas that BIM adoption could provide extra efficiencies.

Stevenson wrote: “Both social housing and extra care schemes are two such areas that have great potential for reaping the maximum rewards of BIM where additional standards and future maintenance & management requirements require careful consideration from the early stages of development. Now, according to Inside Housing, the Homes and Communities Agency has commissioned a test using BIM on an estate in Nottingham to more thoroughly evaluate its potential.

“The majority of developments are relatively bespoke and the multi-occupancy nature requires highly coordinated architectural, structural and servicing layouts. With Level 2 BIM all consultants’ information is modelled as true 3D representations, it can then be combined, allowing coordination and analysis to become a continual process.”

Stevenson was honest in that whilst many projects will only benefit from one additional benefit as a result of BIM utilisation, some will be improved across the board. Regardless of what type of advantage one project may have as a result of a BIM workflow, any good that can come from it is better than none.

“Some projects will require the enhanced visualisation potential, others the close co-ordination or maybe the detailed analysis capabilities. That said, many projects can exploit the full range of benefits offered across the whole spectrum.

“As each development is different, they will invariably benefit in differing proportions in each of the above areas. This is particularly true within the extra care sector, where developing trends are now including a wide variety of diverse typologies.

“However, the main ‘ingredients’ remain the same, most extra care developments require a mix of ‘domestic scale’ living accommodation and ‘community scale’ social spaces leading to more complex structural, servicing, energy efficiency and management requirements and this complexity is where the benefits of BIM can truly shine.”

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