07/06/2018

Technology is revolutionising the built environment

Whilst there has been an industry focus on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and government commitment to deliver the digital revolution for the built environment, we need to contextualise how it will impact the industry and bring tangible benefits.

GRAHAM is the first UK contractor to achieve two BIM Kitemark’s from BSI, one for the Design and Construction phase and the second for Asset Management, demonstrating our commitment to delivering innovation and value and throughout the complete building lifecycle.

"With our ethos ‘Digital by Default’, we aim to make our client’s journey a smooth one, empower our workforce and de-risk our projects through information driven decision making."

– Melanie Dawson, Head of BIM at GRAHAM Group

BIM is a great springboard for integrating the information age into the built environment. We are now future proofing our buildings; delivering a framework and a set of rules, which help standardise how we work with project information, from inception right through to handover and in use. This helps us focus on capturing and organising  the most useful information that enables us to guide clients to make smarter, earlier and more informed design, construction and in-use lifecycle decisions, improving outcomes for all users of the building.

Our approach is simple, we focus on the digital ‘I’ in BIM. We want to build a great database of information, which is why we have embraced the digital revolution, and why we invest in a variety of tools to make this happen. We have managed this through a careful and strategic roll out plan, with great people working on projects all over the UK and Ireland, each highly skilled in their own specialised discipline. Through the provision of training and implementing new technology solutions, we’re increasing their BIM knowledge and skills which they can put into action.

We want to create a workforce fit for the future, we invest in people, process and technology.

It is fascinating to watch how the adoption of cutting edge digital tools into live projects helps reduce error, save time and save cost whilst simultaneously increasing client satisfaction. The enthusiasm and positive results received on projects has been the biggest accelerant for the digital transformation programme. Paired with the feedback from our teams who are actively implementing the processes, we are constantly innovating to deliver best results.

Four years ago, we undertook our first contractual BIM project and since then, the process has grown…

BIM benefits our clients, teams and helps us collaborate to deliver better outcomes. We can see the value it adds to any project.

When I think about my team the word ‘curious’ springs to mind, especially when it comes to technology. We are curious about everything. The Digital Construction Team are always on the lookout for the latest technology that has the potential to add value to our projects.

From Virtual and Augmented Reality to drones and laser scanning, we have researched, developed and introduced many innovative solutions and we are dedicated to embracing the future.

With our ethos ‘Digital by Default’, we aim to make our client’s journey a smooth one, empower our workforce and de-risk our projects through information driven decision making. This BIM process will take place at the very beginning of any project within the Scape Regional Construction framework – looking at the clients’ requirements.

We use digital tools within our live projects including our Ellesmere Street project in Manchester.

The Ellesmere Street project will create 232 high-specification, aspirational living spaces with a strong sense of community in the Castlefield area of Manchester.

Community engagement was central to our innovative programme whereby we hosted two ‘open doors’ events, which allowed local residents to enjoy a Virtual Reality experience, using state-of-the-art technology, to get a glimpse of what the site will look like upon completion.

Ellesmere Street was one of the first projects to have implemented BIM360Field from the onset. Using the majority of the functions available, the success of which has played a pivotal role in the integration of BIM360Field throughout GRAHAM.

Implementing functions such as drawings, quality assurance inspections, health and safety, site diaries, progress photos and the entire federated model, BIM360Field continues to enable interaction between all teams, as well as facilitating subcontractor engagement.

Using Naviswork’s 3D clash detection to interrogate the model, workshops were held every few months, bringing together all disciplines and working towards a clash free model.

BIM is changing how we work; opening up new possibilities and making us more collaborative. We will continue to be curious, to push boundaries, to test and ensure we add value through BIM and digital construction on as many projects as possible.

Watch this (digital) space.

Melanie DawsonWritten by:

Melanie Dawson

Head of BIM
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