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Balfour Beatty partners with Higher Education Institutions to develop innovative Building Information Modelling solution

Balfour Beatty has partnered with Leeds Beckett University, White Frog Publishing and Coventry University to create a new, automated solution to tackle challenges faced by the construction industry in adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology.

BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.

Whilst the benefits to embedding BIM into everyday working practices are clear, the industry hasn't embraced the technology in a way similar to other technologies such as drones, due to a lack of access to the level of design information required at an early stage to effectively use the tool.

The project will see the collaborative team explore how BIM can become more automated by developing a plug-in software solution, with the aim of assisting users in complying with BIM standards and meeting Government targets by adopting BIM as part of the Construction 2025 Strategy to reduce time and cost of construction.

The project is part of a wider 12.5 million investment programme organised by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body within UK Research and Innovation, and financed by the Government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in innovative projects aiming to improve productivity, quality and performance of the UK construction sector.

The developed software will automatically populate the 3D representation of products or elements with the appropriate building information. This will simplify the process of sharing data between design, procurement, maintenance and operation teams, allowing for increased predictability of building performance through more detailed asset planning.

The research team will develop the automated BIM solution over a two year period, with the project to be shared with the wider industry in 2021.

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