A North-East architects firm is attracting international clients thanks to a joint research project with Teesside University into cutting edge building information modelling technology.
Ryder Architecture in Newcastle is working with the University on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to investigate different ways in which Building Information Modelling (BIM) can be implemented into facilities management.
This is the third KTP that Ryder has undertaken with Teesside University and the research into BIM has helped position it as a leading practitioner of BIM methodologies and helped attract clients in Australia and the Far East.
BIM is a concept that uses a combination of processes and technologies to develop a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a building.
BIM, if implemented properly, can improve the predictability and quality of building projects and contribute to saving time and money.
The latest KTP undertaken by Ryder and Teesside University is looking at ways in which this knowledge can be adapted to provide data and information which can be used to manage the building after its construction is completed and how this knowledge can be fed back to architects and engineers so they can design better buildings.
KTPs typically last for two years and are a collaboration between a University and a company. They are part-funded by Innovate UK to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills.
Ryder’s previous collaboration with Teesside University has already led the company to form a new business, BIM Academy, an R&D, education and consultancy organisation to support other firms which want to implement BIM methodology in their work.
The success of the KTP projects helped Ryder win a prestigious international consultancy on BIM for facility management at the Sydney Opera House following a global tender call.
Ryder is also working on BIM projects at the M+ Museum of Art being constructed in West Kowloon, Hong Kong.
The company has also formed a partnering agreement with Ecodomus, a US IT firm which specialises in BIM for facilities management to help push the technology in UK and the Far East.
Peter Barker, Director at Ryder Architecture and Managing Director of BIM Academy, said: “From Ryder’s perspective, the KTP has really helped to broaden our services, not just in terms of designing the client’s building but also having the potential to deliver reliable information about the building for the operational stage.
“It’s really helped to increase our awareness of BIM’s capabilities and, jointly with BIM Academy, given us the chance to work on some really exciting projects and helped us to talk to some very significant clients.
“At the moment only a small proportion of building projects are using BIM for facilities management, so there is huge scope out there.”
Omar Tapponi, the KTP Associate, said: “The project has allowed me to look into lots of different ways in which BIM can be implemented.
“One particularly interesting aspect is the use of BIM in conservation and heritage projects.
“But we’re looking at all sorts of different ways in which we can take BIM data and provide additional functionality.”
The KTP has been overseen at Teesside University by Professor Nash Dawood and Dr Mohamad Kassem from the School of Science & Engineering who both have a vast array of experience on international BIM projects.
Professor Dawood said: “BIM Academy and Ryder are leading the way in providing support and consultancy for clients in using BIM for facilities management.
“This research has really helped to push the body of knowledge to see how BIM can be used beyond the construction suite.
“This can have a huge impact on the efficiency of running a building.”