Building Information Modelling: Saving the UEA £750,000

Senior Project Manager at the University of East Anglia, Martin Lovatt, recently spoke to the cameras about the University’s newest student residence building Crome Court, and how Building Information Modelling (BIM) was implemented on the project. In the interview, which you can see below, Martin explains how the ability to ask a number of ‘What if?’ questions very quickly helped to save the University an estimated £750,000 in one afternoon.

Below, Karl Thurston, Associate and BIM Manager at LSI, explains how this was made possible;

“The UEA had really aspirational U-values for the building, and to achieve those we would have had to have put a secondary structure behind the cladding system, which would have meant pushing the whole cladding system out and increasing the capital cost of the project. The windows would also have needed to have been triple glazed.

Working in a collaborative 3D environment, as part of the Building Information Modelling process, allowed the team to communicate effectively, test designs and scenarios quickly in a way which would not have been possible previously.

What we did, using environmental modelling software, was to understand where energy was being used and how it was being lost through the use of the building to design out that super insulation.  We’ve ended up with a much thinner structure, and only double glazing, but the building is still hitting the energy criteria which was set out by the university, and at a huge cost saving.

We were incredibly fortunate that everybody involved in the project bought into the process and fulfilled their role and supported others to fulfil theirs.”