P+HS Architects are abreast of the requirement to deliver building designs and production information using Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies. Government targets are to deliver all publicly funded building by 2016 using this approach and, in preparation, we have invested and implemented BIM capable software and hardware across our three offices. Over the past four years we have steadily developed our working knowledge and strategy for design and delivery of our projects around Level 2 standards of PAS.1192-2 (BS.1192).

We realise the benefits of being able to adopt a fully co-ordinated approach across the design and delivery team, the tracking of variations, the early co-ordination of building services and the tools to eliminate errors in document co-ordination. Our experience has also given us further insights into the potential of BIM Data including BREEAM compliance, asset management and energy assessment.

P+HS continue to maintain significant levels of investment in IT and selected AutoDesk products as the market leader, with AutoDesk Revit as our BIM platform. The first licences were purchased in 2010 all with associated subscriptions. This ensures that both the latest and legacy versions are always available ensuring compatibility with any other Design Team. We have steadily built on our licenses and this now represents 29 Full Design Suites combining Revit BIM, AutoCAD and numerous Collaboration tools along with 15 LT Design Suites and a further 18 standalone CAD seats.

A structured training programme is in operation across all offices. We offer open and progressive learning for all design and technical staff. In addition we carry out project specific analysis to ensure the BIM delivery data will be concise, manageable and properly structured for each project’s need. We hold regular in-house User Meetings and Workshops to review experiences, issues and advances in BIM related technology.

We are fully exploiting the collaborative use of BIM software links and plugins such as NHS ADB for the production of room data sheets, room layouts and 3D spatial models on healthcare projects. We are able to import standard components and display and quantify them directly in the BIM design environment. This approach allows us to have full and meaningful engagement with building users at a very early stage in the development of a project, ensuring that proposals are fully understood and reviewed. Greater User understanding has proved invaluable in reducing Construction stage changes.

Designing and detailing in a BIM environment offers us a single data source for both traditional Contract drawings and Visualisations. Live BIM data is interchangeable with our in-house graphic visualizers. We are able, for specific projects, to provide photo realistic professional rendering of the models. Design developments in the common BIM model can be transferred to imagery without the need to mirror or duplicate by separate teams.

P+HS are able to exchange, collaborate and consolidate our BIM data via various formats including RVT/IFC/gbXML. We already have experience with fully collaborative Architectural/Structural/MEP projects as well as direct file sharing with supply chain information and energy assessment consultants. Collaborative working, the essence of Level 2 BIM, has produced an instant improvement in early day co-ordination and the clash detection ability within the programme again allows easy identification of potential issues.

We have successfully utilised BIM via Autodesk Revit on a several projects, including healthcare.  The first building delivered using BIM was Pallion Health Centre, a £15m, Primary Care Centre in Sunderland. A finalist in the 2012 BCI BIM Awards, this building has also achieved BREEAM Excellent.

We have already seen the benefits of being able to provide the client with accurate early 3D models of buildings showing massing and location on the site right through to detailed 3D room layouts. The instant view of the design has led to an immediate improvement in design understanding and appreciation with Clients, Contractors and other stakeholders.