London, UK: 3rd October 2018: Bryden Wood is the executive architect and chief engineer for Sugar House Island, a 26-acre waterside development near Stratford.

Bryden Wood is using BIM to provide a single, site-wide, collaborative 3D design environment for the entire project. A fully-integrated 3D model for the 26-acre site, the BIM is highly unusual for its complexity and scale. The model incorporates the design and construction of 1.2km of new river wall, the remediation and cut-and-fill of soils, the design and installation of infrastructure as well as the design of all buildings and surrounding landscape.

It is the largest and most complex BIM ever undertaken by the tech-led design company.

“We’re pushing the use of BIM well beyond visualisation to achieve design standardisation and unprecedented levels of collaboration between all partners involved in this project,” says Ionut Hapaianu, director at Bryden Wood.

In order to introduce variation to the look and feel of the Island’s buildings, Vastint UK has employed nine architect and design companies across the project, including established and up-and-coming practices in both the UK and Europe. The model brings together the design work of these different practices into a single platform.

“We decided to commission a full BIM model of the site at the outset precisely because of its complexity and scale, and it was soon clear that it would be an invaluable tool. We have been able to use it for both design and procurement output. It allowed us to set standardisation rules for all plot teams at early design stage and during construction we used it to proactively avoid issues on site. Teams have used it to communicate across disciplines and it has definitely de-risked the project for our contractors. The outputs have even been used by the marketing team to enable agents and purchasers to take 3d tours through a simulation of the finished scheme. We now plan on rolling out this technology across our Leeds and Cardiff sites.” Michiel van Soest, Development Manager & Head of Projects, Vastint UK.

The use of BIM gives the scheme’s plot designers (many of whom are working in 2d) the ability to see their work in 3d context and to ‘zoom in’ on detailed elements. This aids visualisation, solves coordination issues, helps design teams and Vastint to understand complexity, and solves issues. It also helps the designers to understand whether a certain interface works with the surrounding landscape, for example.

Much more than simply clash detection, the project takes BIM another step closer to its future use by taking the information linked to and generated by the models to standardise major design aspects across the site. An integrated design system has been created where total construction IP is shared between Vastint, Bryden Wood, plot architects, landscape design teams, infrastructure and construction partners and contractors.

In order to refine and blend design as much as possible, and allow the effective use of standardised solutions, Bryden Wood has produced a design guide for plot architects to drive efficiencies and retain consistent quality. Within these design guidelines, connections and interfaces can be standardised and many components are repeatable. These components can be produced in high volumes, creating a consistent pipeline with economies of scale, as well as more dependable and timely supply.

Working with advanced BIM also enables major design changes to be made with relative ease.

Hapaianu continues, “It’s a good way of managing and understanding change because you can retain previous design models and compare and contrast a variety of options until you arrive at the best possible solution.”

The project’s BIM is an example of Bryden Wood’s commitment to technology-enabled, automated construction in order to drive efficiency and increase productivity.

The Sugar House Island BIM has been created in Revit and is used with Navisworks.

This article was published in Bim +