Winner: Metek UK
One of the common themes that came out of the presentations for this hotly contested category was recognition that building information modelling is more about collaboration and cultural change than it is about software.
That said, Metek, the winner of this category for the third year running, has been busy coming up with some arresting developments on the technical side that have pushed the envelope.
The designer, manufacturer and installer of light steel framing systems had ended last year’s judging session by saying it intended to produce something to improve health and safety over the next 12 months – and one of its innovations this year has done precisely that.
Today the company’s in-house software provides comprehensive details at a very early point in a project’s delivery cycle, meaning that operatives can be alerted to potential dangers way in advance of encountering them on a live job. This is achieved via risk clauses in the model that automatically flag hazards such as voids.
The judges were impressed by Metek’s proud claim to have had zero RIDDORs in the last 10 years, something it attributes in no small part to its modelling process in achieving this. The firm says that having the details thought through early using BIM allows for a much safer site.
“This is an outstanding example of embedding digital processes and innovative technologies to propel improvements for clients”
On top of this, the firm has thought carefully about how to get buy-in from its workers.
The panel admired an app developed by the business that delivers information such as dimensions to smart phones, as opposed to “pretty 3D drawings” that it found its labourers did not want.
Another feature of Metek’s embedded-BIM approach is the reduction of waste in its factory to just 1.2 per cent. Even this fraction was a moot point, though, as Metek revealed that all of it is recycled anyway.
The judges were also impressed by the Metek-developed solution that can verify 2D .dwg files, something the firm says it’s extremely proud of.
Metek says that translating these into the model can help identify issues that wouldn’t have otherwise shown up and that would cause assembly or other problems when working on the project.
“We were bullied into BIM eight years ago and it has been the best thing that’s happened to us,” said the firm’s managing director Oliver Rogan.
With three wins on the bounce in this Specialists Awards category, the business is clearly doing something right.
Highly commended: Severfield
The judges said that if this category had been called ‘BIM Project Excellence’, Severfield would have pipped Metek to this year’s prize.
Its work on the development and delivery of the Ordsall Chord rail project in Manchester stood out in 2016.
Severfield not only reduced cost and programme complexity issues through the use of a fully integrated digital design model, but was able to get sign-off from Salford City Council in an extremely challenging heritage setting while generating a legacy of high-quality digital asset data.
- Bourne Construction Engineering
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- NG Bailey
- Plowman Craven