• Client: Oxford University
  • Lead Contractor: Laing O’Rourke

In Oxford, Laing O’Rourke has constructed a bespoke building with a complex geometry to house the university’s new Blavatnik School of Government, which has been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. Tom Ravenscroft learns how Laing O’Rourke taught Oxford University BIM on the project.

Although this was a complex and prestigious £55m project, a full BIM protocol had not been established by Oxford University. Following the first stage of a two-stage appointment, main contractor Laing O’Rourke made the decision in consultation with Oxford University to implement elements of BIM due to the complexities of the project, and as part of the process of improving the company’s own delivery capability.

“The client only had a general requirement to utilise BIM but had no specific requirements,” says John Revelle, project digital engineer for Laing O’Rourke. “The implementation and use of BIM was driven by Laing O’Rourke to support our own business processes and construction methodologies.”

Although this is not a Level 2 BIM project, the client design team, including architect Herzog & de Meuron, did supply the contractor with a basic 3D model developed for coordination during the earlier design stages, which Laing O’Rourke was able to further develop for coordination, programme validation and construction sequencing. The contractor then added extra detail and data to the model for it to be used in asset management.

Along with its unique geometry, the architect’s desire for uncluttered, monolithic concrete meant that the use of BIM was essential to accurately install the mechanical and electrical (M&E) services.

To achieve the level of accuracy needed, M&E engineer Crown House Technologies digitally modelled all the containment.

As the majority of the wiring containment needed to be cast into the structure, it was essential that the positioning of all the services was correct first time.

To achieve the level of accuracy needed, M&E engineer Crown House Technologies digitally modelled all the containment. Using BIM mitigated re-work and ensured certainty of technical fit.



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