Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG), one of the world’s 50th largest contractors, has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with Huddersfield University to develop its use of BIM.
The contractor has recently set up a UK office and is an investor, along with Carillion, in a joint venture to develop the new £800m Manchester Airport City project, a deal signed in October 2013.
Last autumn, Manchester developer Scarborough Group selected BCEG as its preferred contractor for its 24-acre £700m Middlewood Locks (pictured above) development in Manchester, a project due to start on site this quarter.
It is also an equity and construction partner for the £200m St Michael’s mixed-use project, for the Jackson’s Row Development Partnership, owned by footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, in Bootle, Manchester
According to a press release from Huddersfield University, the key objectives of the five-year deal with the School of Art, Design and Architecture, are to “develop the construction giant’s expertise in lean construction, healthcare infrastructure and capacity in BIM”.
Huddersfield’s professor Mike Kagioglou (right) and Yewcheong Lau, BECG UK’s executive director
Along with increasing BCEG’s BIM capabilities, the agreement will provide opportunities for research staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students of the university to undertake work placements at BCEG, with the possibility of gaining full-time employment.
The agreement will also see joint projects developed between the contractor and university, with special events and workshops held and live projects undertaken.
Huddersfield University’s School of Art, Design and Architecture launched a new MSc course, entitled Design Integration and Building Information Modelling, in September last year.
Song Wu, professor of surveying and IT, who secured the deal, has previously taken part in several joint research projects with industry and is currently working with China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) to digitally model buildings to improve energy-efficiency.