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Model of Parliament to be the largest ever created

12 June 2016 | By Tom Ravenscroft

Plowman Craven is set to create the largest BIM model ever produced as part of the programme of works to restore the Houses of Parliament.

The chartered surveyor has been commissioned to carry out a laser scan survey to capture measurement data for the entire Palace of Westminster. The information will then be used to create a BIM model that will be the platform for the restoration and renewal programme.

Plowman Craven believes that it’s probably the largest building of its type that anyone has ever modelled, which is what makes this such a unique project to be involved with.

According to the surveyor, it is a massive undertaking with many different challenges – particularly gaining access to all areas of the estate and the complicated nature of the building and its historic fabric.

Carrying out the scan and producing the model is expected to take 14 months with a team of around 20 working on the project. Plowman Craven will deploy advanced laser scanning techniques with Leica P40 HDS and Faro scanners. However, drones will not be used at this point.

Last year, BIM+ reported that BIM would take a central role in the refurbishment, which is expected to cost between £3.5bn and £5.7bn and take between five and 40 years to complete.

“This 3D model will help to facilitate the subsequent planning, design and construction work, as well as the future management of the Palace,” said Malcolm Donald, director at Plowman Craven. “We look forward to contributing our BIM capability to this vital project to preserve and protect a UNESCO World Heritage Site of national and global significance.”

The House of Commons Commission and the House of Lords House Committee commissioned a study in 2012 to investigate the condition of the fabric of the Palace, which indicated that, unless significant restoration work is undertaken, major, irreversible damage may be done. However, any restoration programme is unlikely to start before 2020/21.

We look forward to contributing our BIM capability to this vital project to preserve and protect a UNESCO World Heritage Site of national and global significance.– Malcolm Donald, director, Plowman Craven