How Winvic is winning clients over to BIM

11 December 2019 | By Andrew Pring

Winvic is punching well above its weight in terms of its commitment to digital technologies. Andrew Pring finds talks to Tim Reeve, technical director, about its strategy.

While some medium sized contractors may be happy to sit on the sidelines and bemoan the fact their clients aren’t interested in BIM Winvic Construction is doing is going all out to demonstrate the benefits. The £600m turnover main contractor specialising in turnkey solutions for industrial, build-to-rent, student accommodation and commercial projects has launched a Centre for Innovative Construction (CIC) with a virtual reality BIM cave and voice-activated BIM trialling programmes.

The 2,000 sq ft CIC is sited at Winvic’s Northampton head office, and is designed to facilitate interactive experiences within design models. This ranges from clash detection and dimensional design checks to spatial awareness assessment and data asset information retrieval, allowing Winvic staff, consultants and suppliers to interact and make live design changes.

The BIM cave has a 125-inch screen for 3D model viewing, an interactive meeting room allowing real-time design changes on 86-inch smart screens, and a training space that will enable 360-degree education across the business and the supply chain.

Variations can be effected remotely or via the interactive design meeting room and be instantly viewed in three dimensions, with the 3D headset and controller allowing the BIM cave user to travel around a site or building.

Tim Reeve, technical director at Winvic, says: “We have offered industry standard BIM Level 2 to clients for many years, but in the last two to three we have experienced a significant uptake in the request for BIM on the projects we are involved in and they now represent nearly one third of our turnover. However, to meet clients’ future needs, we wanted to become an early adopter of the technology found in our new facility.

“Clients often can’t visualise what you’re trying to achieve but when we bring them here, they are very enthused by what they see.”

The BIM cave is part of Winvic’s new Centre for Innovative Construction

Reeve says that client demand for a more sophisticated offer has been particularly strong among property developers. “Some key developers see a real benefit in the BIM model, particularly at the end of the construction process as a benefit for incoming tenants who can use it as an FM work manual.”

End-users can retrieve sections of their scheme’s design manual, maintenance guidance or 360-degree photos with a simple click or via a QR code, and QR codes within finished buildings can link to pertinent manual information or other online content.

Reeve believes that by being able to strategise with clients, end-users, consultants and suppliers through a digital approach – from as early as the PQQ and tender stages – will be “transformational” for its business and also the companies it works with.

Shaping accurate budget and planning complex programmes using 4D modelling provides Winvic with the means to manage schemes at very detailed levels, as well as model construction challenges into solved problems and execute construction phases faster. Project developers and building occupiers profit from shortened timescales and reduced costs end-to-end.