- Client: Argent
- Lead Contractor: Kier
- BIM Tools: Autodesk Revit and Navisworks, Clearbox BIMXtra
A federated BIM model proved vital when designing the transformation of this Grade II-listed Victorian building into a contemporary mixed-use development, detecting more than 700 potential clashes between the new steel structure and M&E services and saving thousands of pounds-worth of onsite labour.
The Midlands Goods Shed is a huge wrought iron and brick structure, built in 1850 by the Great Northern Railway as part of a temporary passenger terminal while the current King’s Cross station was being built. It was converted seven years later into a goods shed to enable the Midland Railway to handle and store goods delivered to King’s Cross from across the country.
The building is being sympathetically restored and converted into a new Waitrose supermarket and cookery school, plus an events and cultural space for Guardian Media Group, located in the adjacent East Handyside Canopy, one of two wings added to the complex in 1888.
Three-dimensional laser scans of the historic buildings were initially completed by chartered surveyor Plowman Craven and the point cloud data used to create a 3D model in Revit, into which consulting engineer Arup added structural information for the new steelwork elements.
This formed the basis of a fully federated BIM model, hosted in BIMXtra, featuring 3D models from the architect Bennetts Associates, steelwork fabricator Bourne Steel, main contractor Kier, and M&E consultant Hoare Lea.
The Midlands Goods Shed is a wrought iron and brick structure, built in 1850 by the Great Northern Railway
A federated model was required to make sense of the congested new M&E service routings, many of which will be exposed as part of the building’s aesthetic, and complex existing and new structural steelwork. It was used for design coordination and clash detection and made accessible to all stakeholders via the viewing platform Navisworks Simulate, while BIMXtra provided a common data environment for all project information.
“Arup’s original steel design didn’t include any steel connection details [needed to complete accurate clash detection], so one of the big wins on this job was to see a specialist contractor like Bourne Steel pick up that model and issue a detailed model based on it, including steel haunches and other elements,” says James Franklin, BIM manager for major projects at Kier.
Once this was added into the federated model, a clash detection exercise was carried out that highlighted almost 700 potential issues. “By the time we spoke to Hoare Lea about the clashes they were already appraising them in Navisworks Simulate and able to adjust their design to prevent issues. It probably saved many thousands of pounds-worth of labour as a result of redesign work during construction,” adds Franklin. It also meant Kier was more confident in achieving the design intent and setting out the scheme.
As the project closes in on its October completion date, Kier is about to deploy several iPads onsite, installed with the BIMXtra On Site app. This enables managers to access 2D drawing files, taken from the federated model, then tap onto individual components to reveal structural and design information. "We expect this to bring efficiencies with snagging and progress reporting, especially during the installation of M&E,” says Franklin.
Although Kier is not required by Argent to produce an asset information model, it is planning to develop one for the £130m R8 plot at King’s Cross, for which Kier was recently named preferred bidder. The circa 200,000 sq ft scheme will involve construction of a mixture of private and affordable housing, office accommodation and retail space.