2019 Review: The six best projects

From skyscrapers in the city to digital twins in Cambridge all feature in our most read projects list for 2019, highlighting the breadth of technology being harnessed in today’s projects.

The £673m One Nine Elms development (pictured above), currently under construction in the London borough of Wandsworth, and featuring two of the tallest residential towers in Europe and connected by a glazed bridge, was one of the most popular projects on BIM+ in 2019.

Construction teams on residential projects typically create full-scale physical mock-ups of key apartment types to enable the design and client team to inspect quality, and for contractors to resolve coordination issues ahead of the build. However, mock-ups can be very costly (typically over £1m), take months to build and require multiple alterations and iterations to resolve coordination issues, all while the construction programme advances.

To address these concerns, One Creative Environments worked with Multiplex to develop a virtual mock-up of one key apartment and corridor much earlier in the build, designed to speed up coordination and clash resolution and deliver a range of other benefits.

Elsewhere in London, the 62-storey 22 Bishopsgate scheme (pictured left), located at the centre of a cluster of skyscrapers in the City of London, will become the tallest building in the financial district when completed. Our story showed how advanced 4D modelling and virtual reality applications are being used by Multiplex and its supply chain to intuitively plan and interrogate sequences of work to ensure they are efficient and safe.

In Manchester meanwhile, John Sisk was harnessing a plethora of digital tools to construction the £750m Circle Square development, located at the heart of Oxford Road Corridor innovation district in central Manchester.

With no BIM requirements from either client, Sisk chose to drive and invest in BIM on the project based on the benefits it had achieved on previous projects. This is the contractor’s first BIM project delivered entirely in-house, with only limited input from consultants.

We also saw plenty of interest in a digital twin demonstrator project in Cambridge. The CDBB provided funding for a pilot demonstrator project designed to road test some of the key concepts and workflows and demonstrate the potential benefits for facilities management and for wider productivity and well-being.

The project was carried out by researchers at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) at the University of Cambridge (where CDBB is based), Bentley Systems, Redbite, Topcon and GeoSLAM.

Our top six best read projects in 2019 were:

1. Battersea Power Station – 4D models ensure risk-free sequencing

2. 22 Bishopsgate, City of London – 4D modelling comes of age

3. One Nine Elms Virtual Mock-up – Taking the physical into digital

4. How BIM became the recipe for success at Cox Freeman

5. Sisk drives BIM adoption on Manchester scheme

6. Digital Twin Pilot Demonstrator Project, Cambridge

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