Birmingham Uni appoints GroupBC to manage common data environment

The University of Birmingham has entered into a new agreement with GroupBC to manage its current and future built assets.

GroupBC provides a digital and asset information management platform based on a common data environment (CDE) solution.

The university required a CDE and project management system within its Estates Office to improve project governance, portfolio and information management. Currently, project and asset information resides in multiple disparate legacy systems and is also held by the university’s external supply chain.

The University of Birmingham is in the midst of one of the most transformational campus redevelopments since the first phase of building was completed in 1909. The development programme, worth £1bn as part of a 10-year investment starting in 2016, is creating outstanding new facilities for students, staff and the community.

A UK-owned and hosted CDE will ensure the university can access all documents, drawings, 3D models and data regarding its assets from a single, secure platform. This will form the basis for its One Estate initiative.

With GroupBC’s assistance, the University of Birmingham is implementing a single system which can be utilised by the university, design teams and contractors to track and report on milestones, changes and key decisions for project governance purposes. In effect, this will drive efficiency within its existing estate and the delivery of capital projects. It will also improve the delivery, visibility and control of important information and data across the department.

The development programme, worth £1bn as part of a 10-year investment starting in 2016, is creating outstanding new facilities

It is also important that the university mitigates the risk of information loss in the event of a supplier dispute or insolvency during the design or construction phases, especially with such significant investment plans for the future.

The implementation of a CDE will mitigate the above risks while at the same time substantially improving efficiency and availability of data for the university’s estates team.

This new CDE will assure the safe storage and access of all data and is fully compliant with the university’s security requirements, including ISO 27001, a specification for an information security management system.

Speaking on GroupBC’s appointment, Wes Simmons, GroupBC’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to be working with such an ambitious and informed organisation that is truly committed to digital transformation and BIM (Building Information Modelling) adoption.”

Trevor Payne, director of estates at the University of Birmingham, said: “The University of Birmingham is excited to be partnering with GroupBC, a sector leading provider for effective portfolio and project management solutions.

“The system will provide us with the foundation to open up our documentation and data, making it easier to link, interpret, find and manage information. Implementation of this initiative will deliver transformation of operation and service delivery, strengthening the university’s position as a world-leading institution.”

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