Digital Construction Awards 2024: iDEA and King’s College London win Best Use of Data on a Project

iDEA wins Best Use of Data on a Project at the Digital Construction Awards 2024
The iDEA collect their trophy from Ollie Hughes (left) of Digital Construction Week, Paul Wilkinson (second left) for nima, and Tom Allen (right) (Photo © 2024 – ASV Photography Ltd.

iDEA and King’s College London have used new digital technologies and data planning to deliver a long-term campus masterplan and their collaboration won the Best Use of Data on a Project category, sponsored by nima, at the Digital Construction Awards last night (2 July). 

iDEA, a multi-disciplinary design consultancy, has been collaborating with King’s College London (KCL) for the past four years, exploring new digital technologies that could support the delivery of a long-term campus masterplan to improve and optimise a complex estate in central London.  

BIMplus top 10 - Nima logo
Category sponsor

The KCL estate is a complex cluster of 250 buildings of various periods. KCL wanted base data that would allow it to engage with academics and the senior leadership team and develop a 2029 property vision to: optimise use of historic assets and office space; enhance student experience; reduce energy consumption; support hybrid work practices; and deliver cutting-edge teaching space. KCL held good property data but this was confined to Planon data that relied on multiple input sources. 

iDEA and KCL felt that existing tech solutions fell short of addressing their demands effectively, so they decided to build a custom software tool from the ground up.  

One of the primary digital technologies that iDEA and KCL have been working with is Vantage, an estates visualisation platform that aggregates core campus data. Vantage is a multi-layered and 360-degree ‘command centre’ from which millions of combinations of data analysis can be achieved, in one place, at one time. Using Vantage, iDEA developed a digital campus platform, built in the Unity game engine. 

This provides an interactive means of storytelling and data analysis, incorporating information including the relative locations of campuses and buildings; building condition; functional suitability; construction date; tenure type; and 3D representations of buildings.  

“As a means of objectively informing the masterplanning process, Vantage provides comprehensive and holistic insights into KCL’s built assets. What is outstanding about this innovation is the extent to which it is leveraging existing asset data to do so. In terms of value, this toolset has the potential to deliver significantly more value than others in the operational phase. It is also eminently scalable to other projects.”

What the judges said

iDEA has also developed a bespoke open-source API that allows data from associated tools such as Register (a timetable analysis tool) and Forecast (a spatial scenario planning tool) to connect with the Planon data, creating a single source digital twin of the whole campus. 

With a complete 3D build of KCL campuses, iDEA has provided access to all the relevant occupier, work settings and occupancy data for the entire university. The model is used by the KCL estates team as an engagement and communication tool and to analyse the estate and scenario plan. Longer term, there is the possibility that KCL’s architecture and construction students could use iDEA’s tools to understand how carbon emissions from the built environment can be reduced. 

Chris Ager, MD of iDEA, said: "This award represents the best part of about seven years’ worth of work. If it hadn’t been for our clients at King’s College seeing the value in the project, supporting it, and giving us a platform to actually develop it, then we would not be here collecting this award. We’re proud to be supporting the university to improve education around real estate."

  • AtkinsRéalis | Digital design at Sizewell C
  • Disperse/Canary Wharf Group | Wood Wharf Development
  • DMRC | Allo on HS2
  • GMI Construction | ProjectData
  • iDEA | King’s College London Vantage Model
  • Integrated Health Projects/Buildots | Royal Bournemouth Hospital
  • Skanska/National Highways | Delivering data-driven construction digital twins in highways

Don’t miss out on BIM and digital construction news: sign up to receive the BIMplus newsletter.

Story for BIM+? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest articles in News