Space Group, NBS and BIM Academy join forces to develop UK’s ‘Concrete Valley’

A group of north-east England-based companies specialising in the digital built environment have come together to form a group called Dynamo Build.

The group has come together to give a collective voice to the cluster of tech companies focusing on the built environment that are based in the north east of England. Dynamo Build – no relation to DynamoBIM – is made up of Space Group, owner of and Space Architects, BIM Academy, the consultancy co-founded by architect Ryder and Northumbria University, and the RIBA’s data services company NBS.

Other partners in the project are Dynamo North East, an organisation for IT businesses in the region, collaboration platform and software provider Viewpoint and Kykloud, which offers building surveying and asset management software. 

Rob Charlton, chief executive of Space Group, told BIM+: “We want to develop the UK’s Concrete Valley. The background to Dynamo Build is that we want the north east build-tech cluster to speak with a single voice to help address three main areas. First, promotion. This will be regionally nationally and internationally. Second, we want to develop and retain skills in the region. Finally, we want to share resources on research to help develop our individual businesses.

“If we share cost and resource we will be stronger. To innovate we have to collaborate. With Apple and Microsoft collaborating there is no reason why we can’t collaborate with our competitors,” he continued.

The group has arranged to meet on a monthly basis to discuss how to promote the north east as an IT hub, share resources and carry out training initiatives to develop skills in the region.

Peter Barker, managing director at the BIM Academy, explained that the group will help to maintain the momentum the north east has achieved on BIM. “We are a network of similar organisations trying to push in the same direction. This group is joining the dots so that we can easily share information.

“The region is relatively small in terms of construction output, but we export a lot of skills and have a group based here that are international experts.”

Barker says other companies based in the region are welcome to join Dynamo Build. “This is definitely not an exclusive club. If there are people in the region working in the sector then they are welcome,” he said.

Adam Page, marketing manager at Viewpoint, added: “At Viewpoint we are proud to be involved in an initiative such as Dynamo Build as the industry is very much in a state of transition with the digital age of construction now upon us.

“The north east is a hotbed of technology talent and new ways of working such as BIM present an opportunity to capitalise on the resource and knowledge we have in the region. We’re embracing change here and through Dynamo Build we hope to lead the way both nationally and globally.

“Dynamo Build is a really positive initiative. The businesses involved are direct competitors, but together we can demonstrate what digital companies in the North East can offer the construction industry, across the UK and worldwide.”

And Paul Swaddle, head of business solutions at NBS, added: “The collaboration effort builds on the foundations of the work Dynamo has done with the IT sector and highlights the hub of digital construction innovation here, which is world-class. We’re proud of the work we’re doing and Dynamo Build shines a spotlight on the region.”

If we share cost and resource we will be stronger. To innovate we have to collaborate. With Apple and Microsoft collaborating there is no reason why we can’t collaborate with our competitors.– Rob Charlton, chief executive, Space Group

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  1. About time we had an article on here about somewhere other than London. People on this site think London is the centre of the universe but here is a great example where the North East are telling London to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. I worked in London for 14 years and it is the worst place on earth!! Even my name sake Barry Island is better than that dump!

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