Following the scrapping of the £55bn BSF programme last year, the pressure is really on for schools to find new ways of utilising existing facilities. In further cuts, the size of new schools could be reduced by as much as 15% under plans being drawn up by government advisers this month.
We therefore need to get more out of existing stock ensure new facilities provide the optimal physical environment for learning, and also ensure projects are energy efficient and environmentally friendly for life.
A key concern with projects in the changing education market is the need to evaluate the performance of facilities across a broad spectrum of areas. Schools need to deliver against stringent standards and specifications, whilst the design and review process must be practical, repeatable and scalable.
How can BIM help in education design & planning?
Building Information Modelling enables analysis and planning to be carried our more efficiently. Using BIM to develop a 3D model for new or existing facilities will allow various types of analysis to be performed quickly within the required standards.
The output from a BIM-based analysis can also increase the transparency and accountability of the decision-making process. It allows us to make better, more informed decisions that maximise the economic and financial return on our education projects. BIM also enables users to explore the new 3R’s – refresh, refurbish and renew – in a virtual environment, facilitating delivery of a more informed requirement for future specification projects.
So why start using BIM now?
With the issuing of building performance mandates, the availability of financing for energy saving contracts and funds from government initiatives, now is the perfect time to convert estate records to BIM.
Using BIM to create evidence-based decisions regarding key refurbishment projects will enable you to act quickly, while addressing risk management concerns. Leveraging important building information, BIM allows us to deliver projects faster, more economically, and with maximum operational and environmental efficiencies.
It’s an exciting new stage in construction, planning and design!