HPF BIM update

Hurley Palmer Flatt have been utilising 3D modelling techniques for over three years. Revit software is used in most of our MEP designs and IES dynamic modelling throughout our building services design processes.

BIM is the logical extension of this philosophy and over the last two years we have been at the forefront of BIM implementation; both internally within Hurley Palmer Flatt and externally with our clients and design teams with whom we work. Whilst many consultancies outsource their BIM projects to specialist teams, Hurley Palmer Flatt’s approach is different. We have a core of engineers within each of our offices who are trained and capable to use the software necessary to engage in BIM. We predominantly use Revit MEP and Navisworks, along with access to extensive knowledge and experience from in-house specialists who are active in the research and development community.

Rather than merely being a piece of software, BIM is a process which requires the full collaboration of every member of the design team, including the client. For BIM to be beneficial on a project it is essential that the architect, structural and M&E consultants, and preferably the contractor, work in a 3D environment.

We believe that the use of BIM on projects could yield significant benefits and we would welcome the opportunity to utilise it. The benefits that BIM could bring to this project are threefold;

  • Getting the design right, first time
  • Risk management
  • FM legacy

The risks would be reduced from the earliest stages by improved co-ordination. This would involve setting out the basic zoning of elements within the building which would be developed and refined as the design progressed. The whole design team would be communicating on a common platform, hence avoiding misinterpretation of information. The client would be able to clearly visualise the design and hence be in a position to offer clear guidance on the acceptability of our proposals. Cost could be easily analysed to ensure that the project remains on budget.

Some of our projects that have involved the use of BIM include:

  • 78-91 Grosvenor St
  • 58 Victoria Embankment
  • 121 and 123 London Wall Place
  • Principal Place Residential

London Wall Place has been our major BIM project in our West End office, with its 12 and 16 storey buildings of commercial office space and two levels of basement plant areas. This project was designed to Level 2 BIM as per PAS 1192-2, achieving fully coordinated MEP, architectural and structural models.

The use of BIM provides a full digital model of the building and everything within it. The opportunities this presents are significant, and include:

  • Simple space planning
  • An interactive database of every component within the building
  • Links to maintenance records and plans
  • Full clash detection
  • Remote access for fault reporting
  • A complete, interactive and editable O&M manual

In terms of the use of BIM technology going forward, we foresee the use of BIM models being used in conjunction with augmented reality. For example, scan bar codes can be used with tablets or smart phones to visualise MEP services above a ceiling, which is normally invisible to the naked eye. This would give valuable information to the FM team without ceilings being demounted or requiring intrusive surveys to be undertaken.

We have an extremely exciting future ahead of us for BIM development at Hurley Palmer Flatt and we are looking forward to exploring and implementing new technologies that will benefit the delivery of our projects.