Joining forces to launch Academy

Award winning architectural practice Ryder Architecture, has joined forces with Northumbria University to launch BIM Academy to support the construction industry in the uptake of BIM (Building Information Modelling). HM Government Innovation and Growth Team have predicted that: “BIM is seen as having the greatest potential to transform the habits, and eventually the structure, of the industry”, a view that has been reinforced by the Government’s Construction Strategy 2011, published in June.

The official launch of BIM Academy coincides with the Government’s anticipated announcement on adoption of BIM in public sector construction.

BIM Academy, believed to be the first venture of its kind in the UK, sets out to combine industry experience and innovation with the research and education capabilities of the University. It will provide a centre of excellence that undertakes Research, Development, Education, and Consultancy and promote best practice, collaboration and innovation in BIM and integrated project delivery supporting the transformation of the construction industry.

Great potential

Speaking about the joint venture, which he believes has immense potential not only in the UK but across Europe, Mark Thompson, Managing Director of Ryder Architecture, said: “Ryder invested in the development of BIM six years ago because the practice foresaw the efficiencies and improvements it can bring to design quality and project delivery.

“Development of BIM Academy through our partnership with Northumbria University is a natural and yet ambitious step which we have been working on since 2009. As a practice, we have been using BIM extensively and therefore are probably one of the UK’s most experienced adopters. As such, we have a depth of industry knowledge and practical experience of applying it to live projects.

“We believe it is vital to share this experience with industry peers to achieve the transformation the industry needs to survive the current economic climate and thrive in the future.”

Mr Thompson continued: “Combining our practical experience with the University’s research and technology capabilities will allow us to help the industry achieve the full potential of BIM.”

Important initiative

Professor of Building Modelling at Northumbria University, Steve Lockley, observed: “We are delighted to be leading this important initiative with Ryder. There are many in the industry who still do not appreciate the advantages of integrated project delivery and the potential of BIM in achieving it; there are also those who are keen to adopt but require support and encouragement in doing so. BIM Academy will promote awareness and deliver support in the key areas of research, development, education and consultancy.”

BIM Academy will be led by operations director Peter Barker working alongside research director Steve Lockley and was formally launched on 21 June, with presentations from Lord O’Neil, chairman of the Nuclear Industries Association and Bill East, Senior Research Civil Engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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