BEM Services were contacted by TM Electrical Services, who are a local electrical and mechanical installation contractor about a new 250 pupil school to be built in Bingham, Nottinghamshire for the main contractor Morgan-Sindall.

The project had already been designed to a RIBA Stage 4 level but now this needed taking through RIBA Stage 5 and onto completion. The existing design was completed in 3D modelling software and was expected to meet all of the BIM Level 2 standards. This element provided challenging as Morgan-Sindall were using this project as a exemplar project so that they can achieve BIM Level 2 accreditations.

Time was also a notable factor as the build had to be complete ready for the new school year in September, despite Covid-19 complications still affecting the supply chain.

The aim of the design was to have a highly energy efficient building that catered for the needs of 250 pupils and staff, with all the mod-cons of electronic white-boards, non-touch taps and a small kitchen to provide hot meals.

On initial review of the costs of the equipment it was found that three Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) units would be cheaper than 5 units (but also providing the same energy output). So a proposal was put forward to use these and therefore re-configure the main plant room to suit these. The proposal was accepted and the three units put on order. The associated pumps were also ordered but after some problems with the supply chain these were changed to a different supplier, again meaning a re-design of the plant room.

As the design phase progressed we submitted Technical Submissions to the client for approval, up-graded the 3D model to show elements such as pipe sizes, valves and plug sockets. Drawings, taken from the 3D model, were produced showing details of the ventilation fan and ductwork layouts, the plant room area, electrical containment and water distribution systems. This allowed the TM Electrical Services tradesmen to see installation dimensions, access hatch locations and the optimum installation programme, i.e. sprinkler pipework first, then drainage and finally the hot water distribution. This, seemingly simple approach, actually enabled the tradesmen to work quicker and more effectively without the need for needless striping out of work that had just been completed.

Throughout the design and installation phases we attended meetings with the client, structural engineers, data installers and the BIM Level 2 auditors. We ended up working most closely with the BIM Level 2 auditors as this was the first project Morgan-Sindall had done to this standard and lots of guidance and knowledge was traded both ways, from ourselves and from the auditors. This collaboration meant that the auditors understood exactly how the design process worked and how this was best implemented through the BIM360 web-interface that was used for this project.

The project was completed on time and the BIM Level 2 accreditation was achieved. This is down to the timely and efficient meetings we had with the rest of the Design Team as well as our knowledge of 3D modelling / BIM processes.

At the final handover the client got a very energy efficient building and a 3D model mirroring this to use in the future. Our final output was the fully tagged model which is interactive giving the person running the building access to all the relevant information such as pump life spans, maintenance frequency, etc just by clicking on that piece of equipment.

If you require assistance with construction level design or BIM Level 2 output for your project, please do get in touch with us directly by email info@bem-services.co.uk or call 0115 7788227.