BIM is changing the building landscape, bringing with it improvements in design, specification, delivery and asset management. According to NBS’ National BIM Report 2019, 96% of contractors plan to use BIM in the next five years, but there is a frustration over the lack of adoption from other stakeholders in the supply chain.


When it comes to doorsets and ironmongery in particular, using tools such as Openings Studio™ from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland Door Group, can truly unlock the potential of BIM.


The software, suitable for all building projects and applications, provides product information and performance data to comply with budgets and ensure building regulations are adhered to, while 3D views guarantee full design integration.


Openings Studio can drive efficiencies in creating door schedules by linking to fire certifications and energy performance documents. Contractors can then view this information to assess precise quantities, pricing, compliance, links to supplier websites and installation instructions. In addition, contractors are also able to track the status of installations across the project much more effectively.


Openings Studio also ensures post-construction processes – such as environmental accreditations and handovers to facilities managers – are managed effectively. The ongoing performance and maintenance of the building may also be monitored via QR codes and a weblink to where all documents and certificates are located. This means that when a site gets audited, all information is easily accessible.


Eric Spooner, BIM Manager at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, says: “Openings Studio has been designed to help minimise costs and streamline the data sharing process throughout the entire project lifecycle, by acting as a collaborative tool for all project stakeholders involved – from the initial design, through to construction, delivery, asset management and beyond.”


Door Group can support customers at every stage, from design and specification, to installation and ongoing maintenance. With such a wide range of capabilities, Door Group can source and supply all door and ironmongery requirements, seeing a project through from start to finish.


For more information on ASSA ABLOY Door Group’s BIM-enabled Openings Studio software for the entire building lifecycle, please call 028 9266 2200, email or visit

A consortium led by civil engineering visualisation expert Soluis Group has received £1m of funding from the government to develop a so-called Augmented Worker System (AWE) for the construction industry.

The project aims to replace paper or handheld devices with hands free heads-up augmented reality (AR) displays that would provide real time access to BIM data, enabling more efficient collaboration between teams and partners.

Starting next month, Innovate UK and Soluis will build on earlier work carried out with Laing O’Rourke on the development of an AR asset management tool, heavily implemented during the construction of Crossrail’s Liverpool Street station.

Other companies involved in the project include IT consultant Pinnacle Business Solutions, modular construction specialist Carbon Dynamic and both the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

The funding was awarded by Innovate UK as part of the Infrastructure Systems competition which aims to stimulate innovation that creates UK business growth in infrastructure systems.

Commenting on the investment, Business Secretary Greg Clark said “The adoption of cutting-edge virtual and augmented reality technology in industries like construction will be vital in helping us identify new, smarter ways of working.”

Martin McDonnell, Chairman of Soluis Group added “The proof of concept project with Crossrail showed how this technology could be applied and add incredible value to the industry.

“Our vision was to develop this concept much further and create a set of tools that would form the augmented worker of the future.

“For a business like us, we could only drive this innovation a certain amount and working with the consortium and receiving funding from Innovate UK will help us achieve this much faster and more effectively.”

The socioeconomic impact of our built environment on cities and communities has the potential throughout the asset lifecycle. Whilst providing the greatest challenge requiring the integration of systems and future proofing at an unprecedented scale and complexity.

In order to tackle these challenges, we have seen amazing advancements through the digitisation of services and systems in cities. More and more we hear or see the following acronyms CIM, SIM, BIM, CityGML, and know that data driven decision making is the way to go. These are not new concepts; many individual buildings are already considered “smart” and transport systems in many global cities are powered by big data with to ensure people and goods can move across cities as efficiently as possible and according to demand. Data about the built environment, assets and infrastructure, plays a key role in this process.

Our assets and infrastructure need to be more efficient, provide a greater output with the same input, and have increased impact. Like any business strategy, where cost drivers are assessed to devise the best plan for a positive bottom line, Cities have to make the best possible assessment of their assets: how they are specified, built and commissioned, maintained and operated, to deliver an optimised service for the citizens. All our buildings, roads, railways, homes, water systems, etc. are part of this challenge and in order to understand and measure their performance these need to exist in a digital format where sensed data can be associated to how they are used.

For this to happen we require a common data environment where building information integrates with geospatial information, sensed data about the performance of the asset and citizen and user data to providing information about the demand needs in a context aligned to the provider. One of the simplest but greatest differences I see is we will be asking the same questions of our built environment in a slightly different way, with different time horizons and driven by different incentives – impact, outcomes and performance. It will not only be about how we build to a certain specification, but whether we have delivered the ongoing performance required and how this performance affects and is affected by the activities taking place in and around it.

In the world of Level 3, we anticipate the supply chain changes and new opportunities open up to industries and disciplines not previously in the “business of assets and infrastructure”. We must think about data users operating assets and delivering critical services beyond the construction phase and the technologies that will integrate into the ecosystem of the asset to support performance monitoring. This information, will be a requirement to enable continuous improvement of service provision and the insights gained from the users will inform better briefing at the planning and design stages of new assets.

In the future, even now already, the collaborative practices, technologies, processes and tools that have been developed for the purpose of construction will expand its uses to include others across the asset lifecycle. New users mean new requirements, and ultimately new ways of communicating information about our assets. In the process, we will adapt and integrated with other industry practices to make BIM integral to city models used to plan, design and build better places to live, learn, play and work. The cultural shift is happening, we are in the business of the “smart built environment”, where user experience and feedback is mandatory and assessment of how efficient our assets and infrastructure are become essential to justify the performance and therefore value of our built environment.

We play a key role in how these industries and marketplace will develops over the coming years. Innovating in the way we do things, not only technically but commercially and culturally will be critical for our industry.

Written by Teresa Gonzalez Rico for


Teresa is a Civil and Structural Engineer with several years of experience in the construction industry. Over the last 4 years she has worked in the Urban Innovation space, focusing on the impact that the built environment has in Cities and people and how the way we build and manage our infrastructure can make smart cities a reality.

Alumasc Rainwater, part of Alumasc Water Management Solutions (AWMS), is the first and only manufacturer to provide BIM Level 2 content (Building Information Modelling) for a complete range of metal rainwater – Aluminium, Cast Iron and Steel. This means specifiers, engineers and contractors can now access the files they need for metal rainwater from one BIM model.

The leading manufacturer of metal rainwater systems has developed its BIM files so specifiers and contractors can benefit from a new slimmer version too. This has been completed in response to feedback and requests from customers to receive smaller files.

BIM files from Alumasc Rainwater are modelled to achieve an accurate external space envelope and connection detail. But file sizes increase with model detail, so in the new slimmer model it has been stripped of non-essential details such as logos, small radii, internal strengthening ribs, fasteners & fixings. This means files can be accessed much more easily and quickly.

BIM is a process for creating and managing information on a construction project across the project lifecycle. Introduced by Government in 2011 initially for public sector projects, the benefits of BIM can be realised for the private sector too. The aim of BIM is to improve efficiencies, reduce risk, encourage better planning, and reduce operational costs. 3D models are developed based on information assembled by manufacturers, architects and specifiers and updated at key stages of a project.

BIM files for Alumasc Rainwater’s all metal range can be downloaded from For more information call 01536 383810.

Cellular PVC fascia, cladding and soffit manufacturer Celuform has joined BIM Store.

BIM, which is short for Building Information Modelling, is a process for creating and managing information on a construction project its lifecycle.

It includes digital descriptions of every aspect of selected products in the Celuform range, making it easier for specifiers to coordinate different aspects of a project.

Celuform, which has been operating for four decades, has established partnerships with some of the key house builders and registered social landlords in the UK.

Owen Thorogood, sales and marketing director for Celuform, said: “Including Celuform soffit and fascia products on BIM Store will make it easier for our customers to manage their projects from end to end.

“Celuform has a reputation for being the specifier’s choice, so adding key products to BIM Store is a natural development.”

You can see the whole range of Celuform content now available on BIM Store here:

Architects and designers working on BIM projects can now benefit from information on fastening solutions for the building envelope with ease, thanks to the ready-to-use structured data on the most widely used roofing and cladding fasteners now available from SFS intec.

The structured product data published exclusively by SFS intec, the world’s leading fastener manufacturer, is available to download at and is the first stage of the company’s initiative to provide a comprehensive library of product information to support BIM Level 2. It represents another dimension to SFS intec’s market-leading support for specifiers and contractors which already includes easy to reach, UK-based Technical and Specification Teams offering on-demand expertise to help achieve the highest performing building envelopes.

Andy Stolworthy, Product and Market Development Manager at SFS intec, says “We believe that through standardising data, clients and project teams will be able to compare and select products based on value and life cycle benefits rather than just price. This should allow for better quality products to be selected, so that life cycle costings reduce. It is obviously a far more sustainable approach to construction and something that resonates with our values at SFS in terms of delivering higher quality buildings.

“The fastener plays a fundamental role in the roof or façade system, but with current working practices and BIM software technology we believe at this time that a 3D BIM object would not be as widely beneficial as structured data. This presents product information in plain language with simple questions and answers allowing integration into a greater system element, be that data or 3D geometry. That’s why we are leading the way, by developing data for our products that can be used now.”

In addition to CAD drawings, ETA and Technical Value sheets, SFS intec has defined its own structured product data template, initially for self-drilling fasteners, with five Structured Data Sheets available for fasteners SL2, SX3, SX5, SXC5 and SXC14. These data sheets provide information content that defines the product, its properties and functional characteristics. The Data Sheets are available in PDF format for free download from, with Excel files also available by request from

Armstrong Ceilings’ BIM files are now available in 12 languages.

BIM objects for the Armstrong Ceiling Solutions range in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are now available for specifiers, designers, BIM managers and contractors to download in multiple languages on

The worldwide manufacturer has re-launched its BIM offer through the global portal to reflect its truly international reach.

The Armstrong Ceilings EMEA files are available to download in two of the most popular software formats used in Europe – ArchiCAD and Revit.

Within these BIM objects detailed product specification and information text and links to Armstrong product datasheets are available in 12 different languages – English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Czech, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Turkish and Russian.

These BIM files cover almost 300 individual items within 29 product lines including the Cradle to Cradle® certified Perla and Ultima+ ranges and the ever-popular Dune range.

Armstrong’s commercial technical manager EMEA Rob Gardiner said: “Having our BIM objects more easily accessible for all our customers, wherever they are in the world, and in both ArchiCAD and Revit makes it easier for our customers to design and specify projects with
Armstrong ceiling systems using BIM.”

Video guides showing how to access Armstrong BIM objects can be viewed via YouTube on the following links: Revit and ArchiCAD 

The national BIM (Building Information Modelling) library has proved hugely successful to architects and specifiers for both new build construction and retro-fit renovation projects with a wide variety of products available.

Now, a leading rooflight manufacturer has added a range of its products to the library so that this important element of allowing natural light into buildings, providing ventilation, and complying with associated standards and regulations can be addressed at the time of specification.

“BIM is a very useful tool and one that we are proud to be associated with,” said Jim Lowther, sales director Xtralite. “We appreciate the importance of the tool during the specification process and how it supports the digital construction process delivering greater efficiencies and flexibilities in building design.”

Many products, including Xtralite’s X2 range, are featured with National NBS BIM library which also includes all technical specifications such as UV ratings, dimensions and suitability statistics.

“Detailed architectural specification can be achieved at all stages of projects now and BIM permits those specifications to be amended with ease to ensure client, construction, historic property considerations and industry regulations are adhered to,” said Jim. “The range of products we offer through this facilitate a number of solutions to roof lights requirements and full technical details are provided to aid specification.”

The range of products available are from the leading X2 range which allows specification for differing roof insulation thicknesses that historically have proved problematic.

“Our X2 range offers greater flexibility with its unique design but also addresses requirements for increased sustainability and building performance,” said Jim. “Our involvement with BIM re-enforces our commitment to working with all sectors of the construction industry to promote better building design both aesthetically and practically.”

Further information can be found by visiting or by calling 01670 354 157 or visiting

Image: (left to right) Gary Fenton, Global Product Certification Director at BSI, Alan Harris, Quality Manager voestalpine Metsec plc, Andy Butterfield, Product Certification, Director of Built Environment at BSI, Ryan Simmonds, SFS Sales Director voestalpine Metsec plc, Mark Basham, Managing Director, EMEA at BSI

The UK’s largest specialist cold roll-forming company, voestalpine Metsec plc, based in Oldbury, West Midlands, has been announced as the first tier two organisation globally to have achieved the new Kitemark PAS 1192-2 from BSI, the business standards company.

The Kitemark relates to BIM (Building Information Modelling), helping construction businesses around the world prove their capabilities in delivering projects at the design and construction phase. It is to act as a seal of approval for companies qualified to deliver projects at the design and construction phase of a project.

Established more than 80 years ago, Metsec provides steel framing, cable management and purlins for construction and manufacturing industries and has supplied its products to prestigious projects including the Queensferry Crossing, Resorts World and the Glasgow Velodrome.

Alan Harris, quality manager at Metsec, said: “Metsec was the first tier 2 designer and manufacturer complying with BIM Level 2 for Design & Construction in the UK and is pleased to cement this focus on BIM by achieving the new Kitemark associated with it. It’s great to see the importance of BIM being recognised, and being formalised by the BSI.

“BIM is an increasingly important part of the global construction market place, with governments around the world starting to make it a condition of contact. Seen as a game-changer for the construction industry, BIM is a collaborative way of working that uses digital technologies to enable more efficient methods of design and construction, ultimately driving out waste and inefficiency.”

The Kitemark has been developed in collaboration with industry stakeholders to ensure that they add value and address the key issues which will help the construction industry with BIM implementation.

Andy Butterfield, Product Certification Director of Built Environment at BSI said: “In a competitive marketplace, companies delivering BIM projects need to find a way to differentiate themselves, regardless of whether they are tendering for public or private sector projects. The BSI Kitemark does just that, helping companies to demonstrate their commitment to best practice.

“BIM helps companies drive out waste and inefficiencies in their projects, reducing costs and environmental impact. Having the Kitemark for BIM will mean that companies are able to build their business in the new era of digital technology and access global markets, giving clients reassurance that they are working with partners at the highest possible standard”.

The BSI Kitemark is one of the most recognizable trust marks in existence today and demonstrates that each Kitemark approved product or service, has gone above and beyond the normal requirements to achieve the highest standards. For over a century, it has safeguarded consumers and helped businesses demonstrate clear commitment to excellence across everyday goods such as locks and windows, gas appliances, motorcycle helmets and smoke detectors.

For more information please visit

Jim GowanQ&A with Jim Gowan, Design Manager at Actavo | Building Solutions

 By July 2016, all construction companies tendering for government projects must be Building Information Modelling (BIM) compliant. Jim Gowan, design manager at Actavo | Building Solutions, explains what BIM is and how offsite construction is leading the way.

Actavo | Building Solutions specialises in offsite construction. How does offsite build go hand-in-hand with BIM?

BIM is absolutely the way forward because it is driving the use of offsite construction. For the first time, offsite construction is equal to traditional build. Although initial costs are comparative, the whole-life cost and efficiencies weigh in favour of offsite – the speed of build and reduced time onsite delivers tangible benefits for modular over traditional build.

At Actavo | Building Solutions, we are always looking for ways to innovate and make working environments safer and more sustainable. Actavo strives to help extend a building’s design life, exploit advances in materials and improve sustainability and energy efficiency.

Actavo | Building Solutions works in line with PAS1192, which is the framework upon which BIM is built, to ensure we meet clients’ requirements, and identify all potential pitfalls with resolutions implemented prior to construction commencing.

BIM and offsite construction go hand-in-hand with government aims to reduce costs through improved resource efficiency and advanced data management.

A tangible mechanism, BIM encourages the consideration of offsite solutions as early as possible in the project planning process. Through the integration of BIM, Actavo | Building Solutions can optimise manufacturing and reduce installation time, whilst providing clients with coordinated 3D designs, visualisations and spatial layouts.

Modular build is making the construction industry safer, as buildings are manufactured in a more controlled environment and build times are considerably shorter – just four weeks in some cases.

What is the impact of BIM in facilitating the offsite process?

Offsite manufacturing and BIM both serve as valuable solutions in terms of improving performance of the construction industry.

Modular technologies are improving the speed and quality of construction delivery. Using BIM with these technologies will mean that much larger-scale facilities can be modelled with increased accuracy, giving the confidence that projects will progress quickly as any potential issues are resolved within the 3D design environment.

Is Actavo | Building Solutions working on any BIM projects at the moment?

Actavo is now working to BIM Level 2 standards, one of our most recent being a £1.9 million classroom complex to Granard Primary School in the heart of London.

Compliant with BIM Level 2 requirements, we designed and delivered the sustainable, two-storey block comprising eight classrooms, an open learning studio which acts as a breakfast and after-school care facility, cloakrooms, WCs, kitchen facilities and staffrooms.

Actavo began onsite works at Granard in January 2015, with the standalone complex handed over in August 2015, meaning the project – from initial design to full completion – took just 22 weeks.

What advantages does BIM allow your clients?

Since implementing BIM Level 2 into Actavo | Building Solutions, we have enhanced our customer experience. Providing 3D visualisations and interactive walkthroughs allows clients to fully explore all aspects of their building and its interface before any fabrication or erection works commence. Using BIM technologies provides more accurate project pricing and allows clients to see a more precise building timeline.

All our design chain feeds into a single coordinated model so that when adaptations happen, all our design team is fully aware, providing a reactive solution and ensuring that the design progresses on clients’ agreed paths.

By using BIM, we can also reduce the need for regathering and reformatting information which results in an increase in speed and accuracy even before the building begins to take shape onsite.

How is BIM implemented within Actavo | Building Solutions?

Actavo | Building Solutions has implemented and been working to BIM Level 2 standards since July 2015.

We are able to provide BIM Level 2-compliant designs, resulting in a high-quality building that has been engineered and designed to require minimal site works. With the majority of work being completed in a factory-controlled environment, the benefits of pre-construction clash detection and design interface detailing allow us to detect and resolve potential issues prior to manufacture commencing.

We’re always striving to develop our BIM practices and procedures and have our sights set on attaining BIM Level 3 designs which allows all parties to collaborate through one shared project model. Level 4 is more sophisticated, as it includes time modelling.  There is also talk of further levels such as ‘5D’, which includes cost management and ‘6D’ for facilities management purposes.

Actavo | Building Solutions consistently undertakes internal training to ensure all staff are up-to-date with the most recent developments. We look forward to evolving our BIM procedures and will integrate into BIM Level 3 and 4D planning in the near future.

How can the offsite construction industry benefit from BIM?

 Modular construction has grown in popularity over the past decade. The implementation of BIM in the construction industry will help contribute to the acceptance of offsite manufacturing as a modern method of construction.

Using BIM to facilitate better solutions for building by reducing costs, optimising schedules, generating models and improving design will provide fundamental support for the offsite construction industry.

For more information on Actavo please go to