Met Office Data Centre
The Data Centre for the Met Office, one of the world’s leading weather forecasting and climate research organisations, creates a home for a new £97 million supercomputer along with office and collaboration space for industry and academia.
We delivered a full BIM Level 2 project to comply with the latest suite of BS and PAS 1192 standards, using a tailored project plan that was both suited to the client needs and efficient for the main contractor, Willmott Dixon.
Clash Detection and Interoperability
With the Collaborative Building façade leaning backwards at a 60 degree angle the project was complex, and so a key element was to use clash detection to identify errors, warnings and clashes between architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical models.
3D modelling software, Revit, was used to export each model into an Industry Foundation Class file, the universal file type that initiates interoperability between all software platforms, allowing input by all parties working on the project.
The use of Solibri Model Checker then allowed us to combine these models to carry out a coordination check, developing particular ‘rulesets’ that optimised the clash detection process and ensured no details were missed.
Clash Reporting and Collaboration
The project was able to report all coordination errors to an online server, ‘BIM Collab’. This improved the efficiency of reporting, allowing each team member on the project to download the clashes directly into Revit to rectify and sync back onto the cloud.
Advances in our modelling software meant that clashes were also able to be viewed on mobile devices by all parties, which, alongside BIM Collab, not only improved collaboration between project teams, but saved money on site before construction started.
Facilities Management through COBie
The Met Office wanted to continue using BIM for facilities management once the building was in use. By adopting a COBie data rich modelling approach, we were able to identify which items were important to client by creating an Asset Information Requirement (AIR).
Full supplier information for each asset was integrated into a COBie Exchange 6 report and by working closely with the supply chain, not only were we able to produce an excel report containing the information, but also link directly back to the native model for future use by the client.
All information was filtered through the common data environment platform which was accessible to the client and all project team members.
Initially we struggled to understand the true value of a Building Information Model. We worked closely with Stride Treglown and Willmott Dixon to develop our understanding and act on the benefits.
Working directly with Stride Treglown allowed us to establish early engagement with our CAFM supplier, ensuring our vision for the future use of the information outputs from the model would be of long term value, with a more agile management of our assets.
Perhaps most importantly is that the use of BIM provides the opportunity for future contractors to federate their work and offer more efficient planned delivery of change activity as the site evolves.
Ralph James, Met Office
Video courtesy of Willmott Dixon Ltd.
Appointed to take the project from RIBA Stage 3 to completion, Stride Treglown has used its vast experience of delivering buildings to provide the client with a facility which not only meets a current need but enables a programme of change to be delivered in coming years as the use of the site evolves.
Given the challenging design, which includes a hexagonal floorplate and non-vertical façade to the collaboration building and high levels of servicing and security for the IT hall, a peer review of the concept was crucial at the outset to:
- provide clarity on the extent of design development required
- set out the parameters for collaboration and coordination
- understand and minimise any residual risks and any outstanding planning matters
- identify gaps in contract information
- identify opportunities to improve efficiency and buildability
- ensure cost certainty at the earliest opportunity
The complexity of the project demanded close collaboration between team members and, to support this, Building Information Modelling (BIM) to Level 2 was employed.
Creating a combined model that included all the architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical information, enabled any issues with coordination and clashes to be identified and resolved in the ‘virtual world’ saving valuable time and money on site.
Working with the Met Office and contractor Willmott Dixon, the Building Information Model has also been developed to become a valuable asset for facilities management and change management.
Stride Treglown – Project Architect, BIM Lead, Landscape Architect
Willmott Dixon – Contractor
Arup – M&E
NG Bailey – M&E
WSP – Structural Engineer
Haley Engineering – Structural Engineer