Client: Stephen Storey
VinZero Partner: Cadline
Industry: Cloud & Construction
Autodesk Solutions: Autodesk®BIM 360™
bpha is a leading Housing Association located in the Oxford to Cambridge Arc. It is committed to providing its customers with high quality, value for money services whilst continuing to develop more, new affordable homes. bpha owns or manages over 19,000 homes. It is now embarking on anexciting new regeneration project which aims to improve and enhance a number of theirtower blocks in Bedford. The project was first conceived in 2015, when bpha consulted with residents to discuss the condition of the tower blocks and where improvements to the external fabric of the buildings and communal areas could be made.
Following on from these discussions a complete review took place of 856 homes across 6 separate sites in Bedford. It was then identified areas in which could be invested to improve the longevity and desirability of the tower blocks. The project not only aims to repair the buildings but transform the communities in which the homes are situated. Improving communal spaces and providing a safe and desirable environment for our residents to live in.
GAUGING THE CHALLENGE:
The Hackitt Report, which was published in 2018 following the Grenfell Tower fire of the previous year, effectively signposted to organisations that they needed to have a comprehensive understanding of the high-rise blocks under their ownership or management, including the assets that are in them, the condition they are in and when replacements and repairs were made.
In order to deliver this assurance around safety and comply with the regulations, Housing Associations have focused on improving record keeping. The use of building information modelling (BIM) has been an important part of this ongoing conversation. Given all this, bpha was eager to ensure that consultants and contractors that it might work with in the future were able to embrace a BIM methodology. At the same time, it also decided to use a BIM approach itself within the refurbishment programme -and turned to design and data management software provider, Cadline to help provide this capability.
Stephen Storey, Senior Regeneration Manager for bpha, explained the rationale: “Cadline was great in the engagement phase. When we explained what we wanted from the system and what we really needed it to do, they didn’t try to push all aspects of the software. “When Cadline knew our key requirements they said it sounds like you just need Autodesk®BIM 360™Docs for now and you can increase that as and when you may need to in the future. That was refreshing to hear. They listened to us, and then provided us with exactly what we wanted and needed, which was great.”
BENEFITS REALISED AND TO COME:
Among the great benefits of Autodesk software solutions like BIM 360 Docs is that they can work effectively alongside third-partysoftware and also integrate seamlessly with many of these solutions. bpha has also been conducting drone surveys of some of the other tower blocks it manages in Bedford to assess the condition of these assets and what refurbishments and repairs need to be carried out. It has done this knowing that Cadline has the capability to review the drone images for each block and provide aninitial defect analysis report for each, summarising key findings and recommendations.
Cadline has its own proprietary software, DynamicAIM, which can be used to help manage the data, and bpha is currently assessing whether this could further assist withthe management of its high-rise blocks post Hackitt report. bpha already sees BIM 360 Docs as having a key role to play in ensuring compliance with the new Building Safety Bill, once introduced. As Storey explains: “In order to comply, we will need to demonstrate to the regulators that we have a good understanding of what assets are in the building at any one time. The software should also provide us with a clear visual reference, enabling us to navigate through any part of that block in BIM.
“It will also help us know when components are replaced and where these were sourced,” added Storey.
“We have certainly been impressed with what we have seen from Autodesk BIM 360 Docs,” continued Storey. “It is a versatile piece of software. Once it starts to be deployed more widely across our new build and development teams, we would expect usage levels to ramp up quite significantly.”