Atkins updates BIM strategy in line with LEED V4
Atkins is developing a building information modelling (BIM) strategy to improve how construction materials are evaluated to meet the latest LEED requirements
Atkins is updating its building information modelling (BIM) requirements in line with LEED V4 requirements.
According to the consultancy, its new tool will enable the comparison of multiple construction materials at the outset of a project, providing a clear understanding of capital cost against the long-term environmental impact.
The firm is using the tool to understand the impact of different concrete mixes on construction projects. Steel, glass, and insulation materials will also be studied.
Simon Nummy, sustainable design manager for rail at Atkins, said: “BIM is a hugely powerful resource but it will only ever be as good as the information which is put into it.
“By enriching our BIM tools with high-quality, reliable information on materials, we’ll be able to make more informed decisions at the outset of projects and programmes, with a clear understanding of cost, environmental impact, and design implications,” he commented.
Nummy pointed out that the benefits of early decision making can be far reaching, citing the example of obtaining evidence to support the case for locally-sourced materials.
“Use of local materials is often more expensive, but the long-term benefits in terms of sustainability, design context, and support for the wider economy will more than offset the money saved,” he explained. “Our tool will make it easier to arrive at the right long-term decisions earlier, and for smaller, local materials suppliers, this time difference can be critically important for their planning and stockpiling.”
The methodology for the BIM tool was the result of Atkins’ long-term collaboration with the British University in Dubai (BUiD). Former masters student, Toufik Jabbour, who now works for Atkins as a 6D BIM specialist, is leading the development of the tool.
“We’ve started by focusing on concrete because it has the most significant environmental impact on construction projects,” he said.
“It’s exciting because the tool will motivate an integrated design process right at the start of major projects, and that’s what BIM is all about. It improves our knowledge and changes behaviours to deliver construction projects [that] are more sustainable in every sense of the word,” Jabbour concluded.