I was fortunate to have been allowed onto site and hosted by Mike Beckett, MD of Hill Bespoke Ltd a specialist division of Hill Partnerships working on complex projects. Hill Bespoke is a leader of innovation for the Hill business and is on the cutting edge of technology change in UK Construction.
I visited Hills Anstey Hall Barns project, a renovation project of derelict agricultural buildings into eight stunning new barn conversions and a small number of new build exclusive homes. I found out that two of the barns are historically listed buildings and in another structure wood from ships in the 1300s was uncovered. It was an impressive site layout and was my first encounter of some great uses of innovation and technology.
Point Cloud Laser Scanned & a Working Model Created
Mike had taken the decision early into the project to have the site laser scanned and have the results converted into a detailed Revit model. Hill used equipment from Topcon to provide a point cloud survey of the site.
“We wanted to fully understand spatially what was going to fit. If the laser could see it we now have it” – Mike Beckett, MD of Hill Bespoke Ltd
The model itself looks great and has given the team instant benefits. One of the barns, for instance, has a very slight tilt in the timber structure which if it had gone un-noticed would have resulted in the steel not fitting correctly. This was a big risk avoided in the project and the team realised “if we had not used laser scanning on this project, it is likely that this would have been missed, resulting in additional costs and delays to the project”.
Hill also has a model of the timber frame from the historical properties which is enabling them to work closely with the conservation officer on site.
Jamie Roberts is the Senior Site Manager responsible for the site and he has an iPad which is connected to Autodesk’s BIM 360 Field service. He is able to quickly access any part of the model whilst out on site and see all the information without having to go back and forth to the site office
“I am saving two hours per day by having the information to hand and not having to walk back to the office to find plans or pieces of paper” – Jamie Robert, Senior Site Manager
This is clearly a huge amount of time saved for Jamie and ultimately will save Hill money in the course of this project.
Due to the historical significance of this project, it is essential that as much of the original building is kept intact as possible and this is overseen by the conservation officer. Jamie is seeing a huge advantage using BIM 360 Field as he is able to take photos of any timber that has had to be changed before, during and after any work is completed. He can then sign off on the work whilst out on the site and upload these changes to the model in real time. Work is able to commence without the need for the conservation officer to be present as the evidence of all the changes has been recorded.
Jamie is also able to document all of the underpinning required on site and provide evidence to the NHBC. He has created a checklist within the application which he follows and documents as the team complete the work.
“Historically all of the changes would have been recorded on paper going back and forward to the office, this now takes 30 seconds on my iPad”.
Finally, Mike explained that although they already had a collaboration technology to comply with BIM level 2, they did not have a common data environment. This is why Hill have become one of the first companies in Europe to start to using Autodesk’s BIM 360 Docs, a brand new construction document management solution offering which will be commercially released very soon.
Congratulations to Mike and his team for taking on a complex and difficult project and for avoiding some big risks. It is great to see the future of making things in UK Construction first hand #FOMT
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