The Manchester City Council Story - Benefits of BIM

BIM benefits realised on
Manchester's schools programme

Meet the team bringing it
all together

Manchester City Council have been hugely impressed by the benefits a BIM workflow has brought to the delivery of larger schools in their programme. We caught up with Alastair Burns, Design Manager, Capital Projects Group to find out more about the team's recent experiences delivering a medium-sized project - St Margaret's Primary School. We were keen to find out more about the practicalities of working with a network of construction professionals to a high-level of BIM maturity and what lessons the team have learnt in delivering the St Margaret's School project.


BCM          Lovelock Mitchell Architects           Manchester City Council          ISG          Scott Hughes Design

Beginning with the end in mind

Right from the start Manchester City Council's Capital Programmes Group were keen to reap the rewards of facilities management information into their design and delivery process. Getting construction professionals to communicate with others involved on the project was key to reaping rewards in the In Use phase of a building's lifecycle. The results have been amazing - end users used to dealing with 2D drawings and information have been able to walk through virtual spaces even before work has begun on site. With a process that works the team are key to take their learning forward to deliver the next tranche of developments.

NBS underpins a great BIM workflow

The team at BCM were responsible for the mechanical and engineering design on the St Margaret's school project. BCM are heavily invested in NBS tools and the ability to easily integrate with other software, such as Autodesk Revit, is crucial. On this project the close collaboration of construction professionals across disciplines was vital.

Process design gets results

Jane Shaw is Design Manager for ISG and has worked with Manchester City Council on its St Margaret's and St Matthew's schools projects. The EIRs proved to be challenging - understanding how to get asset information back into the model and bring in operation and maintenance detail all needed to be considered. The team worked hard to hone a process linking subcontractors' tech submittal forms to Autodesk Revit's parameters file. Being able to ensure a consistent specification structure across disciplines and teams was also crucial and the NBS Plug-in was able to link NBS Create and Revit was instrumental in achieving this. The team also used the NBS BIM Toolkit to ensure the correct levels of detail and information were being provided across the delivery of the project.

Coordination's the key

Nick Barringer is Associate Director at Scott Hughes Design with responsibility for the civil and structural engineering on the St Margaret's project.

With the wider team working in Autodesk Revit the team benefited from detailed coordination which proved particularly helpful when planning in detail around the perimeter of the structure - including landscaping and drainage.

The project was the first time the team had used NBS Create to develop specifications and the additive approach was a new experience for the team. Those involved now hope to develop their approach still further by exploring the potential of Office Masters and closer integration with Autodesk Revit.

Model behaviour

Peter Fisk is an Associate at Lovelock Mitchell Architects. As early BIM adopters the team are well versed in digital construction capabilities. On this project the fact that the entire project team were mature in their application of BIM technologies really made a difference - allowing the team to have confidence in the information and easy access via the CDE. The ability to delve into models in real time and discuss these with the wider design team allowed any problems to be quickly spotted and rectified. For Lovelock Mitchell, NBS Create is a crucial part of their digital workflow as the team seek to "model it as they would build it" with the NBS BIM Toolkit providing effective verification. The team are hopeful that ever-greater contractor integration and increased use of virtual realities can only improve the process still further.

What to read next...

Find out more about how the teams used the NBS BIM Toolkit

Find out more about how the teams created a template digital plan of work

Find out more about the St Margaret's Primary School refurbishment programme

Find out more about NBS Create