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Belmont House, London, UK

Using BIM to maximise adaptability and cut waste

This £30M refurbishment of a 1980s concrete frame building included the demolition of a third of the original asset.

ExpertiseStructural and below ground drainage engineering

Building information modelling (BIM) image of the Belmont House project.

Building information modelling (BIM) image of the Belmont House project.

This enabled two independent structures to be connected, creating a unified office space with floor area jumping from 14,500m2 to 19,500m2, making Belmont House the biggest commercial block in the Uxbridge area. Speed to market was essential to meet the developer’s requirements.

We recognised from the outset that BIM would be key to successful delivery of this project. Within three weeks we developed a 3D Revit model of the existing building based on archive information. This model was an invaluable tool for identifying discrepancies in the planning scheme. These included a 900mm vertical step between the two existing structures; the fact that the structural strategy did not allow for service distribution in many areas; and a large number of off-grid columns which impacted the vision of an open-plan space.

Our model used colour coding to highlight three phases of the structure (existing, demolished and new) and was a powerful presentation tool. It improved understanding of the site and enabled us to maximise reuse of the existing structure. It also helped us develop bespoke solutions to achieve the required ceiling and service zone – a key requirement for the new office space. This was a particular challenge as the services had to transition between the existing concrete structure and the new steel frame.

Through our use of BIM we developed in-depth knowledge of the structure and constraints, enabling us to provide additional services, such as demolition drawings. The model became vital for planning the demolition, sequencing and temporary works to achieve the challenging 18-month programme and deliver on budget. It was also instrumental in enhancing the sustainability of the project by enabling re-use of approximately 70% of the existing structure. By capturing and using data relating to the existing structure and integrating it with the design for the refurbishment, we were able to reduce the risk of problems on site, optimise the adaptation of the original building, and reduce the amount of waste in the process.

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