BIM News

Clearbox partners with Kier to drive efficiency gains for Ayr Academy

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Kier is working closely with South Ayrshire Council and hub South West to construct the new £25m flagship Ayr Academy project. The secondary school, which is currently located in the town’s Fort Street, will relocate to the new Craigie Estate in August 2017, providing state-of-the-art education, teaching and sporting facilities to the local community.

This project is offering a great opportunity for the team to hone its Building Information Modelling (BIM) skills, using BIMXtra software from Clearbox to enable the process to drive through efficiency gains for the project and its clients, South Ayrshire Council and hub South West.

Throughout each stage of the build the techniques applied have helped drive collaboration and coordination across the supply chain, from client through to subcontractor, ensuring the mitigation of risk, improved commercial management and increased stakeholder engagement.

Michael Ross, Project Director, hub South West, said, “Kier Construction’s approach to BIM on the Ayr Academy project has promoted enhanced collaboration and coordination, bringing significant benefits through all stages of the project. By utilising innovative solutions to engage with South Ayrshire Council, hub South West and the Teachers/Pupils, Kier has used BIM to provide all parties with far greater insight and understanding into the final design of this fantastic school.”


BIM-enabled design team meetings and coordination workshops take place regularly to facilitate the process. Part of these meetings involves carrying out automated clash detection on the models. This allows the project team to address and resolve coordination issues which, if identified on site, would cause programme time delays or incur additional costs.

BIM-enabled Commercial Management has brought significant benefits throughout the project, providing increased cost certainty and management controls through the checking, reviewing and validation of the geometry and data within the models. This includes scoping out work packages with subcontractors and specialist designers, undertaking pricing and quantity validation, and linking the change management and change control processes to the models, which in turn tracks design development and work package scope creep.

A greater level of cost certainty was achieved on the furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) package through early engagement with Specialist FF&E Designers who developed a cost effective, scalable and repeatable design using BIM. The FF&E BIM model, along with the room based components contained within the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) BIM model, facilitated the creation of coordinated 1:50 room layout drawings. These drawings, along with the models, allowed the client to visualise the proposed design, greatly facilitating the room sign off process.

Commenting on the project, Craig Mason, BIM Manager, Kier Scotland, said, “Ayr Academy has provided us with a great opportunity to work collaboratively with the client and project team to drive through the real benefits of BIM. This has allowed us to deliver the build in a far more effective and efficient manner as a result of better information management and stakeholder engagement.”

The team has taken stakeholder engagement one step further, using emerging technology through mobile devices and Virtual Reality to talk the client and end users, including pupils, through the proposed design. This has proved to be an invaluable tool, allowing a far greater understanding for stakeholders who potentially don’t fully understand traditional 2D drawings.

Graeme Forbes, CEO, Clearbox, added, “Ayr Academy really proves the benefits that can be gained by using new digital construction processes. The Kier Scotland team has demonstrated that by engaging the supply chain and working collaboratively from the outset, real efficiency gains can be made by delivering the right information, to the right people at the right time."


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