Small Practice jhd Architects Reaps the Benefits of BIM

Adopting BIM early is allowing Kent architect and BIM specialist Tim Ball to take on larger and more complex projects

Online PR News – 27-November-2013 – Kent, UK – jhd Architects' decision to compete by investing in cutting-edge technology is paying dividends. In 2001 they started using an early version of what is now one of the leading BIM authoring products.

Today the three-man practice is at the forefront of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology and keen to engage with contractors and consultants in the BIM revolution. Adopting BIM early has improved jhd's productivity and profitability, and allowed them to pitch for and win larger and more complex projects.

One example is Hartley House Care Home, a 1970s building in Cranbrook, Kent, which owner Stephen Gilmour wanted to extend and alter to provide additional accommodation and communal space for residents with dementia.

"The first thing we did was create a 3D model of the existing building", says jhd architect and co-founder Tim Ball. "Everything we added from that point (walls, windows, floors, finishes, drain runs...) was either a 3D element or a 3D object packed with data.

SMEs wanting to know more about BIM are very welcome to contact us says practice director and BIM advocate Susan Room.

"Investing time upfront allowed us automatically to generate highly accurate schedules for contractors to price the work. These included sixty room datasheets detailing floor and wall areas, finishes and perimeters; schedules for 200 light fittings of 12 types; 190 bathroom fittings; 60 windows and over 40 doors. Pre-BIM we'd have had to hire people to do that. Now it's all at the touch of a button. And accurate. And coordinated. And contractors' bids are easier to compare, and they include everything, even excavation costs. What more can I say?"

These efficiencies continued on-site. The detailed, fully coordinated elevations, sections and drawings produced from the model helped the contractor understand and execute the design more easily, particularly the complex roof shapes needed to marry the old and new parts of the building. Less rework and a better building were two of the many benefits.

"There were fewer time-consuming misunderstandings and requests for clarification," says Tim. "BIM also meant we could quickly and easily update client variation schedules, which the contractor accessed on his Blackberry".

The project was recently completed. "I'm delighted with jhd Architects' work, and excited that Ian Hislop has agreed to open the new wing on Friday 29 November," says Hartley House owner Stephen Gilmour.

"SMEs wanting to know more about BIM are very welcome to contact us", says practice director and BIM advocate, Susan Room. "Our experience shows you don't have to be big to 'do BIM'. In fact small businesses have a real advantage as they can quickly change if they decide to. Our challenge now is to get contractors on board, and help clients use BIM for asset management."

About jhd Architects

jhd Architects is a RIBA Chartered Practice offering Building Information Modelling (BIM) architectural and consultancy services to clients in Kent, Sussex and Greater London.

Practice co-founder Tim Ball BSc (Hons) Architecture, BArch Architecture, RIBA, has spoken at the ArchiCAD Summer School, The Building Centre and RIBA South East Region events, and has authored a chapter for the RIBA's book "Innovative BIM in Small Practice". As well as designing in BIM, he advises contractors on implementing BIM to improve commercial performance and deliver better buildings.

For examples of jhd's work see their portfolio of projects.

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