Ryder Architecture partnership with Teesside University leads to contract wins

The firm is involved in a third Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the university, analysing new ways to apply Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Professor Nash Dawood of Teesside University, KTP associate Omar Tapponi and Ryder Architecture's Peter Barker
Professor Nash Dawood of Teesside University, KTP associate Omar Tapponi and Ryder Architecture's Peter Barker

Newcastle architects firm are attracting international clients thanks to a joint research project with Teesside University into cutting edge building information modelling technology.

Ryder Architecture has teamed up with the Middlesbrough-based university on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to investigate different ways in which Building Information Modelling (BIM) can be implemented into facilities management.

This is the third partnership of its kind that Ryder has undertaken with the university and the research into BIM has helped position it as a leading practitioner of BIM methodologies and helped attract clients in Australia and the Far East.

BIM is a concept that uses a combination of processes and technologies to develop a digital representation of a building and, if put in place properly, can improve the quality of building projects and potentially save time and money.

KTPs, typically lasting for two years between a university and a company, are part-funded by Innovate UK to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills.

The latest partnership is looking at ways in which knowledge can be adapted to provide data and information which can be used to manage the building after its construction, as well as how this knowledge can be fed back to architects and engineers so they can design better buildings.

Ryder’s previous collaboration with Teesside University led the company forming a new business called BIM Academy, an R&D, education and consultancy organisation to support other firms which want to implement BIM methodology in their work.

The success of the projects helped Ryder win a prestigious international consultancy on BIM for facility management at the Sydney Opera House, and the firm is also working on BIM projects at the M+ Museum of Art being constructed in West Kowloon, Hong Kong.

The company has also formed an agreement with Ecodomus, a US IT firm which specialises in BIM for facilities management to help push the technology in UK and the Far East.

Peter Barker, director at Ryder Architecture and managing director of BIM Academy, said: “From Ryder’s perspective, the KTP has really helped to broaden our services, not just in terms of designing the client’s building but also having the potential to deliver reliable information about the building for the operational stage.

“It’s really helped to increase our awareness of BIM’s capabilities and, jointly with BIM Academy, given us the chance to work on some really exciting projects and helped us to talk to some very significant clients.

“At the moment only a small proportion of building projects are using BIM for facilities management, so there is huge scope out there.”

Omar Tapponi, the KTP Associate, said: “The project has allowed me to look into lots of different ways in which BIM can be implemented.

“One particularly interesting aspect is the use of BIM in conservation and heritage projects.

“But we’re looking at all sorts of different ways in which we can take BIM data and provide additional functionality.”

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