6 November 2013 – The scope of building information modelling was showcased in late October with the Build Sydney Live 2013 Virtual Design Competition to produce in 48 hours a design for hypothetical new Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The competition, on 28-30 October, was won by the BIM Academy team, which fought off rivals from the US, India, Latvia, Singapore, Japan, UK, Australia and New Zealand to produce a competitive design in an “amazingly short time frame” of 48 hours, participants said.

In all 18 teams grappled with a detailed and challenging brief, which included rating the building as a 6-Star Green Star design.

  • Images are of the winning design

While the design process for the real new Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre by conventional methods is expected to take about two years, the BIM Academy team, consisting of specialists from BIM Academy, AECOM, Davis Langdon (an AECOM company), Ryder Architecture, dRofus, KyKloud, Northumbria University and Colour UDL successfully leveraged BIM enabled technologies for architecture, engineering, planning and construction to achieve the overall winning design within the two-day framework.

Global collaboration

There have been three previous Build Live competitions for projects in London and one in Qatar. Asite director Nathan Doughty, organiser of the Build Live event, pronounced it the closest competition so far, noting that for the first time ever the judges had to work overnight (just as the teams had done) to come to agreement.

Praising the winners, Mr Doughty said, “The BIM Academy global team stood out for its outstanding effort across all the criteria, and were an excellent example of international collaborative BIM on Build Sydney Live 2013”. Team BIM Academy was made up of 63 people from seven companies, working in eight cities around the world.

But it’s not the first win for the team.

“We have achieved success in previous BIM competitions,” BIM Academy managing director and group team leader Peter Barker said, “but this is the first time we have really tested the potential for multidisciplinary working across the globe.”

“We were able to work intensively across multiple time zones with our colleagues and produce a wealth of information about the design, construction and operation to meet a very challenging brief in a landmark location in Sydney.”

AECOM BIM practice lead and BIM Academy team member Steve Appleby said events like Build Sydney Live reflected the rapid advances in technology that are improving project delivery.

“By competing in a global competition like Build Sydney Live, our team demonstrated that geographic boundaries are no hindrance,” he said. “Through the application of BIM processes we can strengthen collaborative working and streamline the process of design and project delivery.”

BIM Academy

The BIM Academy, a global BIM consultancy practice, was established in the United Kingdom in 2010 as a joint venture between Northumbria University and Ryder Architecture and is known as an award-winning centre of excellence for BIM and IPD. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, considered  a “hot-bed” of BIM adoption in the UK the organisation undertakes consultancy, education and research and development to support industry in BIM adoption. It also worked closely with the UK Government to shape the UK’s objective to achieve level 2 BIM by 2016.

Other winners – including for the excitement category

UK-based Team Niven Architects received the award for best use of BIM for sustainability or constructability. Team Zibsnis from Latvia were the winners for Multi-disciplinary BIM  and use of Interoperability , and a team based in Sydney and Japan, Rice Daubney & Obayashi, received the award for the best use of BIM for design, drama, and excitement.