Architecture and the Built Environment

BECi: Built Environment Collaboration & Integration is part of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster

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Constructionarium 2014

Every year, the department of Property & Construction at University of Westminster, with the support of BECi, give their students the opportunity to put theory into practice working on a real construction project. Click here for more information on Constructionarium 2014



BECi presents: Delivering the UK’s first urban cable car – A free CPD event at University of Westminster

Posted on: 9 July 2014
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Filed under: 20:20 Series, CPD, Events

Date: 9 October 2014

Time: 6pm – 8pm

Location: 35 Marylebone Road, University of Westminste

Price: Free

London’s spectacular £60 million cable car project, funded by Emirates Air Line was finished in only 15 months ready for the London 2012 Olympics. Linking two parts of the Docklands Light Railway network, it has since been carrying over 30,000 people a week, helping to boost the wider regeneration of east London.

BECI (Built Environment Collaboration and Integration) at the University of Westminster are pleased to invite Matthew Randall to present the cable car project. As Managing Director of the Mace Aviation business he will explain the challenges faced managing this construction project in 2012.   He will discuss the importance of interdisciplinary team working and show how construction professionals can deliver infrastructure, no matter how novel or unique, in challenging circumstances.

Speaker: Matthew Randall, Mace Group


Con CPD Certified Pantone 179 - JPEG

This event is CPD certified.

To register for your place, please visit our Eventbrite page.

For all other queries, contact:

Andy Colley
Tel: 020 350 67003

The Shard: Constructing a vertical city – Event Review

Posted on: 12 June 2014
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Filed under: 20:20 Series, Articles, Courses, Events, Personal viewpoint

The Shard; one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the London skyline; one of the most debated works of modern architecture. Some consider it one of the greatest cultural heritages embedded in our skies. For others, it is a disappointment. Standing at a total of 310 metres and constructed by MACE group, this ambitious project has without a doubt, cemented MACE’s reputation for building innovation. It has 87 floors of residential, commercial and leicure space including the Shangri La Hotel, occupying a third of the building.

‘The Shard: Constructing A Vertical City’ took place in the Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment (ABE) at the University of Westminster on the 27 March 2014. It delved deeper into the thoughts, planning and construction behind the Shard.

A full audience listened to how the Shard was built and what innovative techniques were used to build so high, with such limited floor space.

The Shard was conceived in 2000, when Renzo Piano sketched the structure of The Shard on a simple paper napkin. From that one sketch, followed years of trying to find funding and construction & consultation companies, who would be able to finish the project in time for the Olympics. In total, £450 million went into building the Shard.

MACE group was appointed as main contractor in 2009 and through sheer determination they delivered The Shard within 38 months, with all major construction completed in time for the Olympics.

Within The Shard project, MACE constructed a 24/7 working hour ethos, and with limited spacing many of the trucks had to come one by one to unload materials. There was also extensive vertical transportation of materials; using tower cranes, jump cranes and external hoists. The Shard was built with a top down plan, with 29 floors using post tension concrete, 38 miles of pipe work and being built with 3/5th of Steel work. All of this, and with zero incidents to the labour force. MACE group had a complex strategic plan to reduce the labour force to only 1600 workers, while still being operational for 24 hours.

Successfully completing this project has grounded MACE group’s reputation as a producer of quality construction and high expectations. MACE group also operates overseas, with an immense portfolio of projects all over the world. From London’s British Museum, the London Eye & Emirates Air Line to Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower & Jumeirah beach Residencies.


BECi hosts regular CPD certified events throughout the year. Click here for more information on future events.

This event coincides with the exciting launch of the Building Information Management MSc/ PGDip/ PGCert at University of Westminster.

If you liked this event, why not learn with us? Click here to view the wide range of other undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development short courses available.


Words: Rezwana Khan (Journalism BA, University of Westminster)

Photos: Teona Teodorescu (Graphic Communication Design BA, University of Westminster)

BECI presents – The Shard: Constructing a Vertical City

Posted on: 7 February 2014
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Filed under: 20:20 Series, Events

This lecture is CPD certified

Speaker: Nigel Cole, Mace Group

Date: 27 March

Time: 6pm

Location: MG14, University of Westminster – View Map

Nigel will review the challenges and lessons learnt from the construction of the UK’s tallest structure, The Shard.  His talk will cover:

  • Construction techniques utilised on the Shard including top-down core construction and prefabrication
  • Overcoming the logistical difficulties/site constraints of a major building project in central London
  • Engineering a vertical city – producing a tall building that provides maximum benefit to users
  • The technology used to facilitate a collaborative working environment

Need evidence of attending this event to go towards gaining or maintaining your chartered or professional status? No problem, just let us know when you sign in at the event and we can send you a certificate of attendance.

This event is free but please register here to confirm your attendance.


BECI 20:20 Lunchtime Lecture Series Presents: Collaboration: Will it work in the UK Construction Industry?

Posted on: 7 February 2014
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Filed under: 20:20 Series, Personal viewpoint, Staff research

Ian Cannings introduces us to current thinking on collaboration, in particular the UK Government’s approach and the recently published British Standard BS 11000.

Ian will propose that the UK Construction Industry needs to better understand the concept of collaboration and how this relates to other concepts, particularly integration.

As with all the lectures in the series, it will also reference the UK Government’s 2025 Business Industrial Strategy dated July 2013.

Original Lecture: 30 January, 1pm, MG14, Marylebone.

Watch this video on Youtube

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BECi 20:20 Part One

Posted on: 30 January 2013
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Filed under: 20:20 Series, Events

The first in the BECi 20:20 Series took place on Thursday 24th January 2013.

The first session started with a video introduction by David Dernie, the Dean of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment.

David introduced BECi and the BECi 20:20 Series and explained that SABE are in a unique position to be able to speak to practice and industry, to engage in cross-disciplinary research and deliver industry-relevant teaching that prepares our students for tomorrow’s integrated practice. David foresees that collaborative working and coordinated information exchange is about to change the face of built environment industries internationally; moreover that the BECi initiative can become key to a combined academic and industry drive to produce the integrators of the future.

Martin Ball then gave a presentation outlining the Government Construction Strategy and how Building Information Modelling (BIM) is one of the key strategic objectives.  Martin explained the basics of BIM and challenged whether BIM is a tool, process or management methodology.

Ultimately, Martin’s key proposition is that BIM is more than a 3D modelling tool.  Whereas much of the attention is on the technology aspects of BIM, the effectiveness of BIM is down to the collaboration and integration of the stakeholders of the project.

CLICK HERE for David Dernie Introduction

CLICK HERE for the whole session: This includes David’s introduction; Martin’s part starts exactly at 7:00 and ends at 27:00. The remainder is the Q&A session

20:20 Series: The Impact of the Government Construction Strategy

Posted on: 2 December 2012
Filed under: 20:20 Series

The BECi 20:20 Series is a sequence of lunchtime sessions to discusscurrent topics relating to the Built Environment.

The format is based on 20 minutes presentation followed by 20 minutes Q&A.

The first series started on Thursday 24th January 2013 and is based on the impact of the Government Construction Strategy.

To register your interest and book at place at any one of the Open Sessions:

Details of Series One
1300 to 1350
Front Room (MG14)
Marylebone building

24-Jan (week 2) BIM: it’s more than just 3D; isn’t it?
07-Feb (week 4) Intelligent Client: An oxymoron?
21-Feb (week 6) Low carbon: is it a price worth paying?
07-Mar (week 8) Design: Under-valued?
21-Mar (week 10) Education: are we fit for purpose?

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