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



BIM Expertise

Posted on: 8 October 2015
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Filed under: Courses, CPD, Events, London BIM, Personal viewpoint


The emergence of BIM has generated a need for education, with potential demand from both existing industry personnel as well as new entrants into the industry.  The BIM Task Group recognised the importance of education and created the Learning Outcomes Framework.  This framework segregated demand into three categories, strategic, management and operational.  The framework was made generally available, however the Task Group encouraged the creation of different groups to enlightening the industry on all things BIM.

Subsequently a plethora BIM Partners hubs were formed including regional hubs as well as numerous BIM4 groups.  It’s could be argued that the reason BIM is still being discussed is due to the success of the BIM Task Group in instigating the formation of these affiliations.  It has resulted in a significant number of events being arranged, the majority free of charge, with volunteers making significant contributions in time and knowledge sharing to the benefit of many individuals and organisations learning about BIM.  I would suggest that these volunteers have been the unsung heros of BIM and their willingness to influence change should not be under-estimated.

Recently the regional hubs were re-branded and relaunched as BIM Regions. There is a continued willingness to keep up the momentum amongst the chairs of the BIM regions with the primary objective to be the dissemination of information about BIM and Digital Built Britain.

A proposal has been made to provide greater clarity over who the events are targeted at. It recognises that different events need to be tailored to audiences with different levels of expertise.  The proposal is have a grading of events based on the expertise of the anticipated audience.  Five grades are shown and colour-coded in the image above as follows:

  • Grade 1 – Introductory    [Yellow]
  • Grade 2 – Novice             [Green]
  • Grade 3 – Intermediate  [Purple]
  • Grade 4 – Advanced        [Blue]
  • Grade 5 – Expert              [Black]

Your thoughts and comments are welcome on this proposal.

The London and SE BIM Regions forthcoming series of events is aimed at the introductory and novice grades.  The series of 7 events will develop confidence in understanding what BIM is and ultimately what  is required to successfully implement BIM in an organisation or a project.  For more information, please see: The first event is on 14th October 2015 and registration is required.

This was first posted on Linkedin

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)

New Building Information Management MSc will enhance students’ employability says leading industry figure

Posted on: 7 February 2014
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Filed under: Courses, Current projects, Graduate news

University of Westminster will be taking its first cohort of students on the new Building Information Management MSc course in September 2014.

This course is a direct response to the changing nature of the construction industry and the Government’s intention to require collaborative Building Information Modelling (BIM) on its projects by 2016. Westminster’s Building Information Management MSc has been launched to equip construction professionals with the knowledge and skills to operate in this changing workplace.

“Understanding the concepts and culture behind a collaborative, data rich BIM environment is becoming one of the key skills required by employers” said Robert Klaschka, Director of Studio Klaschka. “Courses that address this will provide students with a significant advantage in the future work environment.”

The philosophy of the building information management course is to reflect the increasingly digital, multi-disciplinary and integrated nature of project delivery, influenced by the demand from governments and clients for greater efficiencies on construction projects. These efficiencies can be gained from more accurate prototyping, simulation, costing, planning, design, production and operation, and will be an output of sound information management and data input to Building Information Modelling (BIM) software.

The unique nature of Westminster’s Building Information Management MSc is the focus on ‘Management’, which will create professionals who are able to manage the whole construction process and the information associated with this.

“Digital building and new information and modelling technologies open a new era of integrated practice” says Professor David Dernie, Dean of Westminster’s Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. “The future of built environment thinking is digital and multi-disciplinary, where planners, architects, engineers, urban designers, quantity surveyors and clients work together on integrated project delivery.”

The University of Westminster’s Department of Property and Construction has already been involved in high profile BIM activity. Our central London location allows us to engage with industry and host events such as the London BIM Hub and the BIM Academic Forum. In the past year, world-leading contractors and organisations such as Crossrail, Multiplex and Mace have presented to our students.

Visit the main course page for an opportunity to learn more about this great course and how we can help you can enhance your academic knowledge and career prospects. Applications are open for 2014 entry.

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