Posts tagged: Professor Terrence Fernando

THINKlab partnership project receives €425K funding

THINKLabTHE University of Salford will lead the way in helping to create more energy efficient cities, after receiving a €425,000 grant from the EU.

Buildings waste huge amounts of energy but annually just 1-2% of the building stock of cities is upgraded for efficiency – a process known as retrofitting.

It is estimated that the majority of European building stock will need to retrofit at a rate of 2.9% a year to achieve the target, versus the current 1.2% rate, in order that EU achieve its emission reduction targets by 2050.

However, current retrofitting processes are expensive, and face many uncertainties and complexities. Experts in the School of the Built Environment are partners in a €8.7 million project, and will lead the development of a knowledge-based tool which will select the integrated solutions with highest impact.

The other nineteen industry and academic partners involved in the project are from the UK, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Estonia. The wider project will explore innovative components, processes and decision making methodologies to guide all value-chain actors in the building renovation process; including a specific knowledge based tool for Real Estate Industry.

Professor Fernando, Director of the School of the Built Environment’s THINKlab and an expert in digital visualisations and simulation, said: “This project offers us further funding to continue our work on designing energy efficient buildings and neighborhoods that we have been doing over the last three years as a part of the Design4Energy project.

“We plan to apply our knowledge in advanced visualisation and collaboration in creating an interactive platform for the stakeholders involved in the retrofit market to create innovative solutions that can not only enhance the energy efficiency of the building but also the value of the property.”

This new technology platform will be built on the THINKlab’s ongoing work on advance data visualisation and building simulation.

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Victoria Barker

0161 295 4779


THINKLab rail partnership wins national prize

ThinkLab Rail Award Team

L to R: Roy Hickman and Ben Gillespie (Network Rail), Steve Neybour (S&C Alliance), Terrence Fernando (THINKlab Director)

DIGITAL technology to ease the planning of Britain’s rail upgrades has won a national award for industry.

The 4-D simulation developed with S&C South Alliance for Network rail scooped Most Outstanding Building Information Modelling project at the Constructing Excellence awards in London.

Network Rail recently signed a new contract with the University to roll the technology out across the country after successful series of trials. The technology was developed by School of the Built Environment’s THINKLab, which creates virtual models and simulations for a host of industries.

The Director of THINKLab, Professor Terrence Fernando said: “We are thrilled to win this prestige national ward from the Contruction Excellence.  We were up against large companies, but we managed to win because  our innovative IT solution introduced a new way of working to reduce waste and improve efficiency of large railway projects. We hope to build on this success to bring further innovation to the building construction sector.”

Network Rail had been frequently experiencing programme overruns of its track renewals due to planning errors, costing millions of pounds and causing severe disruption to passengers. It has described the new package as a ‘game-changer’ in network planning, saving them time and money in scheduling upgrades.

The inability to effectively schedule works on complex sites was a major factor in projects overrunning.   THINKLab technologists helped Network Rail create 4-D simulations, meaning the tool can be is used for visualising and scheduling of tasks to the minute over a time period, allowing them to run different scenarios  for pre-work briefings and post-work evaluation.

“I have been planning track renewals for 17 years and this has blown me away,” says Stephen Kearney a site manager for Network Rail. “It’s suitable for small planning schemes as well as major programmes over a number of years.”

Nathan Lord, site manager at S&C South Alliance said the possibilities of the package were “unbelievable” and it gave them the confidence to know their planning for deliver more efficiency at lower cost. Head of Transformation at S&C South Alliance Steve Naybour said “this is a 4D planning package for now that will take us into the future of delivering more”

Judges at Constructing Excellence said the technology “has the potential to be applied across the rail industry both in the UK and internationally and is an “outstanding example of a technology and digital approach being applied to drive better incomes – not just for construction and industry – but for wider society as well.”

THINKLab’s 4D BIM Track Renewal project beat off six other finalists:

– Priority Schools Building Programme (North East), The Meadows Project (E Mids), Habberley Learning Campus (W Mids), The Faculty of Business & Law University of West of England (South-West), Land Rover BAR America’s Cup HQ (South East), East Riding Leisure, Bridlington (YH) and Holywell Learning Campus (Wales).

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See how the package works in this company video.