Posts from November 2016

THINKlab & Network Rail partnership wins National Construction Excellence Award BIM Project of the Year

15 November 2016
From left to right: Roy Hickman, Ameet Masania, Terrence Fernando and Fred Mills

From left to right: Roy Hickman Network Rail, Ameet Masania Network Rail, Terrence Fernando THINKlab UoS and Fred Mills B1M


Our 4D BIM for Track Renewals Project with Network Rail won a National Construction Excellence Award for BIM Project of the Year!

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.”

The Director of THINKlab, Professor Terrence Fernando said: “We are thrilled to win this prestige national award from the Construction Excellence. We were up against some large organisations, 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 have recently signed a new contract with the THINKlab to roll the technology out across the country after successful series of trials.

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”

This is a fantastic achievement and we’d like to express our thanks to everybody who has contributed to its success.

Watch this video to learn more about the project.