The Urban Sciences Building (USB) is a flagship building dedicated to cutting edge, interdisciplinary research. The USB contains a series of integrated laboratories to inform future urban infrastructure design, industry and policy. No other building in the country draws together facilities in an integrated way to support energy network de-carbonisation, flood mitigation and to, provides a hub for digital urban sensing to support the future of digital infrastructure, economy and civics.
The USB is conceived as a “Living Laboratory”, a test bed for research ideas, experiments and industry partner collaboration. This meant that new concepts were continually being developed for incorporation into this project during the design and construction stages of the project. To enable these changes to be incorporated and to ultimately meet the design brief, open communication and collaboration between all stakeholders were vital.
There were many challenges which were overcome by integrated collaborative working. These included:
- Multiple stakeholders and end users with differing visions and concepts for delivery, to be incorporated within a limited budget and programme.
- Continuity of design team from Stages 4 to 5.
- Unknown research and FM requirements for input into Asset Information Model until 9 months prior to handover.
- Client Soft Landing Manager being appointed close to handover
In the end the client ended up with a facility which met their brief and full BIM Level 2 delivery, enabling them to effectively manage their facility, and gather actual data to be placed within the model environment used for further research.