BIM cited as the answer to hospital modernisation

Building Information Modelling (BIM) could be the answer to modernising Britain’s hospitals in line with government patient legislation, according to 3D measurement expert Severn Partnership.

The bold statement comes at a time when the UK government has announced it will be making a £10 million pot of money available for UK hospitals to help them complete refurbishments of their maternity wards over the next few years. By utilising BIM, hospitals will be able to have whole scale refurbishments planned quickly and safely without having to cope with widespread disruption and ward closures, enabling them to continue to meet productivity targets set by the government.

Nick Blenkarn, Director of Severn Partnership explained: “Hospitals are constantly dealing with increasing numbers of patients and are being expected to have patients admitted or sent home within four hours of arrival. Refurbishment projects can be very disruptive and can have a significant impact on hospital resources and response times. With BIM, development projects can be quickly and safely planned – and often delivered with no disruption at all to hospital services.”

Nick Blenkarn refers to a project that Severn Partnership recently completed at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals as an example of a quick, convenient and beneficial refurbishment project. The company laser scanned key departments of the hospital that were ready for refurbishment, creating a Revit BIM of the premises complete with internal layouts and printed elevations. A detailed survey control network was established around key points at the hospital to avoid disruption to services, and laser scanning was extended to include surrounding areas. A final BIM model was created in parametric detail and 3D visualisations completed.

Laser scanning the premises in 3D gave Severn Partnership the flexibility to gather a large amount of site data in a short time while the subsequent BIM data meant that Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals had a virtual simulation of its entire site so it could quickly and easily carry out any refurbishment work with minimal disruption to patients and staff. This enabled the hospital to modernise its facilities without turning any patients away, and consistently hitting government efficiency targets.

Following the merger of various Primary Care Trusts with hospitals across the UK last year, space limitation is also an issue that is expected to become an ongoing problem for UK hospitals over the next few years but BIM could be the answer.

Nick Blenkarn concluded:

“Using BIM on existing buildings is increasingly becoming the most effective way to both plan and design refurbishment projects and manage facilities from a central database. It is a process that causes minimum disruption and can ensure that any building development work is carried out safely and conveniently. With funds available for hospitals to refurbish and modernise their maternity wards, BIM could be the solution to doing this effectively, without jeopardising performance rates.”

Hospitals are also being advised to take advantage of the data produced outside of the usual benefits of BIM. Through Severn Partnership’s sister company, SEEABLE LLP, BIM data can be repurposed into an app for tablets and desktops, providing simple non-technical access to the model and attributed data for orientation, location of assets, safety, hazard location and contractor briefing.

Nick continued:

“We used to see all the effort going in to create 3D models and Building Information Models (BIM) for them just to reside with design teams and Facilities Managers in some form. SEEABLE is our answer to quickly utilising BIM data and not leaving it to reside with design teams and Facilities Managers.”

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