Digital Practices

About Digital Practiceslaser_scan_of_room

The digital practices research group’s work tackles opportunities and challenges of using Building Information Modelling (BIM) in delivering and managing the built environment. We have unique expertise on the organisational practices of using digital technologies over the life-cycle of built infrastructure.

Our Research

The inter-disciplinary team works together to develop next-generation solutions. Research addresses organizational challenges of using asset information effectively in the delivery and operation of the built environment. It is prototyping new techniques for capturing, integrating and visualizing digital data, extending the use of BIM, GIS, laser scanning, mobile devices and display technologies.

Our research develops new knowledge about data hand-over, value to clients, and emerging uses for sustainability, lean construction and safety applications. We have particular interests in technology strategies in complex infrastructure projects such as stations, hospitals and airports. We work with major projects and programmes such as the London 2012 Olympics, and with strategic partners include Autodesk, Arup, Bentley, Costain, Crossrail, Halcrow, HOK, London Underground, Tekla, Skanska and Vinci. There are strong connections with the healthcare theme, and links across the University, with research in the School of Systems Engineering and with our estates and facilities managers.

As well as computer laboratories, resources for research and teaching include:

  • BIM Lounge - advanced modelling and visualization software; laser scanning and other equipment.
  • Visualization and Interactive Technologies Centre (VIT-C) - CAVE and Powerwall facilities for immersive, stereo 3D viewing.

The Design Innovation Research Centre supports this theme as an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 'Challenging Engineering' exploration group. Theme members contributing to the work of this internationally-recognized Centre, which provides a focus, developing research capacity and generating knowledge to transform design in the digital economy.

Research Informed Teaching

Building Information Modelling

Digital Technology Use in Construction

ICT and Energy Management

Information and Communication Technology

Intelligent Buildings  

Centre and Selected Projects

Design Innovation Research Centre

With a vision of a new mode of design in the digital economy, this EPSRC funded research centre is home to a set of current research projects, and is also developing a knowledge bank, to capture and disseminate the outcomes of research. Research includes work with, and impact on the BIM Task Group, London 2012 Olympics, and Crossrail to understand the challenges of handing over digital data and value to clients. and The Centre has £1.25m funding for the first 5 years.

Re-defining cost, project and carbon management through Building Information Modelling (Vicky Fillingham, supervised by Dr Milan Radosavljevic and Dr Stephen Gulliver)

April 2013-April 2017

The project has been designed to critically evaluate the current interfaces used between project teams, cost consultants and the wider supply chain; identifying how existing service delivery requirements are challenged by the adoption of Building Information Modelling and the carbon economy.

Sustainable Design Benefits and Analysis of RoI from the adoption of BIM processes and technologies within a (Property & Real Estate) business (Ruth Dowsett, supervised by Dr Chris Harty and Professor Jennifer Whyte)

January 2012-December 2015

This EngD project investigates how new working processes utilising emerging BIM technologies can be developed to deliver more sustainable design processes, and to produce demonstrable benefits of these processes across the whole life cycle for wider implementation within the sector.

Digital design and professional roles (Suha Jaradat, supervised by Dr Rachael Luck and Professor Jennifer Whyte)

October 2010-September 2015

This PhD project investigates the intersection between technology and the professions in project-based work, analysing how leading international architecture practices are using BIM and comparing the architect's role and interactions in BIM practices in the UK and USA.

Student internships are usually available in the summer, progressing work on laser scanning, augmented reality, immersive visualization and BIM.

Associated Staff

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