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Design company’s first project approved

Planners approve proposals for a new school science centre designed by joint venture company set up for BIM in 2013

Posted by Dave Higgitt | March 14, 2014 | Technology

Corde, a joint venture between architects ADP, structural engineers AKS Ward and services engineers KJ Tait, was established last year to take advantage of interdisciplinary design practice enabled through Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Instead of traditional 'silos' of expertise, architects and engineers from each discipline are sitting together and working together in one BIM model to design the new science centre for St John’s School in Leatherhead.

Roger FitzGerald, ADP chairman, and director of Corde said: “The greatest benefit has been the integration of design work that results directly from having architects and engineers sitting next to each other looking at the same BIM model. The result is excellent collaborative working, with architecture and engineering merging seamlessly.

“As well as providing the client with a more coordinated end product, there are efficiency gains too. We are working to a tight budget, and BIM is helping us to achieve this, making the design as rational and minimalist as possible. This cuts costs for the client, and also makes the design team leaner and more efficient, not least because points of detail are being addressed much earlier. This has enabled us to show the client three-dimensional images early in the design process, giving users a clear understanding of what the building will look like, and helping in decision-making.”

The science centre is the fifth major project to emerge from a master plan that ADP undertook for the school. An existing building will be demolished to make way for the new two-storey building, which will provide teaching facilities and laboratories for chemistry and biology.

A key feature of the design is a ‘show lab’ on the ground floor, which has a glazed facade to showcase activities taking place inside.

A single storey will connect the new building with other science facilities and the rest of the school, with a new courtyard and raised pool providing a focal point as well as an accessible and practical outdoor teaching area.

The building is due for completion in autumn 2015.

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