Sandwell Council, an award winning local authority, won a prestigious award at the Construction News Awards ceremony on Tuesday evening. The council’s Think Sandwell team was recognised for its outstanding achievements in the ‘Best BIM (Building Information Modelling) Initiative of the Year’ category for its pioneering work on the West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH).
Recognised as one of the most renowned and coveted awards in the construction sector and a well-recognised badge of excellence amongst the sector’s peers, the judges were impressed by the council’s innovation and lateral thinking describing it as “an astonishing take on BIM” and the council’s entry as “miles ahead of other organisations”. The team received their award from BBC presenter Gabby Logan and Construction News’ editor Rebecca Evans.
The WMVH is an innovative, digital procurement tool that showcases the skills, knowledge and expertise of West Midlands’ companies in the UK and abroad. Think Sandwell’s bid focused on the council’s efforts to boost the skills and BIM capabilities of the region’s supply chain via its series of BIM workshops.
Commenting on the award win, Councillor Paul Moore, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won one of the construction industry’s biggest awards. Our innovative work on the West Midlands Virtual Hospital demonstrates the council’s dynamic and pioneering approach in engaging with businesses in the region and providing them with the knowledge, skills and capabilities to be leading BIM players both here in the UK and abroad”.
Building on the success of this achievement, the team is now looking ahead to next week’s Constructing Excellence in the West Midlands awards where more than 600 leaders and innovators are expected at The International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham on 10 July.
Sandwell Council is a finalist in five categories with projects and individuals receiving recognition for their outstanding performance in 2014. The West Midlands Virtual Hospital is shortlisted in the ‘BIM (Building Information Modelling) Project of the Year’ and ‘Innovation’ categories, whilst Sandwell’s Urban Design and Building Services team is nominated for prestigious ‘Client of the Year’ award.
The other finalists include a joint entry with our housing framework partners, (Wates, Vinci, Keepmoat, & Lovell) in the ‘Integration and Collaboration’ category and the Council’s Steve Massey has secured an individual finalist place in the ‘Achiever’s Award’ for his work in supporting the region’s supply chain.
Councillor Paul Moore: “The Construction News’ award win is a real boost for the team going into next week’s Constructing Excellence awards ceremony at The ICC. Our nomination in five categories demonstrates how Sandwell is leading the way in adopting new design technologies and the strength of the expertise and skill of the people working in our borough”.
The state-of-the-art WMVH has already generated significant interest from local businesses, with over 400 companies expressing an interest in the initiative and/or creating profiles to showcase their expertise, experience and capabilities in supplying critical products and services for the design, manufacture and operation of a 21st-century healthcare facility. In addition, over seven BIM workshops have been arranged to date, resulting in over 120 regional companies attending to learn about and equip themselves on BIM.
BIM is the modelling of an asset, such as a building, in a digital form that helps all parties involved to understand it more particularly through data. This enables those who interact with the asset to optimise their actions and make construction decisions that result in a greater whole life value for the asset.
Watch the highlights of the awards.