Business technologies drive earns region praise

National recognition for West Midlands initiative.

The West Midlands Combined Authority working alongside the Black Country, Greater Birmingham & Solihull and Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnerships has received national praise from a panel of industry experts for creating a specialist consultancy framework to nurture essential business technology skills, securing a finalist place at the prestigious Construction News Industry awards.

The West Midlands joint entry has been recognised by industry leaders for its forward-thinking technology drive to nurture the future digital engineering skills that industry needs through the development of BIMwm, a regional-wide community Building Information Modelling framework, which has earned them a finalist place in the BIM Excellence category.

Rapid developments in digital design, additive manufacture and interconnected Building Information Modelling solutions mean that the construction industry is becoming increasingly technology and data-enabled.

BIMwm is a specialist framework of high-tech digital engineers, product designers and leading architectural consultants that’s been put together to coach and equip the regions manufacturers, component suppliers and construction firms with the digital media and advanced BIM skills needed to win work on major infrastructure projects.

The National Construction News awards is one of the most coveted in the profession and a well-recognised badge of excellence among construction peers across UK and international markets. WMCA will line up alongside some of the world’s biggest construction firms where the winners will be presented at a high profile dinner on Thursday 13 July 2017. Winning a Construction News Award is a renowned distinction amongst industry leaders.

Before the announcement of the finalists for this year’s awards, all shortlisted entrants attended face-to-face judging, presenting to a 60-strong panel of judges, made up of the most influential clients and experts in the UK, WMCA were commended and praised by the judges who have stated that “BIMwm is an astonishing take on BIM, no other region is doing as much to embed digital engineering, collaborating with partners to position the West Midlands as a pioneering adopter of BIM. The judges were astounded with the innovation and lateral thinking behind the BIMwm framework, describing it as “a ground-breaking initiative to train, support and develop the technology skills of its incumbent workforce and indigenous supply chain”.

The UK construction supply chain is undergoing its very own digital revolution. BIM is a relatively new way of working enabling engineers and construction professionals to use intelligent 3D virtual models and digitalisation to more efficiently plan, design, procure, construct and manage buildings. How this data is used changes the way that suppliers need to present product data when new and existing assets are specified, built and operated.

This year the Construction News Awards are celebrating their 21 years of celebrating the very best contractors in the UK. CN editor Tom Fitzpatrick said: “This year’s Construction News Awards showcases the best that UK construction has to offer, both for the economy and for communities across the UK and internationally.

“In uncertain economic times ahead of Brexit, construction businesses are getting on with keeping the UK moving. They are building the infrastructure, skills and workplaces this country desperately needs and we’re proud to recognise those organisations striving to create an ever more productive, diverse and talented industry.”

Andy Street, newly elected West Midlands Mayor said: “Our aim is to showcase the regions engineering expertise and put the West Midlands at the forefront of digitalisation and BIM adoption, not just locally, but globally.

“We want to raise the significant opportunities that BIM and the digital economy presents. BIMwm is the “go to” resource which supports digital skills development across the region with practical support and a place where businesses can find out more about the use of digital media and product design technologies in the built environment sector”

Andy Cox, Board Member of Black Country LEP added: “The Black Country and wider West Midlands are leading the way across manufacturing and engineering sectors and it is fantastic to be recognised for the work we are collectively doing to develop digital technology within our sector.

“As a region we are working collaboratively to secure the future of the sector through innovative programmes like BIMwm and our interactive HVM City Digital Platform. We are committed to supporting and up-skilling the next generation of companies and engineers on how to adopt and make the most of digital technologies both in their everyday work but also across the sector in order to maximise growth locally and internationally.”

The winners will be announced on 13 July 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, where over 1,400 of the industry’s elite will join together for a night to celebrate best practice applied across the UK’s landmark projects.