Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama case study from CIBSE

This case study around the extension to the award-winning Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama looks at BIM capabilities and the technology currently available.

The college’s existing 1970s building had no concert hall, and lacked rehearsal spaces for drama students and its symphony orchestra. The extension enabled a new 450-capacity concert hall, 160-seat theatre, rehearsal rooms and a new exhibition space to be created.

Modelling work began in 2009, but with BIM packages for MEP still in their infancy, it required early forays into using BIM for plantroom detailing and services clash detection.

Revit Structure had been used on the college to build a structural model of the building. Services engineers initially used a basic 3D-modelling programme to build an indicative model showing the layout of ducts and cables. They also created simple services routes through the structural engineer’s model, using a US-based software package.The process was a ‘great leap’ compared with anything the MEP team had done with BIM before, but the effort paid off when the new model was successfully integrated with the existing structural model.

The results were a revelation, launching the team on an upward trajectory toward creating the sophisticated MEP BIM models of today.

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