The Catalyst


The Catalyst

BIMBox was appointed as Information Manager for Bowmer+Kirkland at The Catalyst in Newcastle, supporting the pioneering delivery of the £50m new home to the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing and the National Innovation Centre for Data for Newcastle University.

The collaboration and integration of the team was recognised at Construction Excellence North East Awards 2020, where the project won in the Integration & Collaborative Working, Building Project of the Year and Sustainability categories.

The Catalyst

The Catalyst, based in Newcastle, is a purpose-built centre enabling local and international researches to take a global approach to the multi-faceted issue of an ageing population. The building hosts a suite of bespoke spaces, providing access to world-class facilities and services under one roof, supporting innovation centres and commercial organisations.

BIMBox led the Information Management of the project for Bowmer+Kirkland, providing hands-on supervision, auditing and verification services, whilst fulfilling a technical support role to the client and delivery team.

Additionally, our advanced 3D Modelling team developed the complex curtain wall system and external diagrid of the building.

BIMBox’s appointment followed our successful delivery as Information Manager for Bowmer+Kirkland on neighbouring building at the campus, Urban Sciences Building (USB), home to the University’s School of Computing and Research.

The Catalyst

The information management at The Catalyst was delivered in-line with the latest PAS 1192 standards of the time, with the cloud-based Common Data Environment (CDE) Viewpoint for Projects established and appraised to meet this guidance. Project information was housed digitally throughout the lifecycle, with all stakeholders, from the client team to subcontractors, having access to up-to-date and validated information from a single source.

Through accurate information management, we provided confidence to the delivery team and ensured the supply chain had fast access to all appropriate information and insight to maintain their responsiveness to any scenario. Our programme of workshops drove adoption, collaborating across the team to enable full understanding and recognition of the data requirements and best practice methodology for delivery.

BIMBox also performed regular clash detection exercises throughout the project timeline, helping to avoid any interruptions to schedule through identifying if, where and how parts of the building were interfering.

Navisworks was used as the clash detection software and BIMCollab for issue tracking, providing a cloud based platform to centralise and manage coordination which was accessible by Bowmer+Kirkland and each supplier with design responsibility to review and utilise.

Further areas of support included the production of reports to review the evolving project model’s compliance against the standards, methods and procedures outlined in the BIM Execution Plan (BEP). BIMBox assessed discrepancies in the model against the Level of Detail and Level of Information specified in the project’s Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP) and Asset Information Requirements (AIR). Findings were consistently shared with the design team and resolved via technical workshops.

The Catalyst

7m Under Budget

The impressive culture of proactivity and collaboration harnessed throughout the delivery amongst the design team supported the project’s completion 6 weeks ahead of programme and £7m under budget.

The project also accomplished notable achievements in sustainability, receiving a rating of BREEAM Outstanding – only one of two commercial buildings outside London to have done so.


Photography courtesy of @bandkphoto

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