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Case Study - BIM Implementation at The University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool's Masterplan Estate Strategy
The University of Liverpool's Masterplan Estate Strategy

What's the story?

With more than 22,000 students on campus, The University of Liverpool already boasts some world-class facilities. Its Masterplan Estate Strategy to 2026+ provides a clear and long-term vision for future development. Operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of The University of Liverpool, University of Liverpool Construction Company (Special Projects) Ltd (ULCCO-SP) is responsible for delivering many of the major construction projects within the University Masterplan Estate Strategy.

Eager to ensure that a comprehensive, integrated and efficient approach to architecture, engineering and construction was implemented from the word go, ULCCO-SP knew that a coherent and effective BIM implementation programme was a necessity. As a result, it set its sights on achieving BS EN ISO 19650 accreditation – the international standard for managing information over the whole lifecycle of a built asset. Although ULCCO-SP already had a high level of BIM awareness, it realised it would benefit greatly from clear guidance and specialist support in order to reach this goal.

Plowman Craven’s BIM and Digital Construction Consultancy Services team were delighted to be able to assist.

Plowman Craven's BIM Implementation Service is built to progress an organisations BIM journey
Plowman Craven's BIM Implementation Service is built to progress an organisations BIM journey

What we did

Working closely with ULCCO-SP’s design team we implemented a four-phase strategy which would ultimately see the organisation achieve its desired BS EN ISO 19650 qualification. This strategy was implemented over the course of 12 months with each individual phase thoroughly and professionally executed – vital for the complete process to work effectively.

Plowman Craven's BIM Consultancy team:

  • Undertook an initial gap analysis and created a recommendations report for next steps
  • Developed The University of Liverpool's BIM standards and processes in compliance with the international BIM standard (BS EN ISO 19650 series) and aligned it to ULCCO-SP’s current approach
  • Worked closely with ULCCO-SP’s newly appointed BIM Leadership Team to further develop their BIM knowledge, empowering them to lead BIM within their business
  • Implemented new standards and processes onto a number of projects in the design and build phase and within the supply chain – strengthening the approach through practice
  • Supported ULCCO-SP in the preparation of obtaining BS EN ISO 19650 BIM Certification (Verification)

The University of Liverpool Construction Company (Special Projects) Ltd's BIM Journey


The first stage in the process was to undertake a thorough assessment to review ULCCO-SP’s existing BIM capabilities, documentation and processes before presenting a Recommendations Report of how to take the next steps in line with the BS EN ISO 19650 series. This was supplemented by a Gap Analysis Study to illustrate where ULCCO-SP stood versus where they needed to be to comply.

9603 Pc Cogs Graphic Assess


On behalf of ULCCO-SP, we then compiled a suite of BIM standards in response to the recommendations in Phase 01 and in conformance with BS EN ISO 19650. Throughout the writing of the BIM standards, various workshops were held to ensure the documents written were agreed and understood by the ULCCO-SP BIM Leadership Team, headed by Tom Alexander.

To accompany the BIM document suite, an ‘implementation plan’ was devised to map out ULCCOSP’s BIM journey in further detail, answering questions such as, “What BIM uses should we expect to realise as we progressively undertake more projects?”, and “How do we progressively make BIM business as usual?”.

In addition to this, we held further workshops with a wider stakeholder group, providing context of how the BIM documents would be utilised on any given project. This ‘document to project’ lifecycle map was presented through the ‘BIM Guide’ for completeness.

Bim Consultancy Align


With the BIM document suite written and understood, we then put them into practice. The newly empowered BIM Leadership Team activated their new BIM processes, trialling them on three live projects, each one at a different stage in the project lifecycle.

Bim Consultancy Adopt


After having undertaken BIM activities on a number of projects, we then worked with ULCCO-SP to collate any lessons learnt, the successes and the challenges, and adapted then the BIM Implementation Plan to ensure continuous improvement.

Bim Consultancy Adapt
Bsi En Logo

Accreditation Gained!

In August 2020, we were pleased to learn that just twelve months after our initial phase started, University of Liverpool Construction Company (Special Projects) Ltd achieved BS EN ISO 19650 accreditation. This is a great achievement for all at ULCCO-SP and underlines their ability to take on and accept significant change in their business.

Given the number of projects that ULCCO-SP is now implementing with BIM, Plowman Craven is now providing additional support, undertaking the functions of Information Manager and BIM Coordinator in relation to their new Arts and Humanities Centre Project.

James Gregory

Plowman Craven’s BIM Consultancy has experience in implementing BIM within all key spheres of the construction industry including Architecture, Civil & Structural Engineering, Building Services and Construction and we were well placed to provide expert advice to ULCCO-SP on its implementation of BIM. The quality of our service has been proven by both the successful award of their certification but also the satisfaction of our client.

James Gregory, Client Delivery Manager, Head of BIM, Plowman Craven ​

The BSI Auditor was really impressed with all the documentation we now have in place. This is a testament to the hard work done by all of us, with particular thanks to Plowman Craven for its association and involvement in this project. They were great to work with and we’re tremendously proud to have obtained the BS EN ISO 19650 accreditation in so little time. We look forward to delivering our Masterplan Estate Strategy at The University of Liverpool confidently aligned to BIM Stage 2 specifications.

Tom Alexander, Design Manager, ULCCO – Special Projects
BIM Implementation at The University of Liverpool

Let’s discuss your requirements

Let’s discuss your requirements and see how our expertise will deliver trusted results throughout the project lifecycle.

Plowman Craven has more than 50 years’ experience, we provide integrated measurement and consultancy services.