Newcastle University: BIM for Estates

Newcastle University is a member of the Russell Group – one of only 24 research-intensive universities recognised by the UK Government as academic leaders providing the highest quality research-led higher education. The University is known for its medical, IT, law, business and engineering schools, and has an intake of 27,750 students from over 130 countries worldwide.

BIM for Estates
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Newcastle University


Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Strategy, Digital Technologies, Building Performance



2 min read

Newcastle University Estates Support Services (ESS) commissioned BIM Academy to review the relevance and value of BIM processes and technologies to the estates department’s day-to-day activities and future strategy. We were asked to prepare a high-level needs assessment, gap analysis and adoption strategy.

We began with an organisational and operational review, estate strategy review and analysis of existing information systems, software and skills. This allowed us to identify areas of improvements and generate a proposal for potential new BIM uses.

As the owner of a diverse portfolio of property types, including several heritage and complex technological facilities, the University had a strong understanding of the potential value of utilising BIM across the entire estate – both on its new capital programme and existing estate.

At the time of commission, however, the University did not know how to initiate BIM implementation in a structured way. Our research and subsequent report detailed a series of practical and pragmatic steps to introduce BIM based on an estate wide strategy, enabling the University to increase its BIM adoption and understanding.

A coordinated 3D digital model of each building element or facility in the estate could be captured using scan to BIM or 2D to 3D conversion processes. Supported by GIS technology, these could then be linked, spatially coordinated and adopted as a placeholder model.

Combined with a single consistent data structure and transfer mechanism, this would inherently improve the efficiency of the management of data throughout the operational life of the whole estate. This project consequently led to ESS mandating BIM on all of the University’s new capital projects.