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Teesside University collaboration helps business to grow

21 October 2014 @TeesUniNews


A leading firm of architects has launched a new business to bring cutting edge technology to the construction industry, thanks to collaboration with Teesside University.

Businesses from across the North East are being invited to an event next month where they will learn about the benefits that Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) can bring to their business.

Niven Architects entered into a KTP with Teesside University to enable the Darlington-based firm to explore ways of integrating Building Information Modelling (BIM) into its practice.

KTPs typically last up to two years and are part-funded by Innovate UK to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills.

At Niven Architects, graduate Johnathan Munkley was employed as a KTP associate to lead the project and was supported by Professor Nashwan Dawood and Dr Mohamad Kassem from Teesside University’s Technology Futures Institute.

The partnership has proven so successful that Niven has launched a new company, BIM Strategy Ltd, which will provide companies involved in the construction sector with the tools and knowledge they need to use BIM in their own business.

BIM is a collaborative way of working that uses technologies and processes to develop a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a building project from design to operation.

BIM approaches can improve the predictability of building projects and contribute to saving time, money and safety records.

After April 2016, all centrally procured public sector building projects will have to be Level 2 BIM compliant.

BIM Strategy Ltd was set up by Niven Architects to help construction firms become BIM compliant through a range of services including training, workshops, content creation and funding advice through to project-based consultancy.

Marketing Manager Karen Crowe said: 'One of the stumbling blocks for SMEs looking to incorporate BIM is the cost of training, as well as the purchasing of licences and hardware.

'Because we went down the KTP route we learned a lot about how to do it and realised we were in a position to offer advice to businesses both large and small.'

Niven Architects is implementing BIM in its new development for a multiscreen cinema and hotel complex in the centre of Darlington.

Representatives from the practice will also be speaking at a special event in Gateshead on 6 November which is being organised as part of national KTP week to showcase how KTPs can help businesses.

Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University, said: 'Niven Architects are a fantastic example of the bottom-line impact a KTP can have on business.

'For Niven, the KTP and collaboration with the University has meant not only new cutting-edge BIM technology in the business - it has also led to expansion of the company.

'We look forward to welcoming other businesses on Thursday 6 November to hear how university expertise can help them improve competitiveness, productivity and performance.'

The event, entitled ‘Bottom Line Business Benefits’, takes place at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead from 8.00am to 10.00am.

In the News

Partnership has a model solution to project success
Evening Gazette, 11/11/2014
A successful partnership has led to a new business launch for Teesside firm Niven archtects.

Teesside University collaboration helps business to grow
Construction National - online, 22/10/2014
A leading firm of architects has launched a new business to bring cutting edge technology to the construction industry.