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Case study: The PalaceXchange complex

Article discussing construction of a complex in Enfield, UK. It is one of the earliest projects to adopt the building information modelling approach

From this case study of an early adopter of BIM methodologies, we discover some of the advantages and difficulties experienced when adopting BIM.

The PalaceXchange in Enfield, UK, is one of the earliest projects to adopt an early form of BIM known as the Avanti methods.

The client of this £30m three-storey civic building project was ING Real Estate. The project covered an area of 18,000 square metres, providing 14,000 square metres of new retail space and 6,038 square metres of leisure and cultural space (BSI 2010). It linked together the major high street stores of the town.

The project team tested the Avanti methods and evaluated their impact. Avanti was a former UK BIM standard, BS1192:2007. Like BIM, it was a code of practice that aided collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information.

The goal of the project supplier, Costain, in using the method was:

‘to improve their processes to deliver a high quality end product with less waste in the design process’ (Constructing Excellence 2010).
Similarly, the client, ING Real Estate, wanted to:
‘make good use of technologies and techniques to make the construction process more efficient and reduce the operational costs’ (Constructing Excellence 2010).
The Avanti methods achieved a number of good outcomes that benefited the teams involved and the client, such as:
  • Improved coordination among the workers as Avanti provided an opportunity for the team members to review each other’s work;
  • The use of a ‘project extranet for information exchange led to a saving of up to 50% of effort and improved spatial co-ordination and cost certainty’ (BSI 2010);
  • Enabling ‘improved information management, estimated at nearly 800 man-hours or £50k’ (BSI 2010); and
  • Contributing to monetary savings in the overall project of £3.6m; in other words, the project was delivered 10% under budget, a rare occurrence in most projects (Constructing Excellence 2010).
These results encouraged Costain to continue using BIM in future projects, as part of its continuous improvement.
However, as the Avanti BIM model was adopted after the commencement of the project, its use did not yield maximum benefits.
The design concepts had already been developed by the time the decision to adopt Avanti methods was made. Therefore, a consultancy was employed to advise on spatial coordination (BSI, 2010). Consequently, restructuring the drawings cost 24 man-weeks or £60k.
When using Avanti, it was recommended that it was incorporated from an early stage of the project in order to maximise the benefits.
You may be interested in the articles in the ‘See also’ section that further describe this case study.

Your task

In the case study, late adoption of the Avanti methodology increased some costs.
Can you think of further disadvantages caused by the late adoption of BIM to a project?


British Standards Institution (2010) Constructing the Business Case [online] available from [19 April 2018]

Constructing Excellence (2010) Demonstration Project: PalaceXchange [online] available from [19 April 2018]

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
This article is from the free online

An Introduction to Building Information Modelling

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