GSSArchitecture are a large national architectural practice, and have recently been investing heavily in new technologies that have stemmed from recent developments in Building Information Modelling (BIM). The UK construction industry has been undergoing its very own digital revolution through the introduction of BIM over recent years. BIM is a way of working which simply means that all the data associated with a project is hosted in a single central model. Therefore, everyone involved with the project can access and understand the building through the use of the digital model; it is information modelling and information management in a team environment.
Through their implementation of a well-structured BIM process, GSS are able to provide their clients with a variety of added value benefits on any given construction project. GSS have also been working closely with some of their clients (including research establishments and universities) to develop new 3D visualisation technologies, putting them right at the cutting edge of what is currently achievable.
For a recent £32m student accommodation project at the University of Hull, GSS were able to benefit from a Knowledge Exchange process and, as a result, have developed a range of new mobile and online apps, all of which are helping GSS to increase engagement with end users and to improve service levels to clients. Systems for producing high-quality marketing videos and interactive online CGI content have also been introduced as a result of this project.
These digital platforms will now help to improve the student experience when booking accommodation. It is an interesting comparison that booking a hotel room online is extremely simple, but, booking student accommodation online is extremely complicated, and today’s students expect the same level of flexibility and simplicity. This change in cultural standards is driving a need for universities, and student accommodation providers, to move with the times and to improve their frontline services. This, in turn, has presented an opportunity for GSS to offer a full range of support services to their clients, many of which are not even closely linked to the core discipline of architecture, but all of which are critically important to clients and the success of their projects.
Whilst many of the new digital services that GSS have developed have started in response to an identified need in the student accommodation sector, the potential uses for these new digital platforms to be used in other sectors is also clear. Commercial clients needing to market new facilities through interactive and intelligent media can also benefit, as well as clients in the Retail and Healthcare sectors.
The potential applications for these new technologies within the Healthcare sector are particularly interesting. Imagine for a moment that you are a patient and you are scheduled for some form of surgery or treatment in an unfamiliar hospital environment. Ask yourself, would you feel happier arriving at the hospital having previously been able to take an online virtual tour of the facilities to familiarise yourself with the environment? You would become familiar with the entrance and arrival experience and what to expect, as well as being able to listen to a narrated overview of what to expect in the operating theatre itself, and what facilities the recovery ward has available. In GSS’s experience, these improvements and additional outputs to their traditional core architectural services all help to reduce the stress on patients at difficult times and can help to improve the patient experience.
GSS remain leaders in BIM technologies, with their research in this field continuing in a number of areas, including how best to make use of the data within the model to assist clients in streamlining their facilities management and planned maintenance operations.
If you would like to talk to GSS about their BIM research or to find out more information, please contact 01536 513165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.