NEWS: SLR part of global BIM challenge winning team

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International environmental consultancy awarded for collaborative working practices in a BIM environment

SLR Consulting has contributed to a collaborative project that claimed the top award at this year’s Build New York Live event.

Landscape and GIS specialists from the environmental firm formed part of the 40-strong winning Ryder Alliance team to scoop the virtual design and construction competition, with its innovative approach to the redevelopment of Hudson Yards in Manhattan.

The award is dedicated to improving working practices in a BIM environment and the team, operating from six international locations; Newcastle, Manchester, Barcelona, Madrid, Sydney and Melbourne, were linked by digital communications systems − reflecting this new way of collaborative working.

With a tight deadline of just two days, the Ryder Alliance’s winning concept included an indoor sports facility, a 60-storey residential tower and connection into the extended High Line linear park.

Close cooperation with the architectural team enabled SLR to overcome the challenges presented by the site and the need to design proposals over significant variations in level. SLR’s contribution involved landscape and architectural design within a BIM environment, exploiting the benefits of Virtual Reality (VR) using Oculus Rift, as well as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping and the creation of a presentation video.

Associate, and BIM Manager, Kevin Smith, who headed up the SLR team, explained: “The building information model was displayed to three public focus groups, who viewed the project throughout the design process in an immersive virtual environment using Oculus Rift.


“Key metrics were collected using Visual Experience (VEx) scales, relating to the spatial and experiential qualities of the project. Once recorded, these were fed directly to the design team to refine the evolving design. This method was a real-time example of live public participation with the design process, utilising BIM and virtual environment technology to facilitate research-based design.”

The project won the award for ‘the best overall BIM effort within the brief as voted by the judges’ and recognises the value of collaboration, working within a multidisciplinary team and contributing based on knowledge specialisms.

Those participating from SLR included; Kevin Smith, Andrew Scambler, Andy Forbes, Rob Myers and Ben Blakeman. Ryder Architecture, BIM Academy, i2C and Ravetllat Ribas also formed part of the Ryder Alliance team, which included services engineer Cundall, BIM consultant Rapid 5D, Sir Robert McAlpine, construction consultant Summers Inman, and Willmott Dixon Construction.

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