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Crossrail Bentley Information Academy

UK's first building information modelling academy

Crossrail is pioneering the use of Building Information Modelling in Europe on a scale that has not been undertaken before. This has directly enabled us to develop innovative engineering design solutions, minimise waste and reduce future costs for maintaining the railway.

The Academy - the UK's first building information modelling academy - is an undertaking of the technology partnership created between Bentley Systems and Crossrail Limited. 

It provides hands-on training to the Crossrail supply chain on the latest technology and software being used to design and build the new railway including Building Information Modelling (BIM).

The Academy helps to ensure Crossrail is capturing, developing and sharing BIM best practices with the entire Crossrail supply chain.

The increased use of BIM by industry is a key element of the Government Construction Strategy and, through the Academy, Crossrail is at the forefront of increasing the use of BIM in the construction industry, creating a lasting legacy of best practice in innovation.

Driving best practice across the supply chain

The Academy is helping to encourage the delivery of best practice throughout the project supply chain with its unique focus on People, Process and Technology.

The Academy enables all Crossrail contractors to get hands-on learning on the latest software, best practices and processes used at Crossrail.  It offers a curriculum specific to Crossrail, focussing on best practices through businesses processes, standards, supporting technologies and the cultural impacts of BIM. 

This offers our supply chain a unique advantage of working in a simulated Crossrail environment so they learn detailed technical knowledge about the project processes and systems in a virtual world.

The training on offer will benefit the entire construction industry by driving standards of design innovation within the construction industry.

Managing the Crossrail “data”

The management of data through the lifecycle of the project is a crucial part of the BIM delivery. These processes need to be mapped out and the academy sets out to ensure each participant has clarity as to where they are receiving data from and where they are posting information to.

Crossrail owns all the project data. The BIM processes provide up-to-date information – either about the 3D model or from a document database – from a central source accessible to all contractors. This significantly reduces information loss between contracts and project stages and gives greater visibility into the design and construction processes.

The Academy plays a vital role in enabling collaboration with our contractors, the wider supply chain and other project participants to:

  • Reiterate the importance and value of the data they are delivering; and
  • Demonstrate the positive impacts on delivery of the overall construction programme when management of data is of carried out correctly.

Crossrail provides training sessions at the Academy that take each of our construction teams through the data processes they need to follow in ‘real world’ scenarios.  This best practice is shared across the organisation to ensure that performance improvements are recognised and repeated.

Partners

Crossrail and Bentley collaborated on all aspects of setting up the Academy with Crossrail providing project expertise and Bentley facilitating the physical learning environment.