The Benefits of BIM for the Leisure Industry

Chris Shaw
Leisure schemes house a complex mix of building functions; BIM can help facilitate a richer level of stakeholder engagement.

My work with Bridlington Leisure World has given me a useful insight into the many benefits Building Information Modelling (BIM) brings to the leisure industry. For BIM 'information' is perhaps the key element; as leisure schemes house a complex mix of building functions, BIM can help facilitate a richer level of stakeholder engagement.

Leisure industry challenges

  • Meet demand for high quality and varied provisions

  • Accommodate a number of functions within an efficient footprint area

  • Facilitate multi-functionality with a mixture of high and low revenue potential

  • Meet energy and carbon targets

  • Satisfy multiple stakeholder objectives

At Bridlington Leisure World, cost management was improved through the use of BIM software, enabling quantities to be measured quickly and accurately.

Growing industry

Despite economic downturn the leisure and fitness industry has experienced a period of growth. The 2013 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report shows that the sector has increased its total market value by 1.5 per cent to £3.92 billion in the last 12 months. This includes a 2 per cent growth in the total number of fitness facilities, against a 4.5 per cent rise in the number of members. This increasing demand puts pressure on capital and revenue budgets.

Discerning customers

The sector needs high quality facilities to service an increasingly discerning customer base who call for a wider variety of services and functionality. The challenge for facilities today is to incorporate several different services whilst maintaining an efficient building footprint.

High operation and maintenance costs

Leisure schemes are hit by high operation and maintenance costs, especially if they have a swimming pool. Many local authorities have an ageing building stock, and need to rationalise existing centres into larger and more energy efficient facilities. Refurbishment may not be viable, as existing services have reached the end of their serviceable life. Alternatively the centre may no longer provide the range of services expected in a modern facility.

BIM can help

BIM is a valuable resource in meeting these challenges.

  1. Enhances stakeholder engagement through a more tangible 3D model

  2. Demands increased collaboration and design challenge

  3. Strengthens build ability, reducing design risk and cost

BIM brings significant advantages to the leisure industry, including managing expectations and enriching the level of stakeholder engagement. Schemes must accommodate a range of objectives and requirements from architects, Sport England, ASA, local authority representatives, user groups and the general public. A 3D BIM model helps individuals understand how each user interacts within the facility, offering richer stakeholder engagement earlier in the design development. This increased early effort reduces expensive changes to the design in later stages.

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At Bridlington Leisure World, cost management was improved through the use of BIM software, enabling quantities to be measured quickly and accurately. Measuring the project costs directly through the BIM model created time to review the scheme’s details and development. This improved the facility’s coordination and value management. For Bridlington, on-site efficiencies will be delivered due to improved design coordination prior to construction and through the use of BIM 360 Field software. The software will manage the quality of the installation on site to deliver the project in a lean way.

BIM will also be used to manage the facility post-construction, through a data rich model which includes all operation and maintenance information. Contemporary leisure facilities need great functionality, efficient footprint design and low energy in use – and this requires great co-ordination. Early development through BIM can really help stakeholders identify what’s important and bring a new scheme to life.

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