University partnership helps landscape architects unlock new technologies

University partnership helps landscape architects unlock new technologies

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Case study by Teeside University

Newcastle and London-based urban designers and landscape architects Colour are finding new ways of implementing the latest technology in its work thanks to a partnership with Teesside University.

The company has used a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and a Knowledge Exchange Internship (KEI) to investigate ways of implementing Building Information Modelling (BIM) within its business. BIM is a concept that uses a combination of processes and technologies to develop a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a building. Colour has taken on two members of staff at its Newcastle headquarters with the help of different schemes run by the University to help companies recruit talent and develop new skills in their business.

Henry Fenby-Taylor was taken on a KTP as a BIM system designer to apply BIM project management standards and to enhance software productivity and efficiency. Henry said:

“Having the chance to work with bothprofessionals and academics in this area is unique and we are doing some cutting edge work. My role is more research focused and so I can afford to experiment and try new things.”

Adam Hay has just completed a 12 month KEI at Colour and is now employed permanently at the company, where he has helped to integrate BIM into its projects. KEIs, unique to Teesside University, are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and employ talented graduates in companies which are looking to solve a particular problem or implement a specific project.

Over the course of the 12 months he has applied BIM to a live project, the new Newcastle College Gateway faculty, and collaborated with Ryder Architecture on their winning bid in the Build Sydney 2013 virtual design competition for a new convention centre in Sydney, Australia. Adam said: ‘I’ve been using the technology to help the landscape architect. It’s meant I’ve been kept very busy with lots of new problems to solve and fix, and also learn new knowledge and skill sets.

Stephen Blacklock, Technical Director at Colour, said: ‘We’re extremely pleased with the work that we’ve been doing with Teesside University. Adam’s KEI has allowed the company to take on more complex BIM projects and is also helping the company drive efficiencies and work towards ISO accreditation which will help secure more work.

‘The KTP is more of a problem-solving position with a lot more academic support but hopefully it will enable us to develop solutions which will allow us to stay at the forefront of our industry.

‘It’s fantastic that there are these different ways in which Teesside University has been able to support our business. We’re now thinking of running another KEI project in our London office.’

The KTP and the KEI were supervised by Professor Nashwan Dawood and Dr Mohamad Kassem from Teesside University’s School of Science & Engineering.

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University partnership helps landscape architects unlock new technologies

Newcastle and London-based urban designers and landscape architects Colour are finding new ways of implementing the latest technology in its work thanks to a partnership with Teesside University.