Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Ostick and Williams Architects

Academia plays an important role in producing skilled professionals capable of working with the tools and processes of our time. Academia can also play a significant role in enhancing the skills and processes of the current professionals within the industry; particularly in the context of BIM. The Higher Education Academy (2013) reiterate this premise by stating that with the introduction of BIM there is a challenge to up-skilling the current workforce, this has significant implications for higher education in developing future built environment professionals with the necessary skills to work in new ways, beyond their traditional disciplines. There are two primary reasons that Ostick and Williams (O+W) Architects have begun the journey into transforming their practice into BIM specialists. The first is to adhere to the UK Government mandate for adoption of level 2 BIM for all government projects over £500,000, with the primary focus to reduce capital costs by 20%. The second reason, which is just as important, is their desire to work more efficiently within the Integrated Design Team (IDT).

Key to any successful change programme is communication of change and adequate support during the process. In their pursuit of a wholesale adoption of BIM within their practice, Ostick and Williams Architects have aligned themselves with Queens University Belfast through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). It is the aim of both parties to use the resources they possess, both from an academic institution, heavily involved in cutting edge research and the commercial, practical nature of the architectural practice. For the transition into a BIM environment to be successful, it is recognised by both parties that research and training are at the very foundation of and the ultimate success of the partnership.

It is the intention of O+W Architects to have access to QUB to test out workflows, process and technology, in its pursuit to fully integrated BIM solutions that they can offer to the IDT and the Integrated Management Team (IMT). As such, a KTP associate has been appointed to act as a mediator between Queen's University Belfast and practice. The recommended solution is a strongly led hybrid provider drawing on the educational and research expertise of universities; hence the acquisition of the KTP Associate. The individual's role is to put into place, a strategic framework for adoption of BIM within O+W which will be used to compliment and push forward current processes and standards.