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The role of Building Information Modelling in retrofitting works within the UK social housing sector
The deadline for greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to be reduced by 80 per cent against the 1990 baseline is 2050. Over a quarter of these emissions are attributable to the 28m properties within the residential sector, with over 4m homes being maintained and managed by social housing registered providers. The UK Government advocates retrofitting of the existing housing stock to help meet the carbon reduction targets, with the UK social housing sector being ideally placed to deliver these types of energy-efficient retrofit projects on a large scale. The Government’s industrial strategy also supports the acceleration of the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) as an efficient and collaborative way of working throughout the UK construction supply chain. BIM is already used across the social housing sector with respect to new build projects and the aim of this research is to: 1) examine whether the social housing sector has accepted the implementation of BIM for retrofitting works; and 2) endeavour to identify new areas and roles where BIM may contribute in future. The findings indicate that if the diffusion of BIM within the social housing sector is to be successful with respect to retrofitting works, then BIM should not be adopted in isolation. Innovative developments in cloud technology, geomatics and the introduction of complementary software may also need to be accepted in conjunction with a change in the perception of BIM by actors within the sector.
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Steve Phillips BSc MSc MPhil (Cantab) PGCert EngD FRICS MCIOB has worked in the UK construction industry since 1979. He is both a Chartered Building Surveyor and a Chartered Construction Manager and has held several senior positions within the industry, including managing director of a specialist dispute resolution surveying practice and an executive board member of a major social housing landlord organisation. After completing an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge, he became a full-time academic and is currently the course director for MSc Building Surveying at London South Bank University.
Tim Forman BA MSc PhD is a research associate at the Centre for Sustainable Development in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. His research draws on a variety of methods to examine the technical, social and policy challenges to improving sustainability and resilience in existing buildings. He has a background in architectural theory, design and construction.