A firm of architects is embracing new technologies and working practices thanks to a research partnership with Teesside University.

Some of the findings generated by the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with DKS Architects in Stokesley have already been presented at a major industry conference.

DKS is using the KTP to look at different ways of implementing Building Information Modelling (BIM) into its business and in particular for the retrofit industry.

BIM is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. It is changing how buildings, infrastructure and utilities are planned, designed, built and managed. It is changing the construction industry and is recognised by the UK Government as the most effective way to drive efficiency, delivery and use in building design, construction and management.

KTP is a world-leading programme part funded by Innovate UK that helps businesses succeed by connecting them to the UK’s rich academic resources. It is a partnership between the business seeking expertise, a university and a recently qualified graduate – known as an Associate.

KTP Associate David Craggs, an Architectural Technology graduate, began working at DKS last year to look at different ways of incorporating BIM into the firm’s practices.

In particular, he has been investigating ways in which BIM can be used to measure energy usage in a building and find different ways to reduce it.

Dave Knudsen, a partner at DKS, said: ‘Already 80% of our office are now working in [BIM software] Revit and we’re beginning to see the benefits of the partnership. Our staff are really benefiting from David’s expertise.

‘The research is highly relevant to the work that we’re doing and in the long term this will be of enormous benefit to our business.’

David also took part in a special KT-4-BIM project with other KTP groups from across the country. The aim of the project was to set up a virtual level 2 BIM scheme in order to share the journey and learning.

The project was so successful that the team was asked to present its findings to the annual RICS BIM conference in London.

Professor Nash Dawood from Teesside University’s School of Science & Engineering, who is supervising the KTP, said: ‘This project is extremely interesting and it’s resulting in a number of benefits both to the company and also to the University.

‘The project has the potential to build up a much more sophisticated picture of an extended ‘plan of works’ that is applicable to a broader scope of architectural, construction and engineering professionals.’

Learn more about how Teesside University can help your business here.