The International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing
The International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing is the first facility in the world to focus on the manufacture of nanocomposites so that industry can manufacture large-scale nanocomposite parts and can commercialise products with added functionality.
The new institute has been constructed to house state-of-the-art facilities including characterisation laboratories, a wet chemistry laboratory, processing hall, offices and open-plan research space. A team of 50 academics and researchers works collaboratively with other academic groups and industrial partners, national and international, on fundamental and applied research projects in the field of nanocomposites. The technology has applications in many industries, including telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, automotive, security and medicine.
Currie & Brown provided cost management and employer’s agent services on this state-of-the-art building, via their cost consulting framework.
As cost consultants we had to manage several challenges, including both the short-contract period and the challenging budget. As the building was required to be open in six months, the project did not allow for traditional procurement routes. A negotiated design and build procurement route was, therefore, chosen to deliver a new build prefabricated building.
As a result of this, it was vital that we demonstrated value for money via an open book procurement process, while maintaining the original brief in ensuring that the project delivered a quality building, but to the expectations of a more on-site traditional build. It was also important to ensure that the employer’s requirements document was as detailed as possible considering the short timeframe, so the negotiated contractor was able to deliver the university brief.
Although BIM ‘Level 2’ was not a requirement for this particular project, as cost consultants we were able to use our BIM capability to undertake cost planning and measurement of quantities direct from the 3D model using our BIM measurement software. By using this software, we were also able to extract building component specifications and scheduled/measured quantities for direct input into our cost plan. As our quantities are extracted directly from the BIM model we are able to improve our overall accuracy of measurement for a true reflection of the cost of the works.
Our ability to produce and manage a very robust set of employer’s requirements and contract, under significant time constraints, via a design and build route in a negotiated tender environment, allowed the university to complete the state-of-the-art facility within budget.