Crossrail and Bentley Systems Launch UK’s First Dedicated Building Information Modelling Academy

• Academy seeks to enhance supply chain knowledge and drive construction industry innovation in Business Information Modelling
• Knowledge gained by supply chain about the use of BIM on Crossrail able to transfer to other infrastructure projects such as HS2
• Crossrail to establish Industry Panel to promote collaboration and best practices in BIM
Crossrail and Bentley Systems today launched a dedicated Information Academy to provide hands-on training to the Crossrail supply chain on the latest technology and software being used to design and build the new railway including Building Information Modelling (BIM).
The Academy is an undertaking of the technology partnership created earlier this year between Bentley Systems and Crossrail Limited. The Information Academy will capture, develop and share BIM best practices with the Crossrail supply chain. The increased use of BIM by industry is a key element of the Government Construction Strategy.
Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail’s Chief Executive said: “Crossrail is pioneering the use of Building Information Modelling in Europe on a scale that has not been undertaken before. This has directly enabled us to develop innovative engineering design solutions, minimise waste and reduce future costs for maintaining the railway. The Academy will support the Government Construction Strategy by increasing the use of BIM in the construction industry and creating a lasting legacy of best practice in innovation. The training received at the Academy will also help contractors use the knowledge and skill gained here on other major projects such as HS2.”
Malcolm Taylor, Crossrail’s Head of Technical Information said: “The Academy will enable Crossrail contractors to get hands-on learning on the latest software, best practices and processes used at Crossrail. This offers our supply chain a unique advantage of working in a simulated Crossrail environment so they learn detailed technical knowledge about the project processes and systems in a virtual world.”
Greg Bentley, Bentley Systems’ Chief Executive said: “The UK’s particularly advantageous innovation strategy is collaborative BIM. Beyond technology, what’s most exciting for us about the Academy’s potential contribution is what we can all learn from ‘working smarter together’ with the Crossrail construction supply chain – collaborating to yield BIM benefits during construction, while also improving lifecycle information quality.”
Detailed design work for the Crossrail project began in 2008 and working in a collaborative 3D environment was a core contractual requirement across each of the 25 design contracts.
The entire project exists in a digital 3D model which is handed to the construction contractors and will eventually move across to the operators and maintainers of the railway – thereby reducing the costs of running the railway.
Today, Crossrail integrates the information developed from over 25 main design contracts, 30 advanced works contracts and over 60 logistics and main works construction contracts, all of which have an extraordinary number of interlinked interfaces within the complex urban environment of London.
Crossrail owns all the project data. The BIM processes provide up-to-date information – either about the 3D model or from a document database – from a central source accessible to all contractors. This significantly reduces information loss between contracts and project stages and gives greater visibility into the design and construction processes.
Crossrail and Bentley have collaborated on all aspects of setting up the Academy with Crossrail providing project expertise and Bentley facilitating the physical learning environment.
The Academy, located in Bentley Systems’ offices near Bank station, will offer a curriculum particular to Crossrail requirements focusing on the best use of BIM, latest software and best practice. The training on offer will benefit the entire construction industry by driving standards of design innovation within the construction industry.
To support innovation and the use of Building Information Modelling, Crossrail will next month establish a BIM Industry Panel – engaging academic institutes, construction companies and specialist consultants as a platform to promote collaboration and best practices in BIM.
For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 0203 229 9552 or email

Crossrail benefits from BIM include:
• Reduction of risks from greater visibility into design and construction interfaces and activity
• Improved safety through increased construction awareness from easy review of complex details or processes on site
• Reduced errors from using a trusted “single source of truth” approach to data management, for example ensuring only the most appropriate version of models, drawings and documentation is used
• Improved collaboration through linked data sets and integrated 3D models that create a “virtual” Crossrail before the physical Crossrail is constructed, allowing design and construction refinement
• Reduced information loss between project phases, ensuring that Crossrail teams capture and hand over full asset information into the Operations and Maintenance phases
• Improved project delivery leveraging technology advances including data interoperability and mobility 
Bentley Systems was selected as the preferred technical software supplier for Crossrail in 2007 to provide specifically tailored software to suit Crossrail’s requirements. Sharing a common aspiration to be exemplar in the use of BIM, Crossrail and Bentley formed a technology partnership in 2011 to drive innovation in Crossrail, its supply chain and the construction industry.
Crossrail aims to reach BIM Level 2 as mandated by the government by the end of 2012. Crossrail’s BIM strategy is firmly based on the Government Construction Strategy (BS1192).
About Crossrail
The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London’s key business districts. When Crossrail opens it will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London’s position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.