UK: Crossrail Ltd has decided to use the latest Building Information Management software throughout its construction supply chain, in order to ensure consistent data and share design information across the £15bn project to build a new east-west rail route under London.

Addressing a briefing for Tier 1 contractors at the London office of software supplier Bentley Systems on January 20, Crossrail Ltd CEO Andrew Wolstenholme said the project was a major opportunity to promote greater use of BIM within the UK. Exploiting the latest digital technology to ensure that detailed design information was available for the maintenance and operation phases offered a ‘huge’ opportunity to make savings over the whole lifecycle of new infrastructure, he believed. What Crossrail was looking for was ‘a single BIM model that connects this dataset from the start through to the end’.

Crossrail is to provide its supply chain with access to the applications that it requires them to use through an Enterprise Licence Subscription with Bentley. They will also be afforded to access to ProjectWise, the work-sharing system used by the world’s top design firms, according to Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley, as well as virtual classrooms and on-demand e-learning under the Bentley LEARN programme.

Alongside Bentley LEARN, it is intended that more traditional classroom training will be provided at an academy to be set up at Bentley’s London office under the directorship of Steve Jolley. Bentley says that the academy would ‘assess, introduce and enable’ BIM innovations, taking advantage of emerging hardware and software capabilities.