Balfour Beatty is turning to building information modelling (BIM) after securing a commercial contract for a redevelopment of St James's Market, London.

The company was awarded the £87 million project, which forms part of the overall renovation, for The Crown Estate and Oxford Properties. It has stated its intentions to use sophisticated 4D BIM technology which allows it to highlight any potential risks to the shareholders. Balfour Beatty explains that through this it can preempt any problems that may occur during the building phase which will reduce the chances of disruption or going over budget.

Officials explained that the development will provide 260,000 sq ft of new commercial and retail space across two eight-storey blocks between Regent Street and Haymarket. It will be carried out in a number of phases with the first, on Regent Street, including a retained heritage facade while the second, near to Haymarket, will see the introduction of aesthetic curved glass and Portland Stone.

BIM technology will allow Balfour Beatty to avoid any potential construction issues that could occur during the building process. Many companies have been utilising this tool in the planning phase as it can help to improve efficiency and also reduce costs. It is growing in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic and the UK is aiming to become a world leader in the technology by competing with the likes of the US and Sweden.

Andrew McNaughton, Balfour Beatty chief executive, spoke of his delight at being able to secure this contract and is looking forward for it to get underway. Work is due to begin in the autumn with a completion dark earmarked for summer 2015.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Crown Estate and Oxford Properties to deliver this landmark scheme. Working within the capital invariably presents its challenges but the investment we have made in digital technology and modular construction will come to the fore on this project and we look forward to demonstrating our expertise," Mr McNaughton added.

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