Chris Steele, Digital Products and Services Director


We view digital engineering and building information modelling (BIM) as parts of a managed approach to the collection and exploitation of information across the whole life cycle of a built asset – from conception, through design, construction, operation and maintenance, to refurbishment/reuse and demolition. We regard it as a philosophy, not simply a technology. Our digital engineering approach is not a parallel activity but an integral component of the project life cycle.

We aspire to share and leverage data and information at each stage of a project, thereby improving project quality and efficiency, facilitating carbon-efficient and sustainable design, reducing risk and providing the best possible client and team experience.

Binnies has the knowledge and expertise to provide consultancy services for an organisation or specific project. We develop enterprise information management strategies and digital transformation road maps for our clients; these include Severn Trent Water and Aarhus Vand.

Our approach to BIM on projects is in line with the UK Government’s BIM Level 2 maturity. This starts with a robust BIM execution plan (BEP) being put in place at the start of the project in response to the employer’s information requirement (EIR) document and any project-specific information delivery plan (IDP).

The production of a BEP at project inception is essential to drive early decisions on how BIM will be used and structured through all phases of the programme to leverage the efficiencies this approach can bring.

Central to any BIM Level 2 environment is a common data environment (CDE) compliant with BS EN ISO 19650-2:2018. We have configured a rigorously compliant CDE based on ProjectWise from Bentley Systems for storing documents, drawings and models.

Binnies is an active participant in client and government or industry-wide BIM initiatives, including as:

  • a representative on the Environment Agency’s Digital Community of Practice (formerly the WEM BIM Working Group) and the Construction Industry Council BIM Forum
  • a steering committee member of BIM4Water since its inception
  • a past chair and founder of Survey4BIM
  • certified BIM practitioners.

Our approach to integrated engineering design and modelling focuses on understanding the digital design and modelling process and how to interact with and manage it. We create and deliver ‘digital twins’ that are used and developed throughout the whole life of assets. The level of information associated with an asset is as important as its graphical representation.

We take a federated approach to 3D modelling, whereby discipline-specific design teams create their own individual models that are combined into a single, aggregated model at regular intervals for the tasks of coordination, analysis and drawing production.

We also use 3D models for clash detection, ‘fly throughs’, hazard and operability assessments, health and safety considerations, and understanding material take-off and estimating, construction sequencing and for general interrogation of how the proposed works ‘fit’ together.

Binnies is part of the RSK group of companies

The RSK group is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business offering bespoke end-to-end solutions to a variety of sectors. Headquartered in the UK but with an established presence throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, RSK helps organisations around the world achieve their business aspirations in a sustainable and efficient manner.