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Embedding BIM into the way the practice works

SHORTLISTED

Architect, Mulroy Architects

Michael Brennan’s talents may look at first to be technical. He has spearheaded the introduction of BIM and developing standards for it in the small practice of Mulroy Architects. But his gift has been working with the team to embed this in the way the practice works. The evidence of actual achievements is impressive, as it also ran partially alongside project work. This included creating a library of the office’s commonly used building components, with research into enhancements for meeting future Building Regulations, and writing and drafting a standard for each RIBA Plan of Work stage.

His nominator and referee, director Andrew Mulroy, explains: ‘Rather than just issuing a policy document, Michael worked on a social level to embed the changes. The team respected this…  Where the team used to say “that’s how Michael does it”, I now hear “this is how we do it". Rather than designing in two dimensions, the team is now thinking more in 3D at each stage of a project.’ 

  • Church Crescent.
    Church Crescent. Credit: Will Pryce
  • Church Crescent.
    Church Crescent. Credit: Will Pryce
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The benefits have been a legion including rectifying problems ahead of time. The embedded technical process has allowed the strengths of the practice to emerge. ‘As a result of Michael’s hard work we are now concentrating more on architecture than redesigning the wheel,’ says Mulroy. In recognition of ‘drive and initiative beyond his years’  Brennan has been encouraged to attend the RIBA Future Leaders programme. 

  • Radley College Boat Club.
    Radley College Boat Club.
  • Radley College Boat Club.
    Radley College Boat Club.
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What would you most like to improve about the industry?

I would like to see architects take a lead in adopting emerging technologies to develop new ways of working. Recent development of processes within the industry have generally been driven by other professions, reducing the importance of architectural quality as a measure for success within a building project. As a profession constantly playing catch up in the integration of BIM into existing work practices, we need to re-evaluate our position within the industry to ensure we remain at the forefront of innovation.

We are now on the verge of a new era, defined by CAM construction and ‘assembly’, augmented reality and burgeoning AI. Rather than seeking to follow industry trends, we need to utilise the lateral thought and creative exploration that remains the architect’s greatest asset. How will these new technologies fold into existing processes, or should we begin by reassessing the role altogether?

Who would you most like to work with?

Daniel and Richard Susskind; Museum of Architecture.

 

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