Posts by WMVH Team

Kingspan Unveiled as sponsor for new BIMwm technology centre

Kingspan Industrial Insulation, a market leading manufacturer of premium performance pipe and duct insulation systems are the latest big-name firm to be unveiled as patrons of a special training suite to help West Midlands construction and manufacturing firms get to grips with advanced construction skills and emerging digital engineering technology.


The new BIM (building information modelling) technology centre which is located within the main campus at Sandwell College in Spon Lane, West Bromwich will coach essential skills to vocational and full-time engineering students. BIM is a universal means for sharing digital-engineered building designs and product data between clients and suppliers. Since April 2016, all public-sector capital-build projects must comply with BIM Level 2 legislation, so it is vital that the construction workforce and the next generation of engineers are confident and have the essential skills in using it.

To help SMEs adopt BIM and remain competitive in the construction and engineering sectors, Sandwell Council, working in partnership with Sandwell College and the University of Wolverhampton has opened the 16-workstation facility with support from Kingspan, one of the UK’s most successful pipe insulation manufacturers. The new West Bromwich facility has BIM embedded into the student curriculum features BIM viewing software, e-learning platforms and vocational training in CAD skills, 3D modelling, engineering design services, product design and BIM object creation. It is a unique partnership and a UK first between a college, university and a local authority.

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BIMwm framework success for Sandwell Council at West Midlands Construction Excellence Awards

For the 9th year, the West Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards were held on Friday night in Birmingham at the ICC to celebrate this years’ regional construction highlights.

CC 2016 Winner

We’re proud to tell you that Sandwell Council were recognised for its visionary work around Building Information Modelling (BIM) through the formation of the BIMwm framework. Sandwell and their framework delivery partners picked up the winners award in the Integration & Collaborative working category.

In addition, Sandwell were highly commended in the Innovation category with a joint entry with 3 other local authorities (Walsall, Dudley, & Wolverhampton City Council), the Black Country Councils teamed up to develop the ground-breaking OnTrack WM, a virtual rail procurement portal to showcase the regions talented rail supply chain.

This year’s awards were presented at a high profile dinner on Friday 13 May 2016. More than six hundred leaders and innovators from across the construction sector gathered at the ICC, Birmingham, to celebrate the very best industry projects.

Sandwell Council as winners of the regional awards, automatically move forward to represent the West Midlands at the high-profile national CE awards held in London later this year.

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Procurement Efficiency Workshop – Midland Metropolitan Hospital – Balustrades Works Package Cluster Group

On Thursday 25th February 2016, Sandwell Council in conjunction with Carillion’s category managers and MMH procurement team are facilitating a valuable Procurement workshop themed around the formation of a cluster group of suppliers to compete and bid for the £2.4m balustrade work packages aligned to the Midland Metropolitan Hospital (MMH).

Ballustrade Pic 1

As part of a small group, you’ll gain essential knowledge about the formation of a Sandwell cluster group and learn about becoming more cost competitive, improving your purchasing efficiency and buying skills. You’ll also get the unique chance to spend valuable time with members of Carillion’s MMH buying team plus a group of the UK’s leading procurement experts. There’ll also be plenty of networking time with like-minded businesses. You can read more about our cluster group plans on this link:

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Develop your BIM Skills & Get Ready for Digital-Built West Midlands

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is set to change the way the construction sector delivers, procures, designs, constructs and maintains the whole-life costs of buildings, taking the industry out of the analogue age and into the digital. BIM has the potential to transform efficiency throughout the entire construction supply chain through closer collaboration, smarter ways of working, lean methods of procurement and the use of 3D “virtual” buildings to manage properties and assets.

Recognising that public sector clients and private sector businesses operating in the built environment will need differing degrees of knowledge and skills. Sandwell Council has developed a programme of Building Information Modelling (BIM) workshops aimed at nurturing the critical workforce skills needed within industry.

Our enjoyable and affordable BIM Level 2 awareness courses are delivered by a framework of BIM consultants and are suitable for all levels of job roles. What’s unique and sets the course apart from other BIM workshops is that you will be coached through the business benefits of BIM adoption, receive expert advice, explanation and valuable client guidance of the significant efficiencies that BIM presents.

You can find out more about BIM and how it could add value to your role by viewing this short informative video.

BIM Video

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State-of-the-art BIM technology centre opened in Smethwick

On Friday 11 December, MP for West Bromwich East and deputy leader for the Labour Party, Tom Watson officially opened a special training suite to help West Midlands businesses get to grips with an emerging technology.

The BIM (Building Information Modelling) training suite is located at the Sandwell Business Solutions Centre, CAP Centre in Windmill Lane, Smethwick (adjacent to the new £430m Midland Metropolitan Hospital Development).

BIM is a universal means for sharing digital-engineered designs and data between clients and suppliers. From April 2016 all public-sector capital-build projects must comply with BIM Level 2, so it is vital that SMEs are confident in using it.

To help SMEs adopt BIM and remain competitive in the construction and engineering sectors, Sandwell Council has opened the 12-workstation facility with sponsorship support from local businesses including West Midlands headquartered construction giant Carillion; Metsec, one of the region’s most successful cold roll-forming firms; ICI AkzoNobel Paints, a global powder coatings manufacturer and; Ascom Wireless Solutions, the UK’s leading wireless communications provider.

The facility features BIM viewing software, online and social learning platforms, consultancy and affordable vocational training in CAD skills, 3D modelling, engineering design services, product design and BIM object creation. It is a first for a UK local authority.

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Meet the Midland Metropolitan Architects

Sandwell Council alongside Carillion are holding a special event on Thursday 19 November 2015, enabling local businesses like yours to meet the architects and specifiers charged with designing the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital (MMH).

As you may know, Smethwick is soon to be transformed with an estimated £1bn of investment, including the state-of-the-art MMH. In the coming months Carillion, the preferred bidder, will need advanced medical technologies, built environment materials, clinical equipment and innovations.

The opportunities could be huge for clued-up product designers and engineers with the skills, resources and ingenuity to meet Carillion’s design challenges.

To help you get involved (and, in turn, boost our region’s economy) Sandwell Council’s West Midlands Virtual Hospital team is holding a free product demonstrator and informal CPD ‘Meet the Midland Metropolitan Hospital Architects’ day in Smethwick on Thursday 19 November.

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Sandwell Council wins FSB Award 2015 for small business friendliness

FSB Winner 2015For the second year running, Sandwell Council has won an award at the Federation of Small Businesses’ Staffordshire and West Midlands Local Authority ‘Small Business Friendly Awards’.

This year we were successful again in the ‘Best “Small Business Friendly” Procurement Campaign’ category thanks to our pioneering West Midlands Virtual Hospital and related work in helping our region’s businesses adopt building information technology (BIM). The award ceremony took place at the Eaton Hotel, Hagley Road, Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday 9 October 2015.

The West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH) is a digital-engineered 3D ‘walkthrough’ hospital with a BIM platform. It complements the development of a real-life hospital, the £430m Midland Metropolitan.

WMVH coaches SMEs in using BIM. Through it, they can present plans, designs, drawings, dimensional tolerances, product life¬cycle data and specifications using easy-to-configure 3D analysis.

WMVH also works as a procurement directory; an online showcase of West Midlands SMEs. Health sector professionals including commissioners, architects, medical engineers, buyers and estate managers can browse WMVH to view prospective suppliers and source materials, products and services.

You can view the WMVH website and sign up for free at

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Sandwell Council teams up with Carillion to launch BIM Suite

A West Midlands local authority and a leading UK construction services company have teamed up to unveil their initiative for equipping the Black Country supply chain with critical skills, as a major new hospital is built in the region.

CAP Centre 1

Sandwell Council, in conjunction with Carillion – the UK’s leading integrated support services company and the preferred bidder to build the £430m Midland Metropolitan hospital in Smethwick – is unveiling a state-of-the-art BIM (Building Information Modelling) Technologies and Skills Development suite at an event on 8th October.

The BIM Technologies and Skills Development Suite will provide a platform for manufacturers and suppliers to learn more about BIM and develop their skills in product design, 3D modelling and digital engineering using easy-to-configure 3D software.

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Carillion to unveil project team at ‘Midland Metropolitan hospital supplier day’

West Midlands businesses will have the chance to meet with one the UK’s biggest providers of healthcare support and construction services at a huge free networking event next month.

On Thursday 8 October some of the region’s most successful construction suppliers will converge on the CAP Centre in Smethwick for ‘Meet the hospital bidders day with Carillion who were recently announced as the preferred bidder to design, construct and operate the new Midland Metropolitan hospital in Grove Lane, Smethwick’.

The morning networking event is being jointly hosted by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. Their aim is to show Carillion’s buyers, designers, engineers and project managers that the West Midlands supply chain is capable of providing every construction, medical, clinical science and built-environment products needed to construct and run a brand new hospital.

With development work for a £430m hospital – set to begin in spring 2016, the event provides the perfect opportunity for buyers and suppliers to meet, collaborate and share best practice.

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Construction and Infrastructure Opportunities in Ireland – Event 25th September 2015

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) are offering businesses within the Black Country the chance to book a 30 minute 1:1 meeting with David O’Halloran, a UKTI Trade Adviser based in Dublin, to discuss a range of business opportunities within the Irish construction and infrastructure sector.

Ireland is the UK’s fifth largest export market and imports more from the UK than any other country, and therefore it is an ideal first step market for UK companies. Furthermore, the country itself offers the benefit of being English speaking, has a similar regulatory and legal framework and good perception of the quality of British goods and services.

The Irish construction industry is predicted to grow at 5.65% in the years to 2018, and the Irish government has made significant financial commitments to a number of Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects for social housing development, horse racing courses and urban regeneration. The National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) is to also provide capital (circa €2bn) and vendor finance (circa €2bn) for completion of construction work and the development of Greenfield sites.

Location: Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Creative Industries Centre, University of Wolverhampton Science Park, Glaisher Drive, Wolverhampton, WV10 9TG

If you’re a Black Country Chamber of Commerce member click here to book. Other companies can book by clicking here.

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