Sandwell Council, an award winning local authority, announces that it has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Construction News Awards, one of the most prestigious and coveted in the construction sector and a well-recognised badge of excellence amongst the sectors peers.

Attracting more than 300 entries from some of the biggest firms in UK construction, the council’s Think Sandwell team has been recognised for its outstanding achievements in the ‘Best BIM (Building Information Modelling) Initiative of the Year’ award for its pioneering work on the West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH).

The WMVH is an innovative, digital procurement tool that showcases the skills, knowledge and expertise of West Midlands’ companies in the UK and abroad. Think Sandwell’s bid also focused on the council’s efforts to boost the skills and BIM capabilities of the region’s supply chain via its series of BIM workshops.

Commenting on the final short listing, Councillor Darren Cooper, Leader of Sandwell Council, commented: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the award. Our innovative work on the West Midlands Virtual Hospital demonstrates the council’s dynamic and pioneering approach in engaging with businesses in the region and providing them with the knowledge, skills and capabilities to be leading BIM players both here in the UK and abroad.

“It’s also really humbling for us to have received recognition from leading BIM experts and construction peers from the private sector.”

The editor of Construction News, Rebecca Evans, said: “The entries this year excelled in both quantity and quality. Because of that, those companies and individuals that have made the shortlist really have achieved amazing results and deserve to be there. I’d like to congratulate all finalists and thank all those who entered for taking the time to do so. Thanks also to our judges for giving up their time, we really value their contributions.”

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel  on Tuesday 30 June in London. This event is expected to be the biggest Construction News Awards ceremony to date, with 1300 industry leaders and senior construction professionals attending to celebrate their achievements and rub shoulders with the industry’s elite.

The state-of-the-art WMVH has already generated significant interest from local businesses, with over 400 companies expressing an interest in the initiative and/or creating profiles to showcase their expertise, experience and capabilities in supplying critical products and services for the design, manufacture and operation of a 21st-century healthcare facility. In addition, over 7 BIM workshops have been arranged to date, resulting in over 120 regional companies attending to learn about and equip themselves on BIM.