What is BIM?

Founded in 2009, Black Gold Developments is adopting a new method of design and build, in a bid to innovate and improve the UK construction industry, using BIM.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a collaborative process that seeks to add value throughout the life-cycle of property development.

The BIM process sees the creation, collation and exchange of shared 3D models – and a range of intelligent, structured data – with the aim being to improve productivity and reduce waste and rework.


Black Gold Developments is utilising the latest Building Information Modelling (BIM) software to design then construct the first residential development in the UK using the whole life-cycle.

Canaway Court in Poole, Dorset, is the first residential project in the UK where only a model was used at the build contract execution stage. No paper drawings were provided as part of the contract package.

Why BIM?

BIM is already mandatory for many Government projects, but the residential market has not exploited its capabilities in full. The Founder of Black Gold Developments, recognised BIM’s proficiency early on and decided to implement BIM in-house, across the board.

In a bid to promote the endless possibilities and technical detail that BIM provides on one central platform, Black Gold Developments now only appoints contractors and suppliers who are willing to align with BIM.

Historically, 3D Visualisation Software Tools have been used as a means to produce drawings and CGI’s, however, Julian Jones identified BIM’s strength in generating extremely detailed models which act as a ‘road map’ for the project. BIM showcases detailed layers of each individual build, including electrical and plumbing mapping records, a maintenance schedule and material information using IFC.

How do BIM work?

Buildings are modelled in super high-detail and then reproduced within a 3D environment where key information is made available to the particular suppliers involved, via comprehensive layers. This enables all trades involved to work from one central platform which response to each other’s schedule. This means the BIM is a real-time working module for all parties. Everything can also be download on any iPhone, Android or Tablet for convenience and use on-site.


BIM allows the individual to visualise the property from anywhere in the World.

Once you’ve purchased a property, you will have a permanent road map of your home.

A guide to everything from plug sockets, wiring, heating systems, plumbing – everything that contributes to your apartment where building is in BIM. This provides total peace of mind and convenience whenever you need to locate certain aspects of the property for updates or maintenance. It doesn’t get much better.

“The software is exceptional and while it has been used in commercial developments, we are applying it to residential properties in the Bournemouth & Poole Area. We’ve had an extremely positive reaction from the suppliers involved with Canaway Court and we can see it being life-changing to local planning departments as it will allow them to see more clearly what is intended from the offset. BIM showcases every single element process to the construction process and is an exceptionally powerful tool,”

says BlackGold Developments Founder, Julian Jones.

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Sprinkler systems to be fitted throughout Canaway Court

Black Gold Developments is fitting sophisticated sprinkler systems to Canaway Court. Sprinklers have been proven to reduce the impact of fire. They are a potentially life-saving tool that brings many benefits.

Regulations in England mean that only buildings constructed since 2007 and which are taller than 30m are required to have sprinklers fitted. We put them in as ‘standard’ regardless of the height of the building, in our multi-occupancy developments.

In Wales since 2018, all new and refurbished residential accommodation must have sprinklers. Nowhere in the UK is it a requirement to retroactively fit sprinklers in existing buildings so Black Gold Developments is leading a safety-first policy.

The guidance issued to interpret the Building Regulations now recognizes the use of sprinklers for life safety and it is clear that future legislation will call for the increased use of sprinklers following the Grenfell Enquiry in multi-occupancy homes;

“Analysis has shown that installing sprinklers in new homes reduces avoidable death or injury arising from fires. The installation of fire protection systems will go a long way towards minimising the risk of fire devastation. They are proven to help save lives.”

Common Myths Busted

MYTH In a real fire, all sprinkler heads go off together – FACT Only the sprinkler head(s) directly affected by the fire are triggered.

MYTH A smoke detector will provide enough protection – FACT Operational smoke detectors do save lives, however they do nothing to extinguish a growing fire.

MYTH Sprinklers go off accidentally – FACT The odds of winning the lottery are greater than the 16 million to one chance of a sprinkler malfunction. Source: Bafsa

MYTH smoke detector will wake me in the event of a fire – “Sadly many people in my experience don’t wake up when their smoke alarm goes off. I can see sprinkler systems being a positive contribution to safety and prevention of smoke inhalation, and even death” – Gary Southam, Hampshire Fire Paramedic.

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