The Old Post Office, Newcastle upon Tyne

The £1.8m refurbishment and redevelopment of the Old Post Office on St Nicholas Street in the centre of Newcastle began in February 2015 following a lengthy period of consultation with the building’s users.

Working on behalf of RIBA Enterprises, the design is, in essence, to return the building to its unified state prior to it being split up in 1999, creating work space for some 210 staff as teams currently located across different parts of the building are brought together across two main floors. The six month programme will see contractors initially dealing with the former architect studios in a 16 week Phase One before staff decant into this refurbished space whilst construction work is completed in the remainder of the building.

The entire project has also been designed and managed using Building Information Modelling (BIM). The whole team of Armstrong Rhead – M&E, Building Design North – Structural, Ward Robinson – Interiors, Todd Milburn, QS and Project Management has thus been able to collaborate far more easily, swapping information and highlighting potential problems in a digital format. Surgo Construction are also making use of BIM during their site phase to coordinate work packages.

Project Architect, Adam Vaughan, commented, “It’s a fascinating project, not only because this is such an iconic building right on our doorstep, but also because it’s been entirely designed and managed using BIM. We’re developing an innovative workspace which departs from more conventional office layouts to focus on new ways of working and collaborating, and RIBA Enterprise are at the forefront of this. In addition, we’ve also worked closely with RIBA Enterprise to field trial new additions to the BIM software environment such as NBS (National Building Specification) Create and the NBS BIM Toolkit.”