Digital design and BIM

Ramboll is at the forefront of digital design, offering the most advanced expertise in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and computational analysis. Whether they are composing a new software script to optimise building performance, or creating new laser-based modelling methods, our digital specialists are leaders in their fields.

Birmingham City University Iso cut-through


Ruth Norman Johnson

Ruth Norman-Johnson

Associate and digital design specialist
T: +44 7767 111 434
Adam Selvey. Ramboll. Image courtesy of Paulina Sobczak Photography

Adam Selvey

UK Building Services Design Excellence Leader
M: +44 7816 132764

Digital design unlocks project value

Digital design is a broad term that embraces many specialisms. Our advanced digital expertise falls into roughly two areas: the work we do working with BIM, and the work we do with computational design. What unites our digital capabilities is a commitment to value. We believe that collectively – as an industry – we have only begun to scratch the surface of what these tools can offer. Much of our most exciting R&D work is happening in this field.

Driving innovation in the best practice use of BIM

Building Information Modelling, or BIM, is the use of a single, integrated 3D model throughout the design and construction life cycle of a project. Useful for clash detection and integration of disciplines, BIM is quickly becoming an industry-standard practice, though individual approaches to it differ widely.

We have long been fluent in the use of Rhino, Bentley MS, Revit and other modelling software, and 3D analysis is well embedded in our design culture. More recently we have pioneered the integrated use of laser scanning with other modelling techniques within the BIM environment. We call this Laser Aided Modeling, or LAM. Network Rail appointed us to assess the impact upon London Bridge Station of the Shard construction programme. Using laser scanning combined with finite element 3D modelling, we were able to predict likely ground movement at various stages in the planned programme to within a millimetre.

Our BIM specialists are also making strides in the development of a fourth dimension within BIM, developing data capture and modelling processes that can support long term asset management.

Cutting-edge computational engineering solves previously unsolvable problems

Advanced computational design involves using digital intelligence to create more optimised, buildable and sustainable structures than would have been possible using traditional engineering techniques. The Ramboll Computational Design team is one of the few dedicated teams in the industry actively working in this field. Their work is founded in the new computer-based engineering languages that have emerged in recent years, and whose potential has only begun to be explored. They have created numerous software scripts and programmes to solve previously unsolvable engineering problems.

Many of the scripts they use are directly inspired by insights from the natural and physical sciences. For example the Genetic Algorithm Solver is a modelling script inspired by Darwin’s theory of evolution. It uses the process of evolution, where successive generations of individuals (or data sets) are assessed against a fitness criterion, then 'evolve' through their progeny to achieve a higher fitness rating. Thus a series of successive variations in structural form can be assessed against a relevant performance criterion until the most efficient form is identified. This is one example – many of the RCD's other digital tools apply a similar principle. They use computer intelligence to 'evolve' a structure through a series of infinitesimally divergent variations until the best-adapted solution is achieved. This is very often a solution that could not have been realised by any other means.


240 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NW
United Kingdom
Tel:+44 20 7631 5291

Company registration

Company registration

Ramboll UK Limited. Registered in England & Wales. Company registration no. 03659970. Registered office: 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NW

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