48 hours, 30 competitors, 1 major development: BIM in the Big Apple Share this article

Cundall was part of the winning team who designed a New York skyscraper in just 48 hours using BIM.

Based out of offices in Newcastle with video link to Australia and Spain, the team took part in Build New York Live 2015, in which engineers and architects are challenged with designing a major development in New York city, in just 48 hours.

The round-the-clock competition was the latest in the Build Earth Live series and saw international multidisciplinary teams tackle what would be the largest development in New York since the Rockefeller Centre. Participants had to use Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies for the competition, which ran from 21 to 23 September 2015.

The Cundall team who endured the 48 hours were Stuart Mark (Newcastle), Abiola Ige (Newcastle), Jan Quilliam (Manchester), Neil Allard (Newcastle), Ryan Thompson (Newcastle), José Castilla (Madrid), Raul Lopez de la Rica (Madrid) and Miguel Fernandez (Madrid). The rest of the team for the Build New York Live competition included i2C from Australia, Ravetllat Ribas Arquitectes from Spain with Ryder, SLR, Summers Inman, Rapid 5D and Willmott Dixon from the UK.

Beating off stiff international competition, the team was named the overall winner of the online Building Information Modelling (BIM) competition. Entrants had to respond to the design brief using state of the art BIM and project technologies to submit their entries using a cloud based collaboration portal provided by sponsors ASite. The competition was challenging and took the teams to their limits but that is also what makes it so exciting. Don’t take it from us but hear what the Cundall participants had to say:

“Interesting 48 hours, vibrant teamwork, dozens of shrewd idea’s, some smart technology, bucket loads of coffee and somewhat inadequate sleep. BIM Live – Great Fun.” Jan Quilliam, CAD Technician

“The design team began with hand drawn sketches on tracing paper and ended up producing a fully coordinated Revit model of three buildings and their surroundings. It was great to see the team putting so much effort into this competition, forgetting about ‘real’ work pressures for the entire 48 hours. It is interesting to see the full potential of BIM – we used 3D modelling to simulate the construction sequence and to calculate costs, while a virtual reality headset was used to allow the ‘client’ to walk around the proposed building which generated feedback during the design stage. Overall, it was a great effort by all; a fantastic result made those sleepless nights worthwhile!” Stuart Mark, Senior Engineer

“Participating in Build Earth Live was a unique experience that enabled me to more fully understand how all of the different disciplines interact during the course of a project. In particular it was interesting to see how architects develop a scheme and how much their designs are influenced by the engineering design. Although it became very frantic as the deadline approached I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of how projects work and how BIM can be used throughout the process.” Neil Allard, Engineer

“The BIM Earth Live challenge was a very interesting 48 hours. The work was tough and endlessly tweaking the models became very tedious but the project was interesting to work on and watching architects and their work processes gave me an insight into a different way of working. It was very enlightening and I would recommend this to any and all in the industry to try it! I also suggest grabbing more than 6 hours sleep in between it all!” Ryan Thompson, Graduate Engineer

“The Build Earth Live competition is an experience that should be tasted by all designers. It makes you think outside the box within a limited timeframe, work with other people with different disciplines and working style. I had no idea how much we could achieve within a limited time. I would love to do this over and over again.” Abiola Ige, Graduate Engineer

"I am amazed by how the team joined forces in such a short timescale for this fantastic result" José Castilla, Director

“It’s been really fun and challenging to provide a LEED assessment in hours. The location of the project and the zero-net energy requirements made it easy to assess a Gold rating scorecard.” Raul Lopez de la Rica, Senior Engineer

“It was exciting to work on the energy assessment so that the design was Net-Zero Carbon, great experience and team!” Miguel Fernandez, Engineer

01 Oct 2015

Back to news article


Cundall team named overall winner of Build Qatar Live 2012

We are delighted that ‘Team BIM Academy’ was named the winner of The openBIM Build Qatar Live 2012.

Read more

Singapore BIM Competition 2013

Cundall is excited to be competing in a 48-hour online Building Information Modelling (BIM) Competition organised by Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA), in conjunction with its annual Singapore Construction Productivity Week.

Read more
The 48 hour job interview

The 48 hour job interview

Graduate Jurijs ‘Yuri’ Pavlovics has secured a job with the company having impressed during his involvement in OpenBIM Build Sydney LIVE. 

Read more

Cundall's engineering consultancy services cover the entire life cycle of any building project. Clients find our ‘total solutions’ approach saves them time, money and effort.

We will add value to your project by opening our minds, exchanging ideas and thinking creatively.


Cundall's expertise extends to all major markets, so we have a deep understanding of the specific issues, constraints and opportunities facing our clients' market sectors.

Our team of creative engineers draw on our accumulated knowledge to devise the best possible solutions for your project in a fully integrated and cost-effective way.

About us

Established in the UK 40 years ago, Cundall has developed into an international multi-disciplinary consultancy operating from over 20 locations across the globe.