Construction site affects and the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM)
The aim of the research project is to investigate the relationship between affects and on-site construction stage Building Information Modelling (BIM) work to understand how digital practices affectively take shape in the construction industry.
BIM is a central process in the capture, production and management of digital data in construction projects, and a core component of the UK construction industry’s digital transformation agenda. The promise of BIM proliferation as a solution to a wide variety of industry ills is widely espoused by both industry experts and in academic discourse. However, studies exploring project management and workforce behaviours in BIM work have largely been approached from rationalist, managerialist perspectives seeking to understand how to improve levels of adoption and productivity, while the role of affects in BIM work is almost entirely neglected. The PhD project aims to address this gap by investigating the relationship between affects and BIM work on the construction site, taking a neutral view of the potential of BIM rather than defaulting to a techno-optimist approach. The study seeks to understand how affects shape, and are shaped, by BIM work on site.
Initially graduating with a Theatre Design degree from Wimbledon School of Art, Loretta worked in design and art direction for film, TV and theatre for ten years before transitioning into construction design management. She then worked on several major projects for large UK contractors during pre-construction and construction phases, including education (£287m University of Manchester MECD), retail and leisure (£39m Rochdale Riverside, £8.5m Octagon Theatre) and transport, infrastructure and residential (£80m Stockport Interchange). Through this experience, Loretta became fascinated by construction’s digital transformation agenda and started her PhD in 2021.
Loretta works part-time as a researcher for Digital Construction Skills, which supports construction companies with their digital strategy and implementation. She previously served as National Chair for the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the advancement of women in the construction industry.