Published on 10/01/2023
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  • Aston University and Arcadis enter 30-month Knowledge Transfer Partnership to develop automated health and safety rule compliance checking system
  • System will check the wellbeing, health and safety performance of digital infrastructure designs by using building information modelling
  • The collaboration will reduce injury and fatality levels in the construction sector and is expected to decrease design-related claims.

Aston University has teamed up with design and project management consultancy, Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited (Arcadis), through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to create a Building Information Modelling (BIM)-based automated health and safety rule compliance checking system.

The system will improve worker safety in the construction industry and is expected to decrease design-related claims resulting in savings of up to £600,000.

Wellbeing, health and safety (WH&S) is a key issue in the construction sector, with the Health and Safety Executive recording 31 fatalities and 61,000 non-fatal injuries in annual statistics in Great Britain from March 2021.

The project will help to improve worker safety across the construction industry and reduce injury and fatality levels by developing a health and safety rule and code compliance checking system.

A KTP is a three-way collaboration between a business, an academic partner and a highly qualified researcher, known as a KTP associate.

Arcadis, a multi-national company with offices across the UK, delivers design, engineering and consultancy solutions for natural and built environments. They operate mainly in construction, project management and asset management associated with buildings, rail, water, highways and aviation.

The project team will develop a database and a digital representation of the infrastructure design using BIM and transforming key health and safety rules into computer code. The codes will automatically execute to check the WH&S performance of the design by checking rules for compliance and reporting any conflicts.

The Aston University team will be led by Dr Algan Tezel, lecturer in construction management and engineering, whose research interests include lean constructing, building information modelling, digitalisation in construction and construction informatics. He will be supported by Dr Tala Kasim, lecturer in construction management and engineering, whose research interests include automated code compliance checking, construction data handling and execution techniques, and wellbeing, health and safety in construction.

Completing the team will be Dr Maxwell Afari, lecturer in construction management and quantity surveying, whose research interests include construction ergonomics, digital construction technologies and innovations, biomechanical analysis and technology transfer in construction.

Mark Crellin, business area operations director at Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited, said:

“This partnership will allow us to adopt the latest research and expertise from a world-leading academic institute to develop an original solution to automate wellbeing, health and safety rule-checking and documentation, enabling us to deliver more efficient, safer construction projects.”

Dr Algan Tezel, lecturer in construction management and engineering at Aston University, says:

“It is a privilege to be involved in the development of this system, which will address the issue of health and safety in the construction sector and improve compliance with construction design and management regulations. We’re delighted to be able to help Arcadis to improve worker safety in a high-risk industry and ultimately reduce fatality levels.”

Notes to Editors

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a UK-wide programme that helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills. Aston University is a leading KTP provider, ranked third in terms of volume by Innovate UK, the National body.

This project is co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Watch our short film to see how it works and visit our website for examples of KTP in action at Aston.

To find out more about how your business can benefit from working with Aston University, please email or call 0121 204 4242


About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email:

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