3D walkthrough animation of Sainsbury’s store

Project deliverable:

3D video animation

3D walkthrough animation communicating BIM process to staff

In the Autumn of 2014 Sainsbury’s used the construction of its 107,000 sq ft store at Thanet, Kent to trial intelligent Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the construction process. The trial was to be used as a blueprint for rolling out BIM across the company in future construction projects.

BIM is a current development in both process and technology that enables all members of the construction design team, architects, structural and service engineers, to work in a collaborative 3D environment.

All members of the design team work collaboratively on a central 3D model of the project.
This provides a clear visual representation that all elements fit together perfectly with clash reports highlighting any issues. These can then be corrected before the construction starts saving time, money and reduces wastage on site.

To help staff and other stakeholders develop an understanding of Building Information Modelling, the Sainsbury’s store development team approached C A Design Services to create a video demonstrating the BIM process. Click on the play button above to view the video.

3D animation shows new Sainsbury’s store rising from the ground

Using the available BIM models, CADS 3D Visualisation Team created an animation showing the Sainsbury’s building rising from the ground, starting with the structural shell. Once the building is complete including the Sainsbury’s branding, the viewer is taken inside the store, up the travelator and into the empty store. The space is then quickly filled with the mechanical and electrical features followed by the retail fixtures and fittings.

At this stage the animation demonstrates the range of information that can be added to the model from other data sources. These include the macro-space detail from CADS StoreSpace®, micro-space information and additional specifications for equipment via ICON/Sainsbury’s specification management system.

The animation then completes the picture by filling the aisles and shelves with products,
while taking the viewer on a walk through the store. The animation creates an engaging experience giving the viewer a real sense of the completed store’s look and feel.

3D walkthrough provided valuable insight to 600 senior managers

“The completed video of this high profile BIM pilot project was shown to over 600 senior managers within Sainsbury’s. The 3D animation created a great impression, providing our managers with a valuable insight into the Building Information Modelling process. It also clearly demonstrated how a 3D model created for the design and construction of a new store could be used to link together existing currently unconnected data sources across the business.

Having worked with CADS 3D team on a number of visualisation projects, I knew they would
be able to bring to life this complicated message in a vibrant and engaging way. They clearly understood the brief and delivered a fantastic animation on time and on budget. What more could I have asked for?”

Michael Barber, Sainsbury’s

If you’d like to discover more about our 3D walkthrough animations, please contact Guy Moates on 01493 412806 or email