BIM Strategy https://bimstrategyltd.com BIM Strategy provide cutting edge BIM knowledge and services to a wide range of companies in a variety of different sectors within the AEC industry Fri, 15 Jun 2018 10:35:36 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 NXTBLD pt2 – James Anderson https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/nxtbld-pt2-james-anderson/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/nxtbld-pt2-james-anderson/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2018 09:27:39 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4408 After a brief exchange with John, I made my way down the stairs into the heart of NXTBLD, fake ID in hand. The first thing to catch my eye was, the Enscape stand, complete with Oculus VR headset… I knew this was the place for me The first session I attended was hosted by Bruce […]

The post NXTBLD pt2 – James Anderson appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
After a brief exchange with John, I made my way down the stairs into the heart of NXTBLD, fake ID in hand. The first thing to catch my eye was, the Enscape stand, complete with Oculus VR headset… I knew this was the place for me

James

The first session I attended was hosted by Bruce Bell of Facit Homes on Digitally manufactured big wooden ‘Lego’. What’s not to love? I’m sure every grown man has a guilty pleasure for Lego! What really hooked me here, was how Facit have integrated tech and software into their everyday workflows, greatly benefiting their outputs, efficiency, and accuracy. These processes haven’t broken the bank, using Revit for architecture and manufacturing models coupled with Enscape for quick and easy VR experiences. Google Hangouts have improved team collaboration and a 360° camera has made virtual site visits possible, proving that collaboration and digitalisation is achievable to all.

Next up was Smart Concrete. 3d printing is commonplace in the industry, but to be brutally honest, I wasn’t overly excited at the prospect of this session and wondered how smart concrete was going to wow me. Fast forward 10minutes into Andrei Jipa’s slot and I was frantically snapping photos of the concrete skeleton, boats with precision detailed bones, created via 3d printed casts, at less than 1mm thick!! Equally amazing were the concrete floor slabs ETH Zurich have created. Made up of millions of facets, these slabs dramatically reduce the volume of concrete used in production, whilst simultaneously remaining load bearing and sustainable. Why isn’t everyone using these?!

After a bite to eat, I sat down to the one I had been really waiting for ….Epic Games. If you were following the @BIMStrategy twitter feed, you will know that I am a self-proclaimed Fortnite fan, alas Marc Petit wasn’t handing out free v-bucks. He did, however, showcase the unbelievable possibilities achievable with Unreal Engine, it’s is no wonder that adoption has been so high, with 1 in 5 users already using UE4 for real-time render. This session, coupled with the Soluis stand, really impressed me; interactive, immersive experiences, such as the new Spurs stadium experience, (showcased by both Epic and Soluis) are such important and engaging tools for the client. John and I agreed that whilst in-house, we are capable of providing excellent renders with Lumion, anything on this level we would advise opting for the experts like Soluis.

Just before the beers came out, I managed to squeeze in an extended demo of Enscape with Moritz plugging me into VR tours of the Villa Savoye, the German Pavilion and an enormous red building in China (the name totally escapes me). Being a Revit technician by trade, I was blown away by the speed and ease – native Revit models were only a click away from a VR walkthrough. Intrigued and impressed, I made my way to chat with the Lumion guys and, low and behold, I wasn’t the first person to ask when they would be integrating Xbox controller and full VR capability. I look forward to release 9.

After spending the good part of an hour gushing over Lumion (a software we have implemented at Niven little over a year ago) and picking up a few tips and cheats, I worked the room, chatting to interesting individuals comparing views on the afternoon’s sessions and the exhibitions.

Before I knew it, it was time to make a late, mad dash to Kings Cross to catch my train home, where I had the chance to sit and digest everything I had taken in at NXTBLD. Its safe to say I headed home feeling totally inspired.

If you’ve not read Pt1 of the BIM Strategy NXTBLD review, click here and we’ll take you there.

The post NXTBLD pt2 – James Anderson appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/nxtbld-pt2-james-anderson/feed/ 0
NXTBLD pt1 – John Adams https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/nxtbld-pt1-john-adams/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/nxtbld-pt1-john-adams/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 15:21:19 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4404 NXTBLD2018 is a conference of two halves for the BIM Strategy and Niven team, and so is this blog post. I took the first shift at the evening do in a great London pub last night, enjoyed the morning content, and then tagged in my trusted colleague James. There will be an update to come […]

The post NXTBLD pt1 – John Adams appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
NXTBLD2018 is a conference of two halves for the BIM Strategy and Niven team, and so is this blog post. I took the first shift at the evening do in a great London pub last night, enjoyed the morning content, and then tagged in my trusted colleague James. There will be an update to come from him later… but whilst you’re here you may as well read my bit and come back later, we’re not going anywhere.

This years event had more than twice as many sign-ups as last year, which doesn’t surprise me because I’ve spoken to plenty of people who followed it online last year and saw that it had a very different focus than the other BIM events. It’s not about standards or schemas and not one person mentioned file naming conventions; it’s about tech being used to visualise, prototype and engage people with how we can improve what we do. It’s true that none of this works in practice without good models, and good models don’t happen without good processes, but sometimes it’s exciting to explore the art of the possible once you’re in a situation where the ability to model and collaborate effectively is taken for granted.

Some of the conversations at last night’s gathering found their way into the details, like which Uniclass table goes into COBie fields and why haven’t the CDEs delivered integration with each other. I’m happy in the weeds, because it creates the opportunity to provide pragmatic advice which solves day to day issues at the coalface. But once this morning’s first session by the highly engaging Hedwig Heinsman from Aectual kicked into gear, the weeds were a distant memory. I felt like I’d walked into an architectural toyshop with the ability to create my own toys with their specially designed 3D robotic arm printer. The sense of relief when the printing material was a combination of linseed oil and recycled plastics was enormous too, no waste, no guilt, just pure design freedom and joy.

At this point I was already coming back next year.  Then Andrew Watts from Newtecnic raised the bar by looking at optimised dashboards for complex construction without losing a grip on what construction really is. Which is a difficult and unique challenge every time we design and build, which has dangers to people and risks to business at the forefront of our thinking. The work his team are involved in is so exciting because it is genuinely removing risks by using tech to do the things people can’t, rather than simply looking to replace human processes with AI and robots.

With some modular construction themes for the emerging build-to-rent market in London for co-living and co-working, Dipa Joshi brought the architects in the room back into their comfort zone with some thought-provoking concepts about digital ways to address the changing needs of city space. She did tick off a bit of digital bingo with IOT, Blockchain and Fortnite, but these were more like side-notes to an enjoyable architectural journey ending in a coffee break.

After the break, I caught Dr Max Mallia-Parfitt’s whistle-stop tour of VR, which was packed full of anarchic advice on which threads of visualisation matter in construction and which are frankly useless. Unfortunately, this was time to duck out of NXTBLD and pass on the baton for the afternoon and evening networking event, but I’ve been keeping up through Twitter on the train; the printed concrete presentation looked almost to cool for words. But I’ll leave that for James in pt2…

The post NXTBLD pt1 – John Adams appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/nxtbld-pt1-john-adams/feed/ 0
Grenfell one year on: how has construction changed? https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/grenfell-one-year-onhow-has-construction-changed/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/grenfell-one-year-onhow-has-construction-changed/#respond Fri, 08 Jun 2018 13:01:25 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4399 I’m certain I’m not alone in finding the Grenfell Inquiry incredibly challenging: the testimonials from the victim’s families have been heartrending and, as a construction professional, the preliminaries about what happened on that awful night have been difficult to listen to. As a member of Construction Manager’s Reader Panel, I was asked recently for a […]

The post Grenfell one year on: how has construction changed? appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
I’m certain I’m not alone in finding the Grenfell Inquiry incredibly challenging: the testimonials from the victim’s families have been heartrending and, as a construction professional, the preliminaries about what happened on that awful night have been difficult to listen to.

As a member of Construction Manager’s Reader Panel, I was asked recently for a comment for their ‘Grenfell one year on’ article. Whilst considering my response I reread my blog ‘A heartbroken disruptor’ written immediately after the fire and was immediately struck by the following;

‘By the day I retire I want to be able to say I was part of a construction revolution that removed the possibility of another Grenfell Tower, as well as creating the diverse, vibrant, socially valuable and innovative construction industry which feels so close to being within reach.’

Has there been any progress within the industry since it happened? CM’s article makes sombre reading with most contributors pointing to the lack of any significant cultural change and much greater focus on quality management: ideas echoed in the Hackitt Report.

Judith Hackitt pointed to ‘deep flaws’ in the current system warning that a combination of ignorance, indifference, a lack of clarity on responsibilities and inadequate regulation had created a culture described as ‘a race to the bottom’.

The construction industry needs to brace itself for the intense criticism the Inquiry will bring and prepare for a new and better future. I continue to believe passionately that digitisation and collaboration will bring about significant changes to the culture of the industry and bring wide benefits to the lifecycle of construction projects. It was pleasing to hear Judith Hackitt recommend that, going forward, BIM should be mandated in the design and construction and operation of all new high rise residential buildings over 10 storeys and their refurbishments.

Hopefully –  well before I retire – construction will have taken on board the painful lessons of Grenfell and created ‘the diverse, vibrant, socially valuable and innovative construction industry’ I mentioned a year ago.

 

 

 

The post Grenfell one year on: how has construction changed? appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/grenfell-one-year-onhow-has-construction-changed/feed/ 0
Exciting Partnership Announcement https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/exciting-partnership-announcement/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/exciting-partnership-announcement/#respond Tue, 29 May 2018 15:31:39 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4394 A Few Days In The Smoke I thoroughly enjoyed representing BIM Strategy in London this week talking to Viewpoint customers at their annual customer summit.  It was a great event and as always, the UK crowd showed how committed they are about great process and squeezing every bit of value out of their software for […]

The post Exciting Partnership Announcement appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
A Few Days In The Smoke

I thoroughly enjoyed representing BIM Strategy in London this week talking to Viewpoint customers at their annual customer summit.  It was a great event and as always, the UK crowd showed how committed they are about great process and squeezing every bit of value out of their software for their projects. Amongst the detailed learning sessions, there was a couple of big announcements at the conference.

Firstly, was the launch of Viewpoint TEAM; a new release in the UK which is the product of thousands of hours of software development.  It looked great on the web interface and mobile devices and the live demo made it clear that TEAM is ready to use, which is always the first thing I consider when choosing new technology.  There are many many apps out there that nearly work, or would add value to our business if they only did one or two extra functions.

In my mind, this new solution fits into places where perhaps a full Viewpoint For Project (formerly 4projects) set up would be a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  Think projects in that £1-4mil bracket, whether that’s smaller new builds, extensions, or a significant maintenance project. There are also opportunities deploy this alongside the other Viewpoint solutions, but I would advise caution here as the integration work isn’t complete so you’ll have to design your processes around this.  If you want to take a look, here’s a link.

The other big news is that the UK now has a dedicated Customer Success Team with a significant BIM knowledge base built in.  Former colleague and long-serving BIM evangelist Ben Wallbank is part of a team a team who are there to help viewpoint customers deliver efficient BIM projects using their knowledge gained from working with some of the most experienced team delivering BIM Level 2 today using Viewpoint software.   They are even delivering fantastically valuable, yet terribly named, BIM Audits for their customers to go over their approach to delivering BIM and suggesting areas where improvements could be found.  This is much more of a review-come-health-check which is intended to shine light on the art of the possible based on unique experience in the new team.

Where We Fit In

What is also exciting about these health-checks is that Viewpoint are identifying specialist partners to provide any follow-on support and services to make sure customers get much more than a list of improvements and a handshake.  This means they can signpost their customers to the right people to help them get the most out of their BIM Journey.  The first partners announced at the summit were BIM Strategy, BIM Academy and PCSG, which between us offer a fantastic variety of BIM services from half day support right up to business level strategic implementation.

The reason this is exciting for the team here at BIM Strategy is that these potential new customers are already bought into the need to digitise construction processes and tasks because they are working with their software partners to transform their business.  This means we’ll be able to hit the ground running and deliver great value right from the start.

The post Exciting Partnership Announcement appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/exciting-partnership-announcement/feed/ 0
Schadenfreude BIM https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/schadenfreude-bim/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/schadenfreude-bim/#respond Fri, 11 May 2018 13:04:41 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4377 I very kindly got a copy of the National BIM Survey 2018 through the underground network of BIM tunnels that run beneath the North East – (now you know how we do it!). So I had planned a to deliver a blog post about the survey as a whole today to give you all a flavour of […]

The post Schadenfreude BIM appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
I very kindly got a copy of the National BIM Survey 2018 through the underground network of BIM tunnels that run beneath the North East – (now you know how we do it!). So I had planned a to deliver a blog post about the survey as a whole today to give you all a flavour of the report from an independent view.   However, I’ve been distracted by the chart above which is jumping out as an incredibly provocative result.  Just 4% of the respondents believe that the BIM mandate has been ‘very successful’and more than 3 times as many believing it has been ‘not at all successful’.

Frankly, I don’t know how to feel about it…

I’ve always been aware that being part of the BIM-o-sphere, there is a positive confirmation bias that can become a bit of an echo chamber.  This usually manifests itself in the Nation BIM Report each year with some wild results like 70% of organisations reaching BIM Level 2 (Spoiler Alert…they’re not).   But there is a massive disparity here,  do people really believe their adoption of BIM has not been impacted by the mandate?

I do have a feeling that some of this result can be put down to schadenfreude. Simply because it was government-led rather than industry-led there are some who want to point and laugh at the areas which have been least successful, like all government departments being able and ready to procure in a manner consistent with BIM Level 2 by 2016.  But surely this only explains a minority slipping towards a negative response.

 

In my mind, the UK Government BIM mandate has been a huge success in accelerating a much-needed digitisation of our industry in a structured approach.   Did they hit every coconut they aimed for in 2011? Well, no they didn’t, but to claim the work of the BIM Task Group and the #ukBIMcrew to make BIM Level 2 practically inevitable over the next decade is deeply unfair and IMHO way wide of the mark.

I’d love to debate this further, especially with anyone who believes they are reaching Level 2 and their journey was totally independent of the mandate.

The post Schadenfreude BIM appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/schadenfreude-bim/feed/ 0
BIM With Manufacturers https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/bim-with-manufacturers/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/bim-with-manufacturers/#respond Thu, 10 May 2018 15:32:02 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4373 By John Adams Engaging manufacturers in the world of BIM is one of the unexpected joys of my role here at BIM Strategy.  In my previous roles the only real contact I had with the world of construction product manufacturers was with their sharp end sales and CPD teams which to a degree hides the […]

The post BIM With Manufacturers appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
By John Adams

Engaging manufacturers in the world of BIM is one of the unexpected joys of my role here at BIM Strategy.  In my previous roles the only real contact I had with the world of construction product manufacturers was with their sharp end sales and CPD teams which to a degree hides the light of these businesses under a bushel.  By visiting manufacturers to talk about BIM, I get a detailed look at the work that goes on to bring us the sophisticated array of construction products available in the UK today.

I have to admit when I joined the business I expected the BIM object creation work to be a bit dry by comparison to the BIM leadership and information management aspects.  I was wrong, these businesses are fascinating and their BIM needs go way beyond the creation of 3D BIM objects.

Recently we worked with Proctor Group to deliver some new model families to make design changes including their membranes much simpler and quicker.  We had such a great time going on a BIM journey together we decided to deliver a webinar together to share the learning.  You can find it here along with their BIM content https://www.proctorgroup.com/bim-webinar. 

The post BIM With Manufacturers appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/bim-with-manufacturers/feed/ 0
Software surprise https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/software-surprise/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/software-surprise/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:33:44 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4342 You may have seen the news today that my last company before heading to Darlington to steer the BIM Strategy ship have had some big news today.  I’ve certainly got a lot of thoughts on this but I want to quickly share my over-riding thoughts. http://www.oregonlive.com/silicon-forest/index.ssf/2018/04/viewpoint_construction_softwar_12.html When Bain Capital took control at Viewpoint they had […]

The post Software surprise appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
You may have seen the news today that my last company before heading to Darlington to steer the BIM Strategy ship have had some big news today.  I’ve certainly got a lot of thoughts on this but I want to quickly share my over-riding thoughts.

http://www.oregonlive.com/silicon-forest/index.ssf/2018/04/viewpoint_construction_softwar_12.html

When Bain Capital took control at Viewpoint they had a mission to take the business from successful family run software company to something that would appeal to buyers.  They took some tough decisions along the way, but frankly this deal to sell to one of the construction tech giants, Trimble, has to be seen as mission accomplished.

Now the Viewpoint suite and their fantastically talent team, which I was proud to be part of, have found a new home they are unlikely to be sold again.  This will bring the consistency and security any business needs to make their way through the gears and hit top speed.  This might take a bit of time as acquisitions require a bit of refactoring.  However, I know a few of the folks and the products in the Trimble set well and genuinely believe this is a great fit which will see Viewpoint deliver improved software at a time when the industry is really starting to understand and challenge what a CDE is and how it needs to work to really support BIM projects.

 

Good luck to all involved!

The post Software surprise appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/software-surprise/feed/ 0
5 things I learnt at BIM Show Live https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/5-things-i-learnt-at-bim-show-live/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/5-things-i-learnt-at-bim-show-live/#respond Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:12:24 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4318 BIM Show Live blew back into Newcastle, and even the wind and snow didn’t stop a host of our industry’s top digital innovators and disrupters filling the historic Boiler Shop venue for two days of thought-provoking content. BSL has always been the event where I have my conceptions and understanding of this thing we call […]

The post 5 things I learnt at BIM Show Live appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
BIM Show Live blew back into Newcastle, and even the wind and snow didn’t stop a host of our industry’s top digital innovators and disrupters filling the historic Boiler Shop venue for two days of thought-provoking content.

BSL has always been the event where I have my conceptions and understanding of this thing we call BIM really challenged. From stage to stage, and throughout the audience, the knowledge and experience of real world BIM is unparalleled.

So what did I learn this year?

1. Prop tech and BIM are ready to collide – at last

The worlds of BIM and Proptech have been on a collision course for years, but with the exception of newly built assets for clients with a great handle on digital facilities management processes, the convergence always seems at least a few years away.

This is because Proptech adopters rely on data, as Ed Bartlett from Kykloud confirmed in the opening session on day one. However, this data is still being collected through site visits with a tablet app, because data from the design and construction phase was either analogue, missing or simply not updated.

That is now starting to change in line with the UK BIM roadmap by starting with COBie and moving towards IFC.

COBie is more than a spreadsheet. It’s real structured data that the Proptech world can use – so to see how data is being used to plan the future of the UK school portfolio on one stage, then seeing so much great work in the field of refined information management on other stages, it was all fitting together perfectly.

Rob Jackson’s reprisal of his “COBienator” theme was an especially rigorous view of how data can be tested and delivered. COBie in action might be a stopgap solution whilst the industry grows into delivering great IFCs, but it was encouraging to see our technological worlds start to conver

2. Level 2 is solidifying

BIM Level 2 is now pretty much ready to come out of the oven. Whilst the argument about whether Level 2 is actually refined enough to define contractually is likely to rumble on until it gets a proper legal test, the creation of a set of standards that are working on projects to deliver real benefits is clearly shifting from forming to norming.

BIM Level 2 works, and now the next stage is to remove the niggles that slow the process down and there was some great advice coming from the BIM Show stages which has been born out of hard-won experience.

I especially enjoyed Romulo Simionatto laying out some great BIM truths on day two, for example if you didn’t author your model to align with the building process early on, then 4D planning isn’t going to be efficient.

It’s great to hear honesty rather than the smoke and mirrors routine which has dominated other BIM events in the past.

All of us out there trying to do the right things to digitise the industry can feel a bit like we’re ploughing a lonely BIM-shaped furrow at times, and the reaffirmation that no-nonsense BIM is gaining adoption was a shot in the arm. However, I’m still to see a fully Level 2 job anywhere, so this isn’t grounds to get complacent – but from one BIM Show to the next there has been definite progress with L2 adoption.

3. Possibly the most used word at this year’s BIM Show was Blockchain.

I thought I had a good grasp on the potential for Blockchain to impact the construction industry.  However, there has been much more work done in this field than I thought and it was fascinating to hear about.

The trouble is that in seeing the challenges laid out clearly, it’s obvious there’s still so many variables in play that Blockchain could still be years away from impacting even R&D projects. In short it’s becoming understandable, but not even nearly ready to implement

4. The Level 3 concepts are breaking ground

At times it was like being transported back to 2012, people were talking about things I haven’t fully read up on yet because I’m busy reading the things I know need for tomorrow, not the things which aren’t formed enough yet to make landfall yet. IoT, digital contracts, semantic design, IFC perfection techniques, game theory in construction and AI robotics were all being discussed as research projects and emerging technologies.

It’s exciting and challenging. It’s not BIM as we know it, frankly as Level 3 starts to show itself there’s so many concepts which don’t fit the BIM definition that “BIM Level 3” will barely make sense when this fantastic emerging world becomes reality.

BIM Show Live might find itself transitional phase of no longer needing to promote Level 2 in 2019, but the chrysalis of Level 3 could still be so theoretical and unrefined that next year’s show is going to be a challenge to curate.

5. BIM Show Live still matters

As director of a business providing BIM services, in a market that needs to get to BIM Level 2 to business as usual in the UK for the good of the industry and the country as a whole, I believe it is my duty to make my business and those like it unnecessary as quickly as possible by raising market maturity.

Unless we are entering an age of exponential evolution in BIM concepts, there will come a point where it is normal and there is no need for BIM working groups, BIM consultants and even BIM Show Live.

When Fonzie jumped over a shark on jet skis on Happy Days, it was over.

One year BSL might jump the shark too. But as I write this, I genuinely believe BIM Show Live still matters. The Level 2 concepts are losing their innovative edge and the next iteration of future gazing concepts are early in their genesis, but even though a year in construction flies by, I’ve come to learn that a year in BIM can make a huge difference.

I can’t wait to see BIM Show back next year doing what it does best, reminding us all that the digitisation of the construction industry is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and there’s a whole world of innovation going on with the UK right at the front of the pack.

John Adams is director of BIM at consultant BIM Strategy

See the complete article for BIM+ here

Check out John’s previous article for Construction Manager

 

 

The post 5 things I learnt at BIM Show Live appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/5-things-i-learnt-at-bim-show-live/feed/ 0
Have we reached information overload? https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/have-reached-information-overload/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/have-reached-information-overload/#respond Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:50:53 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4303 With vast quantities of data now central to the way the industry communicates and collaborates, CM called together a panel of experts to explore the effect of the information explosion. James Kenny reports. As the industry shifts to daily use of BIM and the sheer volume of daily information is increasing, how do construction companies cope with […]

The post Have we reached information overload? appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
With vast quantities of data now central to the way the industry communicates and collaborates, CM called together a panel of experts to explore the effect of the information explosion. James Kenny reports.

As the industry shifts to daily use of BIM and the sheer volume of daily information is increasing, how do construction companies cope with this and what should the industry be doing to manage information overload?

This was the topic of discussion at a roundtable event held at Construction Manager’s offices in September, sponsored by construction and engineering project management software company Newforma. The debate ranged over topics such as where the information explosion is coming from and how and why companies are coping with it.

Chaired by BIM+ editor Denise Chevin, the panel explored the impact of poor collaboration in a world of information overload, and how technology can help to improve construction efficiency.

Denise Chevin, editor, BIM+: With the industry ever changing, we want to know how big a problem you think data overload is, and how this might be impacting on project teams.

Paul Daynes, regional director – UK & Northern Europe, Middle East at Newforma: Our company is really focused on information management. We look at the way in which you manage information, by keeping information in situ. And then effectively indexing that information – to enable you to find the information you want in the first place and then form relationships between those information sources.

“I’ve been doing some work recently on diversity, and what is quite interesting is what’s going to happen when we are run by millennials. Because it’s going to be different. They work in a completely different way.”

Cathy Stewart, director, Cathy Stewart Associates

Cathy Stewart, director, Cathy Stewart Associates

So we have this huge information explosion and that’s really manifested itself by being able to make changes more rapidly and easily, using systems like Revit. It’s really all about how we’re communicating, and what tools we’re using to communicate with. It’s things like huge amounts of email flooding our inboxes.

What do you do with it? How do you gain value from that? These are all issues in how we undertake our project delivery much more efficiently.

Peter Trebilcock, head of architecture, ESA Capita: Prior to joining the business earlier this year I was the UK design and BIM director for Balfour Beatty, so BIM and data have been on my agenda for a number of years.

You all know Amazon, Apple and Google. Amazon, the largest provider of cloud infrastructure services, and the largest internet company by revenue. Apple, the largest information technology company by revenue. And Google, they argue, is the most valuable brand in the world. They’ve all got something in common: they’re very good at managing, harnessing and utilising data.

I think the big difference with the construction industry is that we’re still coping with housekeeping. We’re still trying to get the enabling done. We haven’t tapped into the potential value of this data: the value to customers, the value of the commercial basis, the value culturally and the value to the consumer. We’re still trying to manage the emails and get the pipelines.

PT Andrew de Silva (‘Das’), associate director at David Miller Architects: We do a lot of residential, and we do a lot of schools – and also leisure and offices at the moment – and I guess we’ve been using data and BIM tools for quite a long time.

What we’re finding is that the data is there, but actually trying to get it from the client – or to educate the client as to what data they need at the right time – is a big issue. We work with a lot of local authorities who have ambitions of declared BIM Level 2. But they literally don’t know what that means.

So it’s very difficult for the teams that we work with to actually deliver. We could deliver the lot – everything or nothing. And that’s going to be one of the key things – so we don’t overproduce the data in the first place, we just use what we need at the right time.

The panel

Standing, from left: John Adams, head of BIM services, BIM Strategy; PT Andrew de Silva (Das), associate director, David Miller Architects; Peter Trebilcock, head of architecture, ESA Capita; Toby Sortain, senior BIM manager, ISG; Cathy Stewart, director, Cathy Stewart Associates; Garry Fannon, head of BIM, Willmott Dixon; Steve Faulkner, associate director, Elliott Wood structural engineers. Seated, from left: Nicolas Maari, partner and head of architecture, Pelling; Paul Daynes, regional director – UK & Northern Europe, Middle East, Newforma; Antonio Dazzo, architect, Darnton B3 Architecture

 

Antonio Dazzo, architect, DarntonB3 Architecture: We deal with a variety of projects in commercial and the residential sector mainly. I’ve been using BIM for about ten years, and I’ve been at the company five. And I would say we’ve probably been using it for about six, mainly using Revit.

A lot of clients want you to produce a BIM model, but they’re not making use of that information once the project is complete. And they’re not taking ownership of the model. It’s quite difficult to know how much information to include. There needs to be a clearer approach from the start – of what exactly is required. That’s also dependent on what type of procurement route you take.

Garry Fannon, head of BIM, Willmott Dixon: How does big data affect my teams? Well, very little at the minute, if I’m talking about my project teams. Are they influenced by big data? No, because as an industry, I think we’re quite immature: we’ve not gone fully digital yet. Only at that point, when the coalface is digital, we can get real-time feedback on quality, on health and safety, on product.

When that’s fed back into the process, it gives us that power to make really informed decisions: informing our architects about good and bad detailing, informing our procurement managers about good and bad supply chain, and individuals in that supply chain who produce bad work. At that point, when you’ve got real quality big data, that will allow us to produce better buildings going forward.

“It’s very difficult for the teams that we work with to actually deliver. We could deliver the lot – everything or nothing. And that’s going to be one of the key things – so we don’t overproduce the data in the first place, we just use what we need at the right time.”

PT Andrew de Silva (‘Das’), associate director at David Miller Architects

PT Andrew de Silva (‘Das’), associate director at David Miller Architects

John Adams, head of BIM services, BIM Strategy: In terms of information and big data, we don’t know what we’re looking at yet. If we think this is big data, we’ve got another think coming: we don’t define what we want, we don’t define what we’re going to do with it. And then, the project team throw everything they possibly can at the hope of delivering something that smells a bit like Level 2.

We’re currently not defining what we need to do, so we’re doing everything. And it’s quite messy at the moment. All of that data is getting captured but not in any kind of ontology that we can interrogate, and do anything like Google or Apple are doing with their data. We’re wasting our data at the moment. And if we’re going to waste tiny data, what are we going to do with big data?

Chevin: Big data, in the context of the construction industry, is what?

Adams: Everything you could possibly know about any artefact or any project in a defined set of terms. So you can pull that all together and ask it questions. So, a window – where it came from, who produced it, what’s the lead time, what does it weigh: all of that information. Unless we start structuring that in ways that people can interrogate, it’s just data that we’ve put into a model, that the client is not going to use. So we need to put it in an order that we can interrogate, and then we can ask questions.

Chevin: So data is driving a wedge between the different people in the supply chain, and the design team. Are we collaborating as well as we should?

Toby Sortain, senior BIM manager, ISG: It comes down to communication. And it just takes time for people to engage and have that conversation, and understand each other. There is an over-reliance on email, especially on live projects.

On any project where they have the opportunity to meet someone face-to-face, to have a quick meeting, you can get so much done, rather than sending that email and copying ten people that don’t really need to know. So I much prefer to pick up the phone, to have a meeting, to get agreement on how we’re moving forward, I think it is extremely important.

Daynes: “Collaboration” is a very open word, isn’t it? By its nature, collaboration does naturally increase exposure. Equally, it reduces risk, because you’re more in control of the decisions being made. But you need to log what was said, who said it, what was the output. So I think email is still important and will continue to be important.

The intelligence that you can perhaps put around email to drive other workflows is also quite an interesting view. You know, how can you use email to trigger a whole set of actions. It’s certainly one of the areas Newforma looks at. So, collaboration is very big.

“Collaboration naturally increases exposure. Equally, it reduces risk, because you’re more in control of the decisions being made. But you need to log what was said, who said it, what was the output. So I think email is still important and will continue to be important.”

Paul Daynes, regional director – UK & Northern Europe, Middle East at Newforma

Paul Daynes, regional director – UK & Northern Europe, Middle East at Newforma

Adams: I think email is one of the biggest mistakes our industry ever made. It soaks up so many hours of our time. It came in to replace letter-writing. Now, most of the stuff in your inbox – no one would ever write a letter to tell you that. What I’ve been doing is trying to get things out of the inbox. If it’s conversational stuff it goes to Slack. If it’s process stuff, it goes to Trello. Try and use apps that break down this megalith.

Email’s an immature and broken model for communication. How many times a day do you write “Hi, such-and-such”? You’d never do it in a text message. “Hi this”, “hi, that”. “Yours sincerely”. Spell “sincerely” wrong, spellcheck it, put it right. We’re just wasting our time.

Getting email out of our industry as far as we can will take a lot of the information trouble out of the day job.

Chevin: The younger generation of people – no one ever uses email.

Daynes: It’s messaging.

Cathy Stewart, director, Cathy Stewart Associates: I’ve been doing some work recently on diversity, and what is quite interesting is what’s going to happen when we are run by millennials. Because it’s going to be different. They work in a completely different way. What else is it that they’re going to be able to bring to this forum, and how is it going to change our industry?

Instead of traditional resources – you go to the university, you get your grad out from surveying or architecture – maybe we should be looking further afield, being a bit more innovative about who we want to bring into our industry.

Trebilcock: It may be something the generation coming up will demand. And there will be vendors who can connect with it, and enable these systems. You get the new generation – that school leaver coming in with his iPad and his smartphones. He’ll say, “I’m not working here. I can get a better job down the road that’s connected.” So, I think we’re going through that transition period.

Nicolas Maari, partner and head of architecture, Pellings: I think what’s also quite interesting is that we all agree that collaboration is very useful, and we’re moving in that direction.

But I’m not entirely convinced the clients agree. A lot of our end clients – local authorities – had their budgets cut, and a lot of them don’t see the value in BIM and all this information-managing. A lot of them just see the end product – and they don’t see that all this collaboration helps make the whole process smoother.

Dazzo: I think there is also a reluctance from architects and consultants to embrace BIM. They might see it as “Oh, it’s going to be time consuming from the start” for a small project. People need to open their mind or be educated about the benefits. Not just clients but architects, structural engineers, M&E consultants. That mindset needs to change.

Steve Faulkner, associate director, Elliott Wood structural engineers: That is changing. I think there has been a huge change over the last few years. People have started to see the real benefits of BIM. Now, I would say 75% of architects’ models we receive are Revit models.

I think the industry particularly – well, in the UK – are pushing the message out there, trying to get it out to SMEs. So that people do realise that they’re going to be left behind if they don’t start picking it up.

This round table was sponsored by Newforma

Read John Adams recent collaboration with BRE’s Dan Rossiter for BIM+

The post Have we reached information overload? appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/have-reached-information-overload/feed/ 0
In Defence of the Term ‘BIM’ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/defence-term-bim/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/defence-term-bim/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:28:54 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4276 In his latest article for BIM+ John Adams and Dan Rossiter of BRE argue in defence of the term ‘BIM’. ‘Is the ‘BIM’ word passe? Certainly not, say longstanding BIM champions and frequent contributors to CM and BIM+ John Adams and Dan Rossiter. While our industry is striving towards collaborative working and better information management processes, […]

The post In Defence of the Term ‘BIM’ appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
In his latest article for BIM+ John Adams and Dan Rossiter of BRE argue in defence of the term ‘BIM’.

‘Is the ‘BIM’ word passe? Certainly not, say longstanding BIM champions and frequent contributors to CM and BIM+ John Adams and Dan Rossiter.

While our industry is striving towards collaborative working and better information management processes, something strange has happened – Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become something of an unfashionable word.

There is a growing number of professionals within our industry waving the flag of an anti-BIM movement. This is because the once dominant and revolutionary buzzword has grown to mean so much it can mean almost nothing at times in the eyes of some.

However, not everyone is in a rush to leave this acronym behind. We would argue that BIM needs to keep its place in the construction lexicon to support our journey to the digital industry we know we must evolve into.

John Adams – Director of BIM Strategy

Whilst I share the frustration of many that BIM has become the byword for anything digital in our industry within certain circles, I believe the rush away from the term only serves to benefit a tiny fraction of our industry while abandoning a huge majority who are nowhere near using BIM Level 2 as part of their day-to-day work.

Removing the headline act of nearly a decade of constant publications, events and investment is akin to pulling up the ladder on the BIM treehouse – if you’re not in already you’re no longer welcome.

The construction industry has a long and deep supply chain and many businesses I meet are only just becoming aware that BIM is something to do with 3D models. Those already in the treehouse know it’s more about process than it is about models, but there are literally millions of people who work in our industry who don’t know this, and redefining the rules of the game will, without doubt, make the UK BIM Alliance’s work to make BIM business as usual by 2020 even more ambitious than it already is.

Rather than looking for a new tagline for our conferences and leading-edge working groups, we need to reclaim BIM, and turn up the volume on the consistent messages we’ve refined over the last few years.

BIM Level 2 is well defined, deliverable and doesn’t need to involve replacing all of your IT kit and employing a whizz kid who can use a highly specific piece of software. Everyone in the know should be telling their contacts to visit the official website for BIM Level 2 (www.bim-level2.org), and explaining the business value of starting their journey to a digitally collaborative way of working.

We’ve got a lot of people to educate and engage, and BIM has been one of the most successful verbal hooks we’ve invented since CAD or CDM. BIM is our word and it’s brilliant, and at a time where DE, VDC, IPD, AI, IoT and many others are emerging, BIM needs our help to reinforce its meaning and relevance on the digital journey we’re all on together.

Dan Rossiter – Senior BIM communicator, BRE

When we discuss our (special) relationship with America it is often said that we are divided by a common language. However, you don’t need to go across the pond to see this level of division. It might be what you call a bread bap, local youths, or even BIM.

Recently there has been a lot of negative press around the use of this three-letter acronym. Many call it too broad, undefined, or not fit for purpose. To those people, I say you are wrong.

BIM in the UK has always been about one thing: improving how information is managed to inform decisions, reduce risk and deliver better assets. This can be seen clearly by checking the introduction to PAS 1192-2 which gives the “fundamentals of BIM Level 2”.

In brief: Own what you produce and reference the work of others, define requirements, assess the supply chain, provide a platform to share information, agree methods, follow those methods, deliver digital outputs. That’s it. None of this digital engineering, smart cities, drones, photo telemetry, real-time analytics, Internet of Things, or generative design. Just good old-fashioned quality assurance. Even at ISO, the preferred BIM definition is simply using digital information to make better decisions:

“Building Information Modelling (BIM): use of a shared digital representation of a built object (including buildings, bridges, roads, process plants, etc.) to facilitate design, construction and operation processes to form a reliable basis for decisions. ISO 29481-1.”

Don’t get me wrong, there is a world much bigger than BIM out there; it is only a small piece of our larger digital puzzle. The UK’s Digital Built Britain Strategy encompasses BIM as well as the other digital facets to facilitate the UK in making “fully computerised construction the norm”. Each facet has its own role to play.

As convenor of terminology at ISO regarding construction information, I have two roles when it comes to terms and definitions: Help define new terms and prevent synonyms from appearing.

If we are just going to replace BIM with another term then we are not going to learn from our mistakes and all we will achieve is poisoning the next well.

However, if we instead embrace BIM as a term that is limited to its original purpose, then we can draw a clear distinction and focus less on what we call it, and more on how we deliver it.

Conclusion

When “millennials” was first coined there was a battle to name it, which took years to resolve. A myriad of names was suggested – Generation Y, the MTV Generation, Echo Boomers. A similar concept is being reflected in digital construction currently. Be it communities, institutions, or individuals, there is a value attached to being the one who defines our future. However, there is a real risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater in doing so when it comes to BIM.

BIM is the foundation of our digital change movement. Without it, our shift to a digitally built Britain, and our ability to lead global digital adoption will be lacking a fundamental element to success – a defined structure.

The sooner construction puts BIM back in its rightful place as one of the most clearly defined and adoptable change agents today, we may be able to put the race to name it to bed, and really start taking advantage of BIM.’

Check out John Adams’ previous article in BIM+

 

The post In Defence of the Term ‘BIM’ appeared first on BIM Strategy.

]]>
https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/defence-term-bim/feed/ 0