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 Mon, 26 Mar 2018 12:34:15 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 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 […]

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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

 

 

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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 […]

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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+

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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, […]

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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+

 

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Digital Transformation, My Inner-Monkhouse https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/digital-transformation-inner-monkhouse/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/digital-transformation-inner-monkhouse/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:31:23 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4216 by John Adams I recently had the pleasure of hosting Digital Transformation, an event at Teesside University to promote the regional approach to replacing traditional heavy industry with digital industry.  Digital City has been leading the digital charge in the Tees Valley and made this event possible; thankfully the working title of Digital Smoggies was weeded […]

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by John Adams

I recently had the pleasure of hosting Digital Transformation, an event at Teesside University to promote the regional approach to replacing traditional heavy industry with digital industry.  Digital City has been leading the digital charge in the Tees Valley and made this event possible; thankfully the working title of Digital Smoggies was weeded out along the way.  I’ve gained a reputation as the digitally disruptive equivalent to Bob Monkhouse* for this type of thing through my involvement in the Tees Valley Digital Strategy Board, so when Digital City asked me to get involved I was happy to help.

When I arrived, I had well-rehearsed introduction ready for a room full of SMEs who were early in their digital journey;  but a quick look at the attendee list I realised it was the wrong vibe.  As a 15 strong architectural practice and digital construction consultancy,  I was there as one of the smallest businesses, and those in the room were certainly not looking to me to ease them into a digital era.  Time to panic because all prep was wasted.  No chance.  It was time to miss the sausage sandwiches, make a few notes and channel my inner-Monkhouse…

The room was full of petrochem, engineering and oil and gas giants,  all of which have so many issues which align to the challenges construction have been addressing on the subject of information management.  No client requirements, C-suite buy-in to data, people wanting to play with IIOT, VR and AI before they have established a foundation or formed a shared ontology. The progress we have made in construction since the mandate came into sharp focus as those in industries without a government mandate were clambering for one, and the same discussions we all had  – around 2012 about how national mandates conflict with international business  – filled the conversation in the panel discussion.

We had a great conversation, with an engaged audience who I’m sure got plenty out of hearing the thoughts from some really innovative businesses, as well as the academic angle from Professor Nash Dawood.   After this event, I headed to Digital Construction Week with renewed rigour about how well we have done over the last decade and ready to roll my sleeves up and help the UK BIM Alliance make this great work stick for the whole industry.  It was a truly great event this year and you can read some of my thoughts on BIM+ here, however, my choice of attire drew more comparisons to Phil Collins than Bob Monkhouse. I digress; for it’s back now it’s back to Tees Valley business…

 

Free BIM workshop

I’ve teamed up with Teesside Univesity and Digital City to deliver on a subject where I don’t have to trade on my game show hosting skillset.  BIM.  Back in my comfort zone helping local businesses gain an understanding of what BIM means to them, how they can benefit and where the risks lie.  We’re delivering a half day BIM workshop, and thanks to Digital City, there will be the opportunity for a number of attendees to receive one to one BIM consultancy with BIM Strategy after the event.  So if you are a local construction business who want to know more about BIM, sign up here to come along for FREE.   Or, if you have any supply chain partners who are based in the Tees Valley,  please pass this along as I’m keen to pack the place to the rafters and make sure we upskill as many people as we possibly can and make to sure the other industries in the region continue to look longingly at how well we are progressing along our digital journey.

See you there!

John (AKA- #BIMMonkhouse #CollinsBIM).

[*Bob Monkhouse is a cast iron legend and if people find me even half as engaging as the great man himself I’ll be truly delighted and humbled]

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Teesside – home to leading tech cluster https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/teesside-home-to-leading-tech-cluster/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/teesside-home-to-leading-tech-cluster/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 09:58:17 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4224 BIM Strategy Director, John Adams, is hosting a panel session today at the ‘Digital Transformation’ event at Teesside University. Digital transformation is emerging as a driver of sweeping change in the world around us. Traditionally Teesside is seen as the home of heavy industry: but, what most people are unaware of is that it is also home to a leading cluster […]

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BIM Strategy Director, John Adams, is hosting a panel session today at the ‘Digital Transformation’ event at Teesside University.

Digital transformation is emerging as a driver of sweeping change in the world around us. Traditionally Teesside is seen as the home of heavy industry: but, what most people are unaware of is that it is also home to a leading cluster of companies and tech that service these ‘traditional’ heavy industries.

Innovate Tees Valley, together with Digital City, are hosting ‘Digital Transformation’ to make people aware of the knowledge, skills and technology that already exists in the region as well as provide an opportunity to learn how to create new value and revenue from the digital asset.

In addition to the panel session facilitated by John and panellists Datum360, Kraken IM, Aveva, and Digatex there are presentations from companies who are leading the way in information management for the industrial sector areas. The event opens with a presentation on the BIM journey from Teesside University academic Professor Nash Dawood.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-transformation-registration-37694430055

 

 

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COBie – have it your way. https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/cobie-have-it-your-way/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/cobie-have-it-your-way/#respond Tue, 10 Oct 2017 12:42:23 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4217   There’s been a lot of talk about COBie lately, and even though its structure, use and application are well defined and many projects are getting down to business delivering COBie, it is still undeniably divisive. On reflection, maybe the mandate has made people rush into working out how to deliver data in this way, […]

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There’s been a lot of talk about COBie lately, and even though its structure, use and application are well defined and many projects are getting down to business delivering COBie, it is still undeniably divisive. On reflection, maybe the mandate has made people rush into working out how to deliver data in this way, rather than fully considering why it matters.  This reactive approach has led to a significant amount of misinformation, concern, waste and even annoyance at delivering what is mainly the same information as usual, but in a more structured way.

Now, those of you who’ve worked with me before or read my work, know I like a bit of allegory and analogy to add colour to BIM.  As much as I love my chosen specialism, including its mythology of acronyms and new technologies, I know not everyone who needs to adopt BIM will share my passion; nor should they need to on our journey to business as usual.  So, indulge me another ramble, and hopefully, it will help explain why I believe COBie not only matters but is exactly the right approach for construction to start delivering collaborative, structured data.

I’m assuming you’ve been to Burger King, or similar places where a glowing menu hangs above a team ready to add something hot and tasty to you journey up the A1, or wherever you are.  Have you ever noticed how all of these outlets have taken the same approach? Buy a burger it costs X, get it with a standard drink and some chips you’ll get a discount. But start messing about and creating a bespoke order your discount evaporates and your cheap meal starts looking overpriced.  This is all because the restaurant is geared up to deliver one burger, one chips, and one drink to 90+% of the customers, and in return for dancing to their beat you get a predictable meal all over the globe for about a fiver.  These menus are the schema of choice for fast food, the restaurants are designed and the teams are trained to deliver this way making the whole process very lean. It’s not perfect for all occasions, but it is very compelling.

COBie is our menu format, not because the government chose it, but because it is the only one out there that appreciates the complexity of buildings, but has a lean enough structure to enable handover to FM.  Spaces, assets and maintenance information are our burger, fries, and fizzy pop.

Despite the fast food menu fitting a model, there is a lot of choice and flexibility, COBie also offers a lot of scope, but always within defined parameters. We should accept that COBie is our first step on our path to an efficient delivery model and to gear ourselves up to deliver this efficiently as a team, rather than simply trying to bolt it onto our existing model.  We should be able to find the processes to reduce our handover costs by delivering in a reusable and predictable way as well as making the transition into operation for our clients much easier than before.  We’re not there yet, and this is why the successes we are seeing are often reliant on a superstar information manager going beyond the call of duty working with highly driven teams determined to make BIM work.

Those who point to COBie itself as a problem aren’t on the right track in my opinion.  The issues lie in the fact we haven’t yet implemented an industry-wide approach to delivering COBie in a slick way.  However, the BIM level 2 process was delivered to facilitate this and remove barriers, so it’s time to train our teams, appoint great information managers, and really understand what data our clients want and how it fits into the COBie schema.  Then and only then can we start defining what our data kitchens need to look like to deliver competitive advantage.

If I’ve whetted your appetite for changing your perspective on COBie,  I suggest you read this article from the irrepressible Bill East, who together with his team has spent over a decade creating the COBie standard http://www.bimplus.co.uk/people/cobie-getting-down-basics/.

 

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BIM: OUT OF CHAOS WE’RE MAKING DIGITAL EXCELLENCE https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/bim-chaos-making-digital-excellence/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/bim-chaos-making-digital-excellence/#respond Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:45:37 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4203 In his latest article for BIM+, John Adams uses chaos theory to shed light on where the UK is on its ‘BIM journey’. ‘If BIM is so simple then why is it so difficult? asks John Adams, director of BIM at consultant BIM Strategy. I’ve heard more than once that so-called BIM experts are deliberately […]

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In his latest article for BIM+, John Adams uses chaos theory to shed light on where the UK is on its ‘BIM journey’.

‘If BIM is so simple then why is it so difficult? asks John Adams, director of BIM at consultant BIM Strategy.

I’ve heard more than once that so-called BIM experts are deliberately making things complicated to make work for themselves – why else would something so simple be so complex in practice?

Things are getting messy, despite a community of wonderful folk from across our industry working exceptionally hard to simplify and improve our processes and project outcomes.

The breadth of subject matter, from the micro to the macro, is showing that the process of trying to bring order to the construction industry through the application of BIM is becoming chaotic.

Luckily, there is more established theory around chaos than BIM, and comfort and knowledge can be drawn from chaos theory to help us along the journey to BIM becoming business as usual.

Chaos is when “the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future”, said Edward Lorenz, one of the pioneers of chaos theory.

If PAS 1192-2 describes a process that most of us agree is a better and pretty logical approach to delivering a project information model, then why isn’t it straightforward?

One possible answer is found when you see the current construction industry model as an eco-system that has found a relatively comfortable balance over the last 50 or so years.

With hundreds of BIM enthusiasts and detractors piling energy into the system, the only mathematical outcome is that all of the current standards and processes will be ripped clause from clause until they can be broken down no further and a new and balance found. The chaotic pendulum shows how adding a simple new component to a balanced system creates chaos.

We have entered a very dynamic stage of our digitisation journey. Without delving too deep into the science, the more energy we expend in trying to bring order, the more chaotic things become, up to point where we have caused so much chaos there is no more to be found.

At this point we’ll reach a new and defined norm, but only when all of the analogue processes have been disrupted. It’s a lot of ground to cover and when you’re in the middle of it all it can look hectic and intimidating.

Imagine the construction industry is a pan of water, all three million of us, our projects and our processes all in the pot together. BIM, or the digital construction agenda as a whole, is the heat we are applying by way of the mandate, BIM champions, new technology, case studies, Twitter discussion, column inches and everything else.

As we heat things up we get bubbles and steam. Until we’ve boiled all of the water and collected all of the steam, and allowed it to reconsolidate we are destined to have chaos. It’s more than a little frustrating, but it is inevitable so let’s make use of our chaos.

Remember that water, grains and chaos are required to create Scotch whisky. The distilleries can’t control the order in which water molecules turn to steam when they add heat, but they can control everything else.

The UK BIM Alliance is now taking control of the tangibles and is turning up the heat, at least for Level 2, and everyone with the knowledge to help control these variables will be needed.

As much as the analogy with the car industry and BIM has been doing the rounds for a number of years, and there’s both truth and wisdom in it, we have often taken the wrong slant: “They’ve done it, why haven’t we?”

Simply put, their journey had less scope for chaos. A car is better defined than a built asset, so they had less water to boil. One thing we can definitely learn from their digitisation is that those who tried to shortcut the digitisation process, like Rover, are gone: those who embraced the challenge, like Toyota, have thrived.

We need to acknowledge our chaos. Own our chaos. Not let our chaos distract us from the goal…….from the new norm of digital excellence.’

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Embracing the #euBIMhandbook https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/embracing-the-eubimhandbook/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/embracing-the-eubimhandbook/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 15:50:12 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4188 Every now and again you read something and really enjoy it; by all accounts Gone Girl was one of these moments and perhaps that grey book with the red room. I haven’t read either, but I did spend an afternoon this week enjoying the newly published EU BIM Handbook.  Not only was I impressed by […]

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Every now and again you read something and really enjoy it; by all accounts Gone Girl was one of these moments and perhaps that grey book with the red room. I haven’t read either, but I did spend an afternoon this week enjoying the newly published EU BIM Handbook.  Not only was I impressed by the quality and focus,  but I really actively enjoyed it.

The document set out to help public sector procurers from across Europe benefit from the BIM knowledge and experience built up over the last few years.  This was coupled with a desire to avoid a fragmentation of information requirements across the continent which could stifle competition, frustrate companies that cross borders, and most importantly add inefficiency whilst trying to remove it.  Whilst reading I tweeted the best bits, so if you’re looking for a compressed overview, have a look in on the hashtag #euBIMhandbook.

The nagging concern

I always try to take a pragmatic approach to BIM and the much-needed digitisation of our industry, however, I do have nagging concerns about this handbook.  Can we get it to the people who need to read it and will they be willing to take a day off from their public service duties to read it fully?  In a situation with the public purse being tightly constrained, can the influencers justifiably shift their focus to BIM even if they read the handbook and are excited by its approach?  It takes time and resource to move to the model described which departments and authorities are likely to not have.

Unified public sector lead digitisation is a great idea, but the concept of herd immunity must be applied for it to have the impacts mentioned above, in this regard we have to consider the implications of Brexit*.  The UK has decided to take a route that will differ from the EU in many currently unknown ways,  but this may make getting the EU BIM Handbook to get coverage and adoption here at home tricky.  We may risk becoming the BIM equivalent of the the anti-vax movement, even though we have set a great pace at the front of the pack for a number of years, arguably on a global basis.

Imagine a situation where the UK has added a serious amount of work into a collaborative effort to deliver a great handbook, which has built upon the excellent work of the BIM Task Group and the #ukBIMcrew , then because it says EU on the front cover it gets ignored at home?  I hope I’m being overly cynical as there may be people dozens of people across the UK and reading this right now.  However, if my nagging doubt is right then we need to gather round this handbook and actively promote it for the sake of progress.

This is a great piece of work, written in very useful language for it’s intended audience.  Let’s get it out there!

*If you want to hear my personal thoughts on Brexit, it’ll cost you a pint.

 

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A heartbroken disruptor https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/heartbroken-disruptor/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/heartbroken-disruptor/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:00:23 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4176 I’ve had a busy week at BIM Strategy bringing together a new Building Information Modelling event for Darlington.  I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for delivering a great #BIMtees17 experience.  However, it was tainted heavily when the tragic events at Grenfell Tower started unfolding the night before the main event. I […]

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I’ve had a busy week at BIM Strategy bringing together a new Building Information Modelling event for Darlington.  I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for delivering a great #BIMtees17 experience.  However, it was tainted heavily when the tragic events at Grenfell Tower started unfolding the night before the main event.

I stepped up to deliver a presentation on the digital future of our construction industry as a wonderful and exciting career option for our youngsters at a time when we have created an environment ready to deliver world-leading innovation here in the UK once again.  This was set against an emerging background where somehow an interaction between our industry and a concrete tower block had vastly reduced its fire safety and lead to a devastating loss of life.  I won’t speculate on how this happened, but I will be bold enough to say this shouldn’t happen in a country which has had fire regulations since 1667.

I’m incredibly passionate about us lifting our game to deliver the architecture and infrastructure our society deserves through digitisation and collaboration, and I’m just one of a growing community of digital disruptors trying to enact change to the whole lifecycle of construction projects.  To see a disaster like this on our watch is frankly devastating.  Despite no personal involvement, I feel genuinely heartbroken that we have let so many people down.

I can do nothing more than pledging my career to improving what we do and how we do it, whilst encouraging and assisting others to up their game too.  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.

It will take courage and dogged determination to deliver the scale of change required. We need to really believe we can change things.  Let’s rediscover the courageous nature of our British design and construction past, and together we can achieve the incredible.

John.

(This post is my own thoughts may not reflect those of BIM Strategy or Niven Architects)

NB:

Delivering a better industry will take time, buying the charity single to help the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire takes seconds.

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#BIMtees17 – Out with the old https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/bimtees17-out-with-the-old/ https://bimstrategyltd.com/blog/bimtees17-out-with-the-old/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:29:26 +0000 https://bimstrategyltd.com/?p=4135 When the BIM Strategy team decided to set up our own event I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I was going to present at the inaugural #BIMtees17.  As one of the serial #ukBIMcrew presenters who’s popped up all over the place, I have years’ worth of knowledge and nonsense rich slides […]

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When the BIM Strategy team decided to set up our own event I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I was going to present at the inaugural #BIMtees17.  As one of the serial #ukBIMcrew presenters who’s popped up all over the place, I have years’ worth of knowledge and nonsense rich slides already set up to be dropped into a presentation at short notice.  However, for the birth of a new hashtag, the first BIM ever event in Darlington as far as we know, and with the noticeable change in the wind as BIM adoption powers into its early adopted phase, it was time to click File>New.

New slides. New opportunity. Minor epiphany!

My previous presentations had fallen into a formula that was required to help the concept of BIM cross the chasm to the point where the risk of failure is greatly reduced.

(80% What is BIM? + 15% Why it matters? + 5% How it’s done?) x (Zombie memes + Hobbits)

It’s time to move on from this accidental but successful formula despite one of my career highlights being the deadpan delivery of this slice of gibberish;

“Like all good evil wizards, Saruman loves an Asset Information Models”

A new formula was needed for a much-changed landscape where most people have heard of BIM, but the confusion is now higher than unawareness and the benefits of adopting BIM have become clouded by the hyperbolic marketing of the hundredth dimension of BIM technology.

I decided to go 50% why? and 50% how? and offered up the following advice on how to gain a consistent understanding of the what;

The feedback from the night was great, so now I’m busy downsizing the presentation for this Wednesday’s webinar which is open to all and will give an overview of the #BIMtees17 event and offer the chance to ask me some questions and I’ll do my best to answer them! Sign up here

Catch up with soon

John

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