Saturday, 3 March 2018

BIM Show Live 2018 - Review

Top marks to the BIM Show Live team and the delegates for putting on a fantastic show this week despite of the worst snow in Newcastle for the last decade.

A review and some useful links from some of the sessions below...

1. Dave Philp, Digital Built Britain
As always with BIM Show Live, Dave Philp opened the show. He arrived on stage with an electric guitar player playing 'I would walk 500 miles', which was fitting considering the weather conditions and the public transport options to get to the conference!

Dave gave an update from Digital Built Britain. He promoted the success of the standards, the difference this was making at home and the recognition this was getting overseas.

There was a mention of ISO 19650 parts 1 and 2 which are now well progressed and looked at the influence the PAS 1192 standards have had over these.

Looking to the future, the Government want to create a 'National Digital Twin' of the countries physical infrastructure. But let's get the foundations right.

2. Rob Charlton, Space Group
Rob gave the state of the nation address. He reflected on previous years where he looked at which disciplines were adopting BIM and which were not. Rob now believes everyone is committed. He then looked at some examples that he sees through his BIM Technologies business. The big private sector clients, the big tier one contractors and the university estates and building teams - all now fully committed to a digital future.

The Boiler Room in the North East - Where Innovation Happens
(like the design for the steam engine that was used for 150 years)
Is everyone perfectly adopting the PAS 1192 standards? Maybe not, but it's not similar to ISO 9001. Where we may not be perfect. But the majority are now 'there or thereabouts'.

AI, Blockchain, VR and AR were identified as emerging technologies. But then there was a reflection on Carillion going out of business and the disaster that was Grenfell. Why is the construction industry on the front page of the newspapers for the wrong reason.

How can we check that what is specified is specified correctly and then is followed through on site? There used to be a clerk of works working for the client that gave reassurance on quality. Can we use new technology to provide a 'digital clerk of works' checking that the products specified are installed and the quality levels specified are followed?

Personally speaking, this message is one that the data providers and software companies can help with. Provide standardised data structures, provide technology that helps coordinate this and provide technologies that help provide transparency of decision making.

3. Anders Hvid, Dare Disrupt
Anders looked at how digital technologies have changed and are changing the world.

He started by looking at the improvements in robotics in recent years.

In the blink of the eye we have gone from this...

To this...

One nice case study from the agricultural industry is how John Deere use data to get big advantages in farming. Combining data around feritiliser, the land, the weather and then combining that across common data from around the country to give efficiencies for all...

When looking at the difference between small improvements vs revolutionary disruptions he gave two examples:
- Kodak improved by taking their film capacity from 24 to 36 to 44 photographs. With digital you can now get 100,000 photographs on a 128MB memory card for £20.
- Opening a bookshops costs roughly the same every time you open a shop. Selling books digitally costs are very similar whether you sell 100 books or 1,000,000.

When Apple released their phone. It didn't do converstions as well as Nokia - poorer quality audio and a rubbish batter life. But users accept a little pain to get future gain. The lesson being that you may have to go through a little pain at first before seeing big enhancements.

Accept a little pain to get the big gain
Two further great examples of digital change:
- Solar to hydrogen powered house:
(also, check the cost of solar over time)
- Adidas printing your trainers in the shop:

4. Sarah Rock and May Winfield, UK BIM Alliance
Sarah and May presented their BIM+Legal report.
The Winfield Rock Report
One of the headline recommendations is saying 'This is going to be a BIM project' or 'This is going to be a BIM Level 2 project' isn't enough. As part of the contract documentation a set of Employer's Information Requirements and responding BIM Execution Plan is what sets the rules of (a) what is expected and then (b) what is agreed at the start of the project.

The BIM Level 2 standards give the framework, but on a specific project the rules must be agreed within this framework.

This can be downloaded for free from the UK BIM Alliance website:

5. Paul Swaddle, NBS
My colleague Paul Swaddle did a session on cyber security and it was fascinating with lots and lots of good links. A selection of these are below that are definitely worth reading:

The Stuxnet cyber attack on the Iranian nuclear centrifuges:

The attack on Ukraine's power grid:

The recent WannaCry NHS attack:

The Strava display of all military bases:

The house that spied on me:

Paul finished by highlighting the good work CPNI in the UK is doing to push a security minded approach to digital construction projects:

"Do the best you can until you know better...
...then when you know better, do better"

Finally, apparently this was the user interface that controlled the Hawaii missile alert systems:
Which link am I supposed to click?
6. My session
My session at 4pm on day two was slightly late in the day considering that red and orange weather warnings across the country telling people to get home :)

However, I really appreciated those that stayed back to take part.

I split the session into three

One - Get your BIM project off to the best possible start
Useful links:
- BSI BIM Level 2 website -
- Scottish Futures website -
- MofJ BIM templates - click here
- EU BIM Handbook -

Two - Use standardised data structures as the project develops
Useful links:
- Classification -
- BIM Object Standard -

Three - Consider how emerging technologies can help you
I looked at AI and AR and the rise of the cloud and big data.

I then reflected back on the challenge that Rob Charlton set at the start of the conference about creating a 'Digital Clerk of Work'.

A couple of video sequences below, click play and then maximise the screen if you'd like to see them:
Structured digital data = greater clarity and transparency

Publish a coordinated model and specification to the cloud

Finally, we've just posted a great team case study on of a collaborative team working to BIM Level 2 on a school project. Short video interviews with the client, the contractors, architect, building service engineer and structural engineer. Please check it out and share:

After three days in Newcastle - I return to the Hamil Garden in Durham
Pr_20_93_52_81 Snow blocks ;)

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