Friday 4 November 2011

Howitt Consultancy – What is BIM? Conference

Many thanks to the guys at Howitt Consultancy for inviting me to speak at their “What is BIM?” conference yesterday. It was great to get in front of a big audience of construction manufacturers again and talk about the changing world of CAD and specification with respect to BIM.

The day started with David Philp the Head of BIM Implementation for the UK Cabinet Office. And as always, David presented some inspirational slides.

There's always room for improvement in the industry...
Comparison to 7 years of feast and then famine in the Joseph story...
Don't be fearful of the government BIM strategy...
A light hearted look at when things go wrong...
If you want to watch a full David Philp presentation, here is below from our NBS BIM conference a few months ago:

Next was Nick Nisbet from buildingSMART. The government cannot mandate any proprietary software packages. So the data must be to open standards… And if you want to know about open standards, Nick has forgotten more about this subject than pretty much everyone else knows. Nick presented on BS 1192, the upcoming BS 8541 and IFC and COBie2.

Nick Allen and James Blood from Metz Architects then gave a live demo of the BIM  software package Autodesk Revit. Looking at a large building, the ease at which sections and plans automatically update when objects are modified really push the message home.

Steve Wright from Ramboll gave a BIM point of view from a structural engineer’s perspective. One stat that stood out was that through the use of BIM Ramboll have reduced RFIs by 80%. One particular case study that was used was the Ramboll Headquarters. I had the fortune of visiting this building –

Phil Palmer then presented from a contractors point of view. One striking stat from this presentation was that on their first BIM project they spent £25K on software and training but then saved £300K on construction. Phil was refreshingly honest on the drive to save money, this led to an animated Q+A session from the manufacturer audience on product substitution and how to maintain quality on D+B jobs.

I then presented NBS Create and the showing how rich-digital object orientated  information gives manufacturers real benefits. Especially those that decide now to be one of the early adopters.

Finally, Richard Blakesley from Howitt Consultancy said a few words on how manufacturers should take a step back and get their BIM strategy correct. Key messages included (a) ensure your information is interoperable and authored to standards and (b) ensure you own you BIM content so you can distribute through as many channels as possible.

A really good day.


  1. Thanks for the blog Stephen, the discussion on D&B and manufacturers/substitution made me smile. BiM will truly revolutionise how us manufacturers operate!

  2. Thanks from me too! I'm all for BIM management and BIM software. I think it can and will make a huge difference when it comes to manufacturers. The benefits are enormous!