Wednesday 19 December 2012

2012 - A year of BIM

I am having the last two weeks before Christmas in the office up in Newcastle.  This gives me a little bit of time to catch breath and look back on a year of getting out and about and speaking on the topic of structured data for the construction industry. BIM - and how our products such as NBS Create and National BIM Library are trying to support this.

So, ten BIM events to remember below...

1. January - London Revit User Group
Drew and I were asked to come and speak to a few Revit users in London about our upcoming National BIM Library by Case Design Inc's David Light. This turned out to be a bigger event than I had expected as the UK Government's Chief Construction Advisory Paul Morrell turned out to be the other speaker. After the event, I found out that 200 people had actually signed up for the 100 spaces.

A message from Paul I remember, "If your business plan is 'sit tight and wait for the good times to return' then you are going to fail".

2. February - RICS BIM Conference, London
2. BIM Report
The first of the big BIM conferences of the UK calendar was from RICS, Paul Morrell (again), Mark Bew and Simon Rawlinson all delivering the Government's message. From the private sector there was also presentations from Balfour Beatty, John Lewis and Rider Levett Bucknall.

I had the job of presenting a preview of our findings in the 2012 National BIM Report. The key finding was that the number of construction professionals using BIM had risen from 13% at the end of 2010 to 31% at the end of 2011.

3. March - Ecobuild, [2], [3], London
3. NBS Create launch
Ecobuild was huge. We had a joint RIBA and RIBA Enterprises "village" and launched a number of offerings. NBS Create  National BIM Library  National BIM ReportRIBA CPD, CIS v4, BRAD iPhone app and our TSB iCIM research were all presented. The picture to the right is of the Newcastle staff linking up on a live video feed for the launch of NBS Create.

There was also the "Better with BIM" sessions that were part of the main seminar series. This was standing-room-only. One of the most interesting sessions was one looking into BIM and interoperability.

4. April - ThinkBIM, Leeds
4. OpenBIM Dave Jellings
Just down the A1 from Newcastle/Durham the team at Leeds Met run the fantastic "ThinkBIM" series of events. Claire from Leeds asked me to chair these this year - and the event in April had a fantastic set of speakers who had been persuaded to come "up north".

The topic of this particular event was "Open BIM". Speakers from the BIM Task Group included Nick Nisbet on open standards and Adam Matthews on training. Dave Jellings launched the Open BIM Network and what seemed like the "who's who in BIM event" was topped off with sessions from Rob Jackson Bond Bryan, James Austin BIM Technologies and George Mokhtar BIM Academy.

5. June - Czech BIM Day, Prague
5. BIM in the UK
The news of the NBS work around BIM seems to have spread a little internationally, and I was invited to Prague to do the keynote address on "Made in UK: BIM". Prague was beautiful and either side of the conference day I had a little time to see the city.

The conference had speakers from Czech, Scandinavia and Germany (with headphone translations). But there was a real buzz around BIM in the UK. Dr Tuba Kocaturk from Salford Uni and Richard Shennan from Mott MacDonald from the UK also presented.

6. September - BIM Summit Qatar, [2], Doha
6. BIM market analysis
Looking back through July and August it seems it was a little quiet (although we did have an excellent National BIM Library user feedback day). But September, it was back on the aeroplane again and this time to Doha Qatar.

With an enormous amount of construction work about to start linked with the 2022 World Cup there was no shortage of people willing to travel to this event organised by buildingSMART Middle East. The Vice President of Autodesk was a speaker, Exec Director of NIBS USA, Chief Exec of Solibri and Synchro. But again, like Prague in June, it was "what's happening in the UK?" that really seemed to catch the imagination. Lee Zebedee from Ramboll UK,  Mott Macdonald's Derek Murray and Nigel Clark from Hilson Moran all did fantastic presentations.

7. October - RIBA Insight for Manufacturers, Manchester
7. BIM at NBS
After speaking to designers, contractors and clients for most of the year, October saw the first of our manufacturer-facing conferences. There were speakers from the RIBA Journal, RIBA CPD and also sessions on creating great websites.

However, the BIM session was particularly strong. A number of the manufacturers were new to BIM. So to help understand we had David Miller from DMA presenting from an architect's point of view and then Kevin Lloyd from Balfour Beatty representing contractors. Finally Bill Gibson from Kingspan Insulation presented on their BIM journey. Kingspan Insulation were the first manufacturers to launch their objects on the National BIM Library. A show of hands at the end of the session indicated that well over half of the manufacturers in the audience intended to be delivering BIM objects within 12 months.

8. November - Autodesk Conference, London
8. Matthews, Bhandal, Campbell
One of the highlights of the BIM year is always the Autodesk Conference. Mark Bew and Paul Morrell again delivered the UK Government's message. Autodesk Vice President Phil Bernstein was full of praise for what Mark and Paul have done, “In three years the UK had achieved what had taken 10 years in the US and 12 years in Scandinavia”.

Guest speaker Alastair Campbell was very interesting to listen to also. Lots of tips around change management and agreeing strategy, “Developing strategy is about having arguments – not avoiding them”.

9. November [also] - BIMForFree, London
9. BIM for free
There seemed to be a number of pretty expensive construction industry conferences in the space of a few months. Graham Stewart and Nigel Davies decided that what was needed was a half day get-together where people could talk about what they were doing for free. One hour later, 100 people were booked up for a session at Ramboll London.

Phillippe Sauvageot from Mace Group presented on his experience taking part on the openBIM COBie trial (results out very soon). Also sessions from David Light (Case), Casey Rutland (Arup), Rebecca De Cicco (KSS Group) and Graham and Nigel themselves.

10. December - BSI BIM, Manchester
10. Mr Bew
The last event for me of the year was the BSI BIM conference in Manchester. it was an honour to be on the top table for the first session alongside Mark Bew and Dave Philp discussing the data requirements for UK Government.

Mervyn Richards and Marek Suchocki who both sit on the B/555 BIM standards committee talked British Standards in use and in development. Nick Nisbet finished the year off with an interactive session on open standards and BIM. It's also really nice at events like to meet up with people you have followed on twitter and then finally meet in person (one more hyperlinked name drop - Elrond Burrell).

...and finally...

...half way through writing this list I have realised I forgot a few - so some quick mentions... (11.) BIM Show Live which was a fantastic two days - blog post one and blog post two. ...and of course there was our (12.) NBS NLA BIM conference - all presentations from this available online.

...and finally, finally the (13.) ICE BIM Conference too. The best use of technology to support a conference all year - Tweet Walls, iPad for questions and interactive voting buttons.

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