Wednesday 1 May 2013

BIM Show Live 2013

BIM Show Live 2013 has just ended. It goes from strength-to-strength - and with 600+ delegates this year it probably has now crept into the lead as the UK's biggest BIM event.

Looking back on the two days, I maybe didn't get the chance to see as many classes as I'd have liked - too much time spent demonstrating our BIM content and software at our stand (which I love doing). So this blog post isn't particularly content heavy - but a few pictures below to give a taster of what it was like.

1. The event
The event was held at the fantastic venue the Park Plaza on the opposite side of The Thames to Big Ben. As gold sponsors, we had a great NBS stand in the main communal area from which we demonstrated NBS Create and National BIM Library.
BIM Show Live
The NBS exhibition stand
The event itself opened in style - lights, music and David Philp Cabinet Office/Mace Group giving an inspirational speech. Rob Charlton CEO of Space Group then welcomed the delegates and gave a "state of the industry address". One slide in particular was put out there to provoke discussion. What professions are leading the way and what professions are lagging behind when it comes to BIM adoption? From what I remember the slide showed:
  • In denial - Quantity Surveyors
  • Resistance - FM, M+E, Manufacturers
  • Exploration - Main contractors, Architects, Sub contractors
  • Commitment - Clients, Structural Engineers
Obviously there will be exceptions within each profession up and down the curve. But if anyone has any views based on their experience - please add comments to this post.

It was also really good to see the "Class of your own" BIM kids demonstrate their secondary school construction projects looking at BIM. Great that the next generation got this showcase platform and maybe a little push for the current generation to adapt.
@SpaceGroupRob - The State of the Nation 2013
Back in the Exhibition Hall it was good to catch up with Soluis and see how they continue to progress our NBS Lakeside model in their interactive environment. And back at the NBS stand, BIM 2050 member and Technical Author Stefan Mordue had the media interest - talking about BIM innovation and future gazing.
Soluis with the beautiful NBS Lakeside model designed by our friends at HOK using National BIM Library
The next Kevin McCloud
One thing that was really nice to see was really intelligent debate around IFC and Open BIM. No extreme drum banging on either side of the argument - just great sensible analysis. I managed to catch a good portion of the Metz Architects, the Rob Jackson/Nigel Davies and the Adam Ward classes. The Metz/BIM Academy work on using IFC to transfer parametric objects was fascinating (and something NBS are involved in with Prof Lockley). The #LockleyIFCChallenge "B I M !" model was demonstrated. Can this be used for IFC certification? Maybe ten points for each geometry type, points for property sets, points for colour display? This would give a #LockleyIFCChallenge score out of 100 for each geometric BIM tool starting next year?

Rob and Nigel's session looked at real life project BIM and the challenges and successes of transferring data "warts and all" using IFC. Finally, Adam looked at a real life project BIM and how as BIM technology specialists they have taken data through to a SQL FM database using bespoke software and exports.

My favourite quote from all of this was Rob Jackson, "It's nice to be able to talk about IFC without people throwing things at me" :) How things have changed in just 12 months.

Oh, and I also did my Technology Hall live demo showing IFC from a geometric model being augmented with key performance data from the NBS Create spec. Maybe this is one for another (video) blog post.
The ACID3 test for BIM geometry tools
The IFC and COBie debate continues - where it will be 12 months from now?
...and of course, it was work hard - play hard - so a few pictures below from the fun side of things...

2. Cool Britannia
I've been down in London a bit recently. I always love walking around whenever I can and not taking the tube. One or two pictures below...
Graffiti at Old Street
The old and the new - what a great City
Love walking along the Thames
3. Retro Technology
There has been a lot of twitter chat from the #VeteranBIMCrew about the olden days. Nice to see some old  computers and game consoles on display. Even though the BBC B was not plugged in - I sat by it and typed into the (not switched on) keyboard and re-lived the old days of 10 PRINT "STEPHEN" and 20 GOTO 10. Also the feel of the keys under the fingers of Z and X and ? and @ for left, right, down and up as if I was on Mr Doo or Sabre Wolf brought a smile to the face.
Nostalgic tears came to the eyes

In fairness, this was always a bit crap :)
Back to being a student at Uni in 1992 - Where are the Pot Noodles?
4. #BIMPartyLondon
...and squashed into all of this there was *still* time for some banter and a beer or two. One or two people commented on how good the camaraderie is in the BIM community even though many organisations are competing hard...
Nice of Pizza Express to match the wall paper to Mordue's shirt
Cannot understand him and he's very hairy. Chewbacca and Storm Trooper meet senior members of UK BIM Task Group

The best sport in the business. DP gets 3D laser scanned after a few beers.
The secret to success in BIM - change your first name to "Rob"
...and a final thought. 40 years on... are we getting closer to achieving the following? (this is the inlay from the very first 1973 NBS). Maybe we are but now using well-structured data and intelligent software?
Coordinate your project information throughout the project timeline


  1. I always favored Q, A, O, P for up, down, left and right, with the space bar for fire. I'm having Manic Miner flashbacks now!

    1. Martyn,

      I'm thinking... Chuckie Egg, Elite, Way of the Exploding Fist, Castle Quest, Fortress, L, Jet Set Willy, Overdrive, Repton, Strykers Run, Football Manager and Yie Ar Kung-Fu.

  2. Great to hear some positive discussion around IFC and openBIM.

    I'm part of a small M+E consultancy thinking about BIM implementation and I'm currently looking into the solutions that are available and affordable. OpenBIM is going to key to helping us use BIM effectively.

    A good example is that there's a tool to allow IFC files to be loaded into the open source animation editor Blender. This is going to allow us to generate high quality visualisations at a much lower cost than otherwise.