Wednesday 23 April 2014

BIM Show Live 2014 - Review

There was a strong NBS presence at the fourth annual BIM Show Live 2014. This year the location was Manchester as the UK’s largest BIM event moved up from London.

The traditional opening addresses were from BIM Show Live founder Rob Charlton and UK Government’s BIM Task Group’s David Philp. Both commented on how far the industry had moved in three years and spoke with optimism about the future of digital information, processes and technology.

The keynote speaker this year was Marc Priestley who worked as a senior member of the pit stop crew for McLaren for 10 years. The presentation gave a great insight into technology and process change in Formula One and some very interesting parallels with the construction industry were made.

1. The need to adopt for change
The biggest change in Formula One in the last twenty years was the banning of tobacco sponsorship. Practically overnight, the most significant funding stream was removed from the sport. Some teams did not survive. Other teams worked extremely hard to replace this ‘easy’ funding stream and adapted to the change. The slide below shows Lewis Hamilton celebrating showing off every single sponsor’s logo with his top zipped fully up (and sporting a watch that he quickly put on after the race). The Marlboro logo was replaced by Vodafone.

2. How to analyse your processes and improve them
Ten years a pit stop took just over 4 seconds. Now it takes just over 2 seconds. A video was shown where McLaren’s 2 second pit-stop allowed Jenson Button to beat Sebastian Vettel who only managed a 3 second pit-stop. This was only achieved through improved technology and a microscopic analysis of the process.

3. How cutting edge technology becomes the norm
Formula One is the pinnacle of motor racing. However, the latest technology in the sport eventually works its way down to family cars. Recent examples have been anti-lock brakes and hybrid electric/petrol engines. A parallel will be seen in the construction industry here as top quality visualisations, 3d printing, scanning, reusable object libraries and other cutting edge developments will soon be affordable and in the hands of all in the construction industry.
What are the parallels between Formula One and BIM?
The first NBS involvement of the day was at the lunchtime session where the 2014 National BIM Report findings were revealed.

Director of National BIM Library Ian Chapman presented the findings. Some photographs from the session are below:
Our 4th annual BIM report
What BIM information sources construction professionals turn to
For the first time a BIM tool is the most commonly used for generating drawings
An impressive 49% of those using BIM, download objects from NBS National BIM Library
What standards organisation using BIM look to
The full NBS National BIM Report 2014 may be downloaded for free at:

Ian also was one of the speakers at the session ‘what manufacturers need to know about BIM’.
Pragmatic advice was given on creating objects that satisfy the needs of BIM users and adhere to the latest standards. Advice was also delivered on what level of detail should be put in objects and how much information should be included and what information should be linked to. All good advice for a room full of construction product manufacturers.

To learn more about the NBS National BIM Library please visit:

How construction manufacturers can support designers and contractors in helping the industry meet its targets
I was also fortunate enough to have a class accepted and gave a live software demonstration of the NBS BIM ecosystem. It is always fun to do a live software demonstration as opposed to going through pre-prepared Powerpoint slides. The atmosphere of a ‘Tech Stage’ is always good too as you attract more people from the break out area as the presentation develops. As time was reasonably short I tried to keep the demonstration to three main themes:
  1. How to coordinate modelled information with specification information using plug-in technology for system, component, material and 2D objects.
  2. How specification information can be referenced and viewed from the linked objects in the model.
  3. How NBS are giving functionality that they use internally on National BIM Library away for free to users that create their own objects and want to stamp standard NBS and office master properties into their own objects.
For more information on the NBS BIM ecosystem see:

The NBS Lakeside Restaurant video still going strong after two years
Standing room only at the back of the Tech Stage
Finally, check out the fun, innovative use for National BIM Library objects we demonstrated on our stand:

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