Category: BIM 4 Clients

Clients, certification and the future – three important views on BIM

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Wednesday 14th June 2017

Twilight Seminar

17:30 to 20:00

Calverley Building, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds

CLINK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE (diverts to Leeds Beckett online store)

We like to think of thinkBIM as the go-to place for great digital learning and this month we certainly feel we have put together a great line up of speakers.

Helen Thompson, Executive R&D Consultant at Gleeds and BIM Regional Champion for East Midlands will be talking on how Gleeds are helping clients to adopt BIM on projects, the lessons learnt to date and her views on what the next steps for industry should be.

Adam Horne, Business Development Manager, Construction and BIM at BSI will be outlining the BSI BIM Kitemark scheme and their BIM Verification Certificates that BSI have developed in line with the government’s Level 2 mandate.

We all know digital delivery is about the use of standards but how can you be sure that the businesses you work with really understand their roles and responsibilities?

George Mokhtar, Associate Director and Head of BIM at Turner & Townsend UK, offers us a view of the digital future speeding towards us – we need to talk about Level 3.

How might businesses need to change their views, plans and attitude to BIM/digital as they deliver assets that will be operated in a Level 3 environment?

BOOKINGS

Click here to book your place! (diverts to Leeds Beckett online store)

Process, Case Study & a Red Kite: how SES is using BIM – Wednesday 1st March 17

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Not our most succinct event title but three linked presentations covering a good number of the current BIM issues. Originally we had hoped that CIBSE would present on the new BIMHawk tool that has been developed but at fairly short notice they had to pull out of presenting. But never ones to let a little thing like losing a speaker thinkBIM called upon its fantastic network of BIM professionals and immediately plugged the gap with Nick Tune, CEO of CoBuilder in the UK.

However to start the evening it was great to get a presentation and live demonstration from Gavin Dunstan, BIM Operations Manager from our series sponsors SES Engineering Services. Gavin shared a great overview of how SES Engineering Services have adopted BIM to suit their requirements as well as how they have progressed to embed more and more digital workflows into their businesses as well as using these to collaborate with their customers on projects.

For some reason live demonstrations often turn into a fraught strategy for presentations – in theory why would anything go wrong with the software you use all the time but for some reason adding in an audience into the same room and the software always seems to make things a bit more risky!! However, with his colleague Richard driving the laptop, Gavin’s demonstration of Autodesk BIM360 ran smoothly.

As mentioned at the top of this post our second speaker was Nick Tune, CEO of CoBuilder UK and a great data enthusiast. Nick is always good value and opened with a great slide of a TV remote – and perhaps what we really need them to do – with the opening question ‘What data do you need?’

Nick went on to give the audience a great overview on how to define, procure and confirm data in the BIM process using COBie, PLQs, PDTs, PDS and the LEXiCON project with the BRE.

This month’s twilight seminar was chaired by the good friend of thinkBIM, regional chair of CIBSE and major CPD logger – Simon Owen from Calibre Search. As well as keeping everything to time and asking some great questions he has also created a great Storify of our event too which can be viewed at the link below.

 

 

 

Connecting Project Data beyond the site – Thoughts from June #tbim2016

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On Wednesday 1st June 2016 we held our second operations and in-use BIM seminar which focussed on the wider application of built environment digital data and how it can be usefully shared and utilised. ThinkBIM steering group member Paul Wilkinson shares his thoughts on the evening below.

 

Paul WilkinsonOpen Data, BIM and the Semantic Web

Guest Post by Paul Wilkinson. (Please note this post first appeared on Extranet Evolution on 2nd June – link here)

The latest ThinkBIM ‘twilight’ seminar, held in Leeds yesterday (1 June 2016), looked at the wider application of data relating to the built environment. Too many BIM events focus purely on the creation and use of data within a built asset project team; some extend the discussion to look at reuse of data for facility management, operation and maintenance; but few BIM events look at how some BIM and other built environment data might be connected to other data or even made more widely available, perhaps as open data.

Becoming more open

So far as BIM is concerned, the UK government’s 2011 insistence on BIM processes generating “open shareable asset information” is often assumed simply to be about ensuring data is interoperable: capable of being shared between different applications, operating systems and IT hardware. However, the first word is also strongly linked with the UK government’s wider digital agenda – the February 2015 Digital Built Britain strategy (strongly endorsed in the recent 2016 Government Construction Strategy and leading us towards BIM Level 3), for example, is not just about construction, but a fusion of industry strategies relating also to business and professional services, future cities and the information economy.

Discussions about open data are increasingly common, particularly in the UK, where the government has set out to be a world leader in creation and reuse of open data (it recently ranked first in an Open Data Barometer league table of international performance), with data valued as a key part of our national infrastructure (however, in December 2015, the Open Data Institute wrote an open letter to Lord Adonis, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, arguing data is not being given “the same importance as our road, railway and energy networks were given in the industrial revolution and are still given now”).

The government’s open data push is being realised both centrally and locally, and is predicated on a belief in greater transparency, in ‘Government as a Platform’, giving tax-payers access to their data and other information derived from government investment in public services and assets. As well as central government’s National Information Infrastructure and Data.gov.uk, several local authorities have launched open initiatives, some creating dashboards sharing metrics generated from open datasets (look at the London Datastore, Open Glasgow, Leeds Data Mill, Bath:Hacked and Open Data Bristol, for example).

Open is everywhere

In addition to BIM-related open data conversations, I have attended Constructing Excellence meetings about open data (read Ben Pritchard’s blog post); I am part of an EthosVO-led, Innovate UK R&D project (SkillsPlanner) using open linked data as a resource to help address construction skills shortages; and I have led conversations in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations about the need for communicators to be more data-literate, more aware of open data issues and opportunities.

However, yesterday’s ThinkBIM event (held at AQL’s datacentre housed in a former chapel – now the beeping digital heart of Leeds) was more focused on the built environment challenges and opportunities.

  • While commonly regarded as a mapping organisation, Ordnance Survey’s core skills are in data, technology and interconnections. Echoing the Association for Geographical Information’s recent Foresight report (post), Ordnance Survey’s Paul Griffiths described geospatial data as the ‘glue’ connecting data about built assets to other data about the environment and about social aspects of the areas around those built assets. in February 2015, OS launched OpenMap, a new digital map bringing open geospatial data to mobile and web platforms. Then, using examples drawn from Thames Water projects undertaken using the ‘Semantic BIM’ platform provided by SaaS vendor GroupBC (formerly better known as Business Collaborator), Griffiths showed how data about existing building types and heights, flood risks, crime, employment and education could be used to augment existing decision-making tools (“project design need no longer happen in splendid isolation”).
  • ODI Leeds’ Tom Forth showed various examples of data captured by Leeds City Council and made open, including a powerful example of how public building energy use could be cross-referenced with IT data relating to office occupancy to demonstrate when and where energy savings might be made (making “ten million lines of data” open, he said, also helped make that data usable and bridged gaps that previously existed between FM and IT departmental silos). Datasets about empty buildings, housing density and open spaces could also be accessed to inform public debates about housing shortages and planning decisions.
  • GroupBC’s CTO Steve Crompton then provided a ‘RetroBIM’ critique of legacy information, suggesting around 98% of current built asset data was effectively trapped in drawings and documents held in internal file-sharing systems, not lodged in databases where they could be used as a basis for decision-making (“Let’s democratise some of that data, put it in the cloud,” he said). He briefly described how GroupBC’s Semantic BIM platform could provide vital contextual data to support efficient decision-making for planning, designing, constructing and operating built assets.

dataspectrum

During the panel discussion, it was clear security, commercial confidentiality and personal privacy concerns all need to be addressed in selecting what data might be made open (the Open Data Institute has a useful ‘data spectrum’ diagram showing the continuum from closed to open data). But Tom Forth stressed many bodies currently hold huge volumes of dormant data that could be made open (surely, such data will only have value if someone does something with it?).

Government departments are already opening up some of their data reserves so that they can be explored and exploited. In June 2015, DEFRA, one of the most data-rich departments in Whitehall, opened up thousands of datasets so that they could be more widely used to improve the quality of our natural environment.

It was also clear that the industry currently known as construction is still at an early stage in not just its BIM journey (the BIM Level 2 deadline passed less than two months ago) but also in its open data journey. To re-use an argument I’ve given in recent lectures and conference keynotes, we have only just started to move from “common paper environments” to “common data environments” – and open data is part of the more long-term BIM Level 3 picture (is it just a coincidence that the ‘semantic web’ is sometimes referred to as Web 3.0).

groupbclogoGroupBC: semantic BIM differentiation

I speak regularly to the main SaaS collaboration vendors active in the UK, and GroupBC is the only one actively developing semantic web capabilities. That is not to say that rivals aren’t thinking about integration between their platforms and other information systems – APIs are a key part of Viewpoint’s roadmap, I heard at last week’s customer summit, for example – but GroupBC is pioneering the use of linked data to build new products and enhance the capabilities of existing tools.

Its ‘Semantic BIM’ technology moves beyond the typical uses of BIM for visualisation, clash detection, construction sequencing, etc, and opens up a potentially huge web of related data, from ‘location intelligence’, to data shared by or licensed from other commercial or public bodies, and to data held in internal corporate systems. BIM, therefore, becomes just part of a bigger built asset data picture – the semantic web allows teams to exploit far richer seams of data, potentially unearthing vital ‘nuggets’ of information for accurate and timely decision-making.

Group BC have also written an excellent post on their own blog about their work with Semantic Web – please check it out at the link below. http://www.groupbc.com/blog/2016/06/03/connecting-project-data-beyond-the-site-boundary-thinkbim-2016/

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A selection of the best tweets and images can be found at the storify below. Please keep checking back as presentations will also be available shortly.

ThinkBIM’s next half-day conference, focused on BIM for operation and in-use, is at Squire Patton Boggs new offices in Leeds on Wednesday 6 July 2016 – more details to follow.

BSI BIM Conference 2nd December 2014 #BISBIM2014

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Write-up by thinkBIM ambassador, Duncan Reed (@djhreed67)

On December 2nd I wandered along the banks of the Thames, through a very damp London to my second BSI BIM Conference. It had been twelve months since I last attended and BSI has been very busy publishing BIM guidance in the shape of PAS 1192-3:2014 and BS 1192-4:2014 not to mention the even more recent announcement of PAS 1192-5 for Data Security and the fact that our chair, Richard Waterhouse, is also in charge of the NBS-led consortia charged with delivering the Digital Plan of Works and ‘completing’ classification in the form of Uniclass2. But those two little tasks were for another day.

As is traditional for the start of any UK BIM Conference the proceeding opened with Dave Philp (@thephilpster) Director of BIM at Aecom and BIM Task Group, setting the scene, reviewing progress to date and outlining the brave journey into Level 3 – sometime.

davephilppresentationImage from David Philp presentation

Our second speaker was Anne Kemp (@ACKEMPO), Director, BIM Strategy and Development at Atkins for some fantastic, informative, telling and challenging words on BIM as behavioural change. If BIM really is 80% people and process; 20% technology it does make me wonder why we don’t have more people like Anne explaining how to manage this seismic shift in the way construction should be managed and delivered. If you get an opportunity to hear her speak my advice is grab the chance. If you can’t then read this book she recommended – Mind Change: How digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains by Susan Greenfield.

 

annekemppresentation-cropped

Image from Anne Kemp presentation

After Anne I heard my first ever ‘Security Issues in BIM’ presentation by Alex Luck, Principal of A Luck Associates. BIM may be all about collaboration and sharing but what happens if the data gets into the wrong hands. Some real challenges here for the industry to grapple with – particularly when some are still trying to hold onto data rather than even share in the first place. I hope data security doesn’t get hijacked as a reason by some not to do BIM. The PAS 1192-5 draft for consultation is due out early in the New Year.

Before our first coffee break we were treated to an overview of the 1192 family by Mervyn Richards, OBE, and Director of Avanti Partnership. Merv gave a great review of where we have come, what we’ve achieved and what is still to be done. Key message from him –

“You can’t do Level 2 yet – all the documents aren’t yet in place!”

Coffee break over and we returned to our fourth floor basement business suite to hear Paul Oakley (@OakleyCAD), Associate Director BIM at the BRE explain what the BRE has to offer individuals and businesses for BIM training and support. But Level 2 certification? Hmmm.

Next up was my old Balfour Beatty Group friend Andy Powell (@ajbpow), Head of Building Information Modelling at Parsons Brinckerhoff. Andy gave a great overview on how a business needs to define BIM goals as well as frameworks for a Digital Strategy. PB have adopted the hashtag #digitalpotential More information at their website (and the video) http://pbworld.com/digitalpotential/

 

andykemppresentation

Image from Andy Powell presentation

Rob Manning gave a great overview on PAS 192-3 and in particular the role of the client whilst David Churcher provided some really useful examples of how this document can be implemented. His examples of what Organisational Information Requirements (OIRs) might actually look like were really useful.

davechurcherpresentation

Image from David Churcher presentation

Keeping up?……… just about but fortunately we all had an opportunity to break for lunch, network, or just catch up with BIM colleagues.

Two o’clock and we were all back in our chairs to here Jon Kerbey, Head of Management Systems on HS2 and the man charged with delivering BIM on this scheme. HS2 has already published a BIM Upskilling report this year and Jon outlined some of the finding. Have to say they sound optimistic to my mind but let’s hope UK construction really does rise the challenge of delivering HS2. Their full report can be found at http://assets.hs2.org.uk/sites/default/files/HS2%20Supply%20Chain%20BIM%20Upskilling%20Study%2013-06-14.pdf

After Jon we were treated, and I use the word wisely, to a shock and awe presentation worthy of Dave Philp or even Paul Morell. Nigel Davies  (@NigelPDavies), Director at Evolve, pulled no punches in de-mystifying, de-bunking and generally giving BIM a good roughing up. But in particular businesses over-complicating BIM and over-stating their abilities were his key targets. Let’s get Level 1 right, a sentiment that has been echoed less vocally by previous speakers too. His statistics on where construction think they are, and where they actually are, on the Bew-Richards BIM wedge put me in mind of the BIM analogies with teenage sex.

BIM is like teenage sex

Everyone talks about it…

Nobody really knows how to do it

Everyone thinks everyone else is doing it

So everyone claims they are doing it!

The final speaker the delegates were treated too, after another dose of caffeine and cake, was Nic Nisbet @nicknisbet – the personification of COBie for the UK(?). Nic gave a great overview of the recently published BS1192-4 Code of Practice in his usual dry manner. Also good to hear that COBie for Infrastructure guidance/case studies are due out soon too.

All the days Twitter events have been captured by the Storify link below  https://storify.com/djhreed67/bsi-bim-conference-london-2nd-december-2014

But the last part of the day was handed over to the delegates for a group discussion session. We were split into 5 groups and asked to review the following questions

15.50 – 16.30 Table discussions

How to improve the effectiveness of processes on projects?

How would you promote BIM as a natural progression within the organisation?

Commitment to BIM – what do we need to do – BIM shopping list

So with a group of about 19 we attempted to answer these questions in the time allowed. What did we end up with? A wide-ranging BIM discussion, pretty much around these points but not necessarily being focussed enough to answer the questions, ensued. Despite not having my trusty bundle of Sharpies from last year I was voted in (??) as Group 3 scribe and presenter.

So, in the true style of BIM as a disruptive technology I amended questions to better fit the answers we were identifying.

How to improve the effectiveness of processes on projects?

How would you promote BIM as a natural progression within the organisation?

Commitment to BIM – what do we need to do – BIM shopping list

So re-focussing the question to an answer of

Improve processes, promote BIM (get) commitment

But as a more full answer and summary of discussions we came up with the following response for our Chair, Richard Waterhouse.

  • It’s all about people – and businesses need to determine who is best placed in their business to deliver BIM (it’s not necessarily the IT Manager – remember BIM is a process not technology)
  • We are looking at a paradigm shift, we can’t just tinker around the edges – a great point made by Andy Powell, Parsons Brinckerhoff, in his presentation earlier in the day.
  • Change needs to start with the individual, a person needs to want to change in the first instance. But change also needs to happen at all levels with business leaders giving leadership
  • Businesses need to understand, and address, the fear of change. Change management is vital for BIM to succeed.

Nigeldaviestweet-cropped

  • Businesses need to identify problems, they are normally too quick to offer solutions.
  • Businesses also need to learn to work better with new tools; but these tools need to be appropriate!!
  • Businesses also need to plan for change a long time before the change is going to occur. You just can’t rock up for a project start up meeting and expect to deliver BIM. Also remember that one size most definitely does not fit all – solve the issues not the symptoms.
  • Be aware that some changes will happen so rapidly that there is no time to consider them – let them happen!
  • Still be mindful of commercial realities. The group had a long discussion on the (usual) subject of Capex and Opex. But still very valid at present for the industry. Get the Capex and Opex trams together, shake them up and bring out the best from them both. Don’t think of projects, think of assets, in fact don’t even think of assets think of portfolios. But when thinking this way people and businesses still need to ensure that the micro and macro scales are still aligned.
  • BIM is business transformation – as an industry we all manage projects, BIM is ‘just’ another project to manage.

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