#BIMsummit18 wrap up

It was 2006 when me and Claudio went to our first European BIM Summit, there in Barcelona. We were working for Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel, at the time: he was the BIM Manager and I was a BIM Coordinator and we were in the core of our implementation process. It seems like a lifetime ago […]

It was 2006 when me and Claudio went to our first European BIM Summit, there in Barcelona. We were working for Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel, at the time: he was the BIM Manager and I was a BIM Coordinator and we were in the core of our implementation process. It seems like a lifetime ago and in a certain way it was: two years in the virtual design and construction world, and many things can change.
We have a mandate for BIM in public procurement, in Italy, or at least we’re getting there. An ISO about BIM is being published. The UK is getting out of the EU. And on a personal side, we successfully pulled off the implementation of BIM for over 80 professionals in the previous Firm, helped them getting the ISO 9001 certification for their work in BIM, and moved on to more adventurous enterprises.

When Ignasi Pérez Arnal asked me if I wanted to contribute as a speaker in the fourth edition, we were more than glad to come back. If you’ve been following us on Twitter (here’s my contact and here’s Claudio’s), you’ve been updated live on the event that took place on March 8th and 9th in the beautiful AXA Auditorium on the Diagonal.

The summit has the tradition of inviting a Country as a Special Guest and this year the guests were German speaking Countries. The special host was no other than Patrick MacLeamy and I had the privilege of being keynote speaker for the morning of the second day. We of course wait to see the proceedings published and a huge thanks is due to Vangelis Rosios, for his incessant support, and to the fantastic crew of girls who followed the social media management throughout the whole event.

So let’s get down to business and see what was shown in this dense two days of works. The formula was to allow 20 minutes of speech for each contributor, and then 10 minutes of collective Q&A with the other members of his/her panel. It’s of course very difficult to stay within a boundary of 20 minutes without losing depth, so additional congratulations go to all the speakers who managed in this challenging task.
Here’s our personal top 5.

5. Rolf Jerving (dRofus). BIM for an intelligent Building Maintenance: An example from Oslo International Airport​. It is not common seeing a CEO pulling off a demo. Even more uncommon is seeing a CEO pulling off a demo this well. Good material and excellent use of a dataset from an actual project, which made everything more reliable, more interesting, more compelling. Other Software firms should take this as an example.
You can read all about the project here.

4. Paul Sweeny (Daqri). Augmented Reality Opportunities for Building Sector. You know what I think of the augmented reality helmet: it’s a nice proof of concept, but when we tried it on in Vegas my impression was negative. Still too heavy and completely unsafe to have workers wandering aimlessly around the construction site because, regardless the visor trying to be transparent, the truth is that they don’t really know where they are going. But hardware technology is moving just as fast as Software, if not faster, and here comes Daqri with a new device, more similar to Microsoft Hololens.
They showcased their success story with Autodesk and Mortenson. Take a look at the titles written on people’s helmets.

3. Shuguang Wang (Broad Sustainable Building). BAM method: 30 floors in 15 days. Straight from China, a story from people who don’t mess around. How do you build 30 floors in 15 days? How do you beat that record and build a hotel in six days? They are the guys everyone was talking about two years ago, but at the time everyone was showing the same single video without putting it into context. Through well placed content and inspirational time lapse videos, mr Wang showed us a brand new world. Really nice the stress on training: if you pre-assemble in factory, you can follow workers and provide a focused training when and where it matters.

2. Jack C.P. Cheng (ASCE, HKUST). Integrating BIM/GIS with IoT for Facility Management. I had the privilege of moderating his session, and the effort for Jack to stay within the 20 give minutes was huge, considering the incredible amount of research and actual applications he had to show. Even more astonishing so, considering this is a topic you often hear people talk about but rarely see anything tangible going on. Just take a look at his research work.

1. Thomas Vandenbergh (BESIX). Following a Work Breakdown Structure. The morning session for the first day was intense: between the roadmap for implementation in Germany, the focus on Austrian norms and the contribution from buildingSMART Switzerland, we had little time to breathe. The fresh air was provided by mr Vandenbergh who danced with us through the steps you might want to put in action if you want to favour the transition of a whole Country. «Standards and Visions are not enough: you need policies». Among his clever inputs, we remember the competency assessment matrix and the social networking platform to “find your nearest expert”.

Special Mentions

Fabián Calcagno (Miller & Co). Technical and Economic Conclusions about BIM Implementations in Large Corporations and Municipalities. Calcagno’s framework of thought revolves around the concept of technical and performance specifications in the realm of EIRs and BIM Execution Plans. The terms “procotol” and “standard” are used with different meaning than the one we are accustomed to here in the Old Continent, but if you manage to take a step back from terminology and put on hold that objection for a minute, you’ll see that there are some really clever inputs here. You can hear him talking about his vision here (sorry, it’s in Spanish).

K.P. Reddy and his outstanding incubator program for startups. You know the guy: he’s the one who wrote the book What you know about startups is wrong. He runs the BuiltTech program in Atlanta: shaping the future one initiative at the time. Or, more likely, lots of them. If you look at their website, you’ll see lots of interviews of people you might recognize, including one with Cannon Design director of VDC Brian Skripac.

Dejan Papic of Bentley Systems presented their Digital Advancement Academies: a program to share knowledge among contractors and throughout the supply chain, in order to deliver better outcomes, drive BIM standards, optimize workflows, advance innovation and best practices, and ultimately empowering cultural change. Last year the main event was in October at the Marina Bay in Singapore.

Elliott Crossley (BDP) with his inspirational piece about how Technology is the future of Architecture (but it won’t replace you): everything is about collaboration and enabling exchange, because when you bring great people together even greater things happen (the other way around also applies to when you bring shitty people together but don’t tell him). You might have seen him at the BIM Show Live 2017 and you can read his thoughts on his interview with BIM Crunch here.

Other Interesting Stuff

gamification. The hype we saw and were part of in the US, seems to have reached the Old World as well. Ilka May showed us the use of gaming technologies for the rendition of existing infrastructures. On that topic we already wrote in the handout for our class at Autodesk University and we’ll have a chance to get into even more detail at BILT North America at the beginning of August (yes, you heard us right: we are back with our class on the usage of gaming techniques in training). Apparently it’s going to be a topic for the BIM Summit of next year, so stay tuned.

Evening meeting at the Mussol. We were very happy to accept the invitation to sneak into the meeting of local experts and there we went, tired and happy and with a beer.

EuBIM Observatory report. An impressive work, done in collaboration with six other Countries, delivered a survey about national strategies, investments made and highlight projects in UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium and Italy. We were very proud to see Open Project featured on screen, with their excellent work on the Bulgari Jewel Factory.

What I did

We weren’t invited just to tweet, this time, although me and Claudio were happy to share the live streaming of the event for our fellow professionals and friends at home.

March 8th in the evening I had the pleasure of moderating the last session: BIM 4 O&M, FM and Smart contracts for efficient Real Estate. My guests were professor Rasso Steinmann, talking about The PCC BIM method for Operation and Maintenance Bodies (Prepare, Collaborate, Consolidate); Jack C.P. Cheng with his speech about the use of IoT in F&M; Fabián Calcagno.

March 9th in the morning, in front of a very engaged and extraordinarily awake audience, I had the honor of holding a keynote about BIM implementation. The whole event was live streamed and I’m not sure when the video will be made available, so meanwhile let me share my slides.

And thanks again to Fernando Ruiz Lacasa for sharing these really nice pictures with me.


March 8th was also the International Women’s Day and they were very active on that front too. Aside from the picture you might have seen with all of us, a set of four speakers from four countries was invited to share thoughts on the role of women in construction. They were Ilka May (Germany), Brigitta Shock (Switzerland), Gisela Santillana (Spain) and I did my bit in Italian, sharing my two cents. The video was live streamed on Facebook: you can see it here or here.

Finally, I spoke five minutes about the event and you already know how we see it: these kind of occasions are a great chance to step out from your everyday work and see things from a different perspective.

Thanks to the organization of the BIM Summit: you’ve been awesome; thanks to BIMcommunity for the coverage, you can read my interview here, thanks to David Barco Moreno and his amazing fellows of the local BIM Group. See you soon, everybody!

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