The 18th October saw the 2nd of what has become one of the major events in the UK Building Information Modelling (BIM) Calendar, the ICE BIM 2012 Conference in London. The theme of this year’s conference was on realising the efficiencies within the construction industry where BIM is being implemented and utilised.
One thing that was apparent was how far not only the adoption and use of BIM (from the case-studies and anecdotal evidence from delegates) had come on in one year, but also how far the knowledge of the subject, and willingness to accept new BIM ideas and technologies had progressed since the previous conference.
Stephen Hamil, director of BIM at NBS made the point during his presentation that the industry is increasingly thinking in terms of sharing and linking openly information in “The Digital Construction Age”, rather than a year ago when the main discussions centered on what BIM actually was. A look back at a tweet from the 2011 conference showed that the speakers talked of an industry needing to move from a document-centric view to a data-centric view. ICE BIM 2012 demonstrated that this move is happening.
This was also evident from the type of questions coming from the audience, and from the content of the presentations. Delegates and speakers were talking about data sharing, integration, COBie as an information exchange format (not just an Excel spreadsheet to fill in) and BIM as a mindset for good, collaborative information sharing practices and logically structured content, rather than an expensive piece of software to show nice 3D visualisations.
The afternoon session had two panel discussions, the first on whether BIM levels the playing field for SME’s involvement in bigger projects, and the second on the initiatives by the professional bodies to collaborate and describe what they have achieved to date. This included a summary of the new RIBA Plan of Work 2013 from the RIBA Large Practice Group Chair Dale Sinclair.
One of the most interesting sections of the day was the presentation of a number of case studies, all adopting to varying degrees a BIM approach, and the advantages that brought. These included:
- BIM on the Blackfriars Station Redevelopment: Gary Furphy/Chris Cann, Jacobs
- The Ministry of Justice’s BIM Trialling level of 2 BIM: Terry Stocks, Head of Project Deliver Unit, MOJ
- The Challenges faced in transitioning a practice to BIM: Abelardo M. Tolentino Jr., Aidea Philippines Inc.
- BIM and Crossrail: Malcolm Taylor, Head of Technical Information, Crossrail
- Collaborative Technology and Process as a Foundation to BIM on the Stockholm Bypass: Jan Thorén, ÅF Consult and Mike Clarke, URS Infrastructure & Environment Ltd.
Expertly chaired throughout by Mark Bew, the industry message from ICE BIM 2012 can be summarised by Paul Morell, the Government’s Chief Construction Advisor, who left us with this message from his keynote speech:
“Collaboration, Integration and Innovation”
Or as Jan Thorén of ÅF Consult summed up in his Stockholm Bypass study:
(Extremely effective cooperation)
For more thoughts on ICE BIM 2012, see the constructioncode blog by Dr. Stephen Hamil, director of BIM at NBS, who has also written about the day: