Principal BIM Manager, Martin Cheung recently attended ‘BILT Europe’, the flagship event of Digital Built Week Europe.

The event welcomed a broad range of delegates who are tasked with designing, building, operating and maintaining the built environment across Europe. The event focused on BIM tools, BIM processes and workflows, as well as project and practice strategies.

As a ‘by users, for users’ international community event, BILT is dedicated to improving the way that the industry works together to create smarter solutions and a stronger, more sustainable built environment.

If you didn’t manage to make it to BILT, take a look at Martin’s top three take-aways from the event:

1. Computer Vision and Machine Learning for AEC

“By definition, in the Oxford Dictionary, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is re-interpreted very differently depending on which sector is providing the AI services. Based on this alone, the input of algorithms, analytics, statistics, heuristics and machine learning will be particularly biased towards a specific sector and or company.

“AI has been haunting my childhood dreams since the release of ‘The Terminator’ movie and has innately drawn my interest to how it can be incorporated into the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. It is clear that auto-generative design through AI will have a tall hurdle to overcome in AEC, in particular with respect to design, relative to the place of origin and its subsequent culture, morals and even superstition, which will either hinder or encourage the utilisation of such technologies.”

2. Taking Aim at Open Standards

“IFC (Industry Foundation Class) as a data model was conceived over 20+ years ago and is typically recognised by Building Information Modelling (BIM) capable tools. It is also used as the primary file format for exchanging, co-ordinating and maintaining geometric design and data. IFC4 was published six years ago as an ISO Standard and improvements and version progression will lead to the pending release of IFC5.

“This leads us to the COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) which can be published as an .xlsm file or IFC data file. If we look at the data itself and the ideology of ‘Open Standards’, classification is key. Unfortunately, there is not one classification system that suits all. Case and point, Uniclass 2015 for the UK and Omniclass for the US. Even with this year’s release of the BS EN ISO19650, there are also releases of regionalised Annexes because one standard cannot suit all.

“There is a common perception that IFC is not yet suited to complex infrastructure projects. However, regardless of authoring systems, IFC 2×3 with an agreed codification system such as Uniclass2015, or client specific classification coupled with our existing implementations can successfully be applied.”

3. Mental Health Awareness

“BILT focused on all aspects of technology’s end-user and not just on technology itself. The plenary which grabbed my attention most was the focus on mental health awareness. In our professional industry, this illness is at its peak and could continue to rise as our addiction to strive for faster, smarter, more efficient ways of doing things through the latest technology and gadgets continues to grow.

“The truth is, we can only complete one task at a time, using 100% of our concentration. Multi-tasking, using multiple technologies or gadgets at once will only reduce concentration on each task and cause mistakes; what we think is timesaving, could actually be taking us twice as long.

“In addition to this, I think it is important for us to remember that the functions behind our brains are millions of years old, designed for hunting, eating, sleeping and so on. In this 21st century ‘technology era’, we are stretched to process many more thoughts and balance our home and working lives. We all rely on technology to thrive, achieve and succeed, but we are losing the true ‘face to face’ connection and compassion which technology cannot return.”

A huge thanks to Topcon for providing Waldeck with a free ticket to be able to join the fantastic event.

If you would like to find out more about any of the topics discussed in this article, please don’t hesitate to drop Martin an email or give him a call on 08450 990285.