BIM Show Live 2011 – Introducing the CAD Setter Out

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This week I had a great time at BIM Show Live, run by Building Design Magazine and _Space Group.

BIM show live was organised in response to the new requirements from the UK Government that BIM will be the deliverable on all Government projects from 2015. Rob Charlton of _Space Group set up the conference to show how Architects, Designers and Contractors are using BIM right now.

I was most flattered to have been invited to talk as a representative of the Interior fit out contractor, showing off what we are doing with Autodesk Inventor at Beck Interiors and discussing how we are preparing to support the BIM process.

Digital Cabinetmaking at BIM show Live

The day started early for me – lugging boxes of Beck ‘folio’ books up to the top floor of the Business Design centre, along with my entire desktop PC (it took me long enough to get a 64bit PC – asking for a 64bit Laptop just to do a presentation just seemed like I might be asking too much…) By the time the key note speeches started I was ready for a sit down!

It was great to hear about the Government’s stance on BIM first hand from keynote speaker David Philp, the Cabinet Office’s Head of BIM Implementation. We can all be re-assured that the Government are remaining software neutral. In the first instance all the Government are after as a deliverable is the COBie spread sheet (an Excel file) or an IFC model. This will give the Government better information to plan their operations, maintenance, and management of facility assets more effectively, which will help them drive down running costs.

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Just delivering dozens of boxes of paper plans as an O&M manual will no longer cut it. The client has begun to realise just how much information can be made easily available to them via a 3D model.

The second keynote speaker was Rob Charlton, Chief Executive officer of _Space Group, who gave a great presentation on what BIM actually means. If you get the chance, you should go and hear Rob speak. He has a great talent for telling complicated stories in a simple and direct manner. The real takeaway from Rob’s presentation is that, over the last 60 years, costs in Manufacturing have gone down – and productivity has gone up. In the same period, costs in building construction have gone up – and productivity has gone down. There is something here for us all to think about.

I was lucky enough to see some great speakers during the day at BIM show live. David Light, associate BIM manager of HOK gave us a great session on Varsari/Revit’s parametric form finding tools ( I wish we could panel surfaces in Inventor quite so easily!).

Colin Outhwaite and John MyHill from Laing O’ Rourke showed us how they are using Navisworks for checking and coordinating BIM output from the consultants to the fabricators.

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Monika Bilska and Brian Dale of Zaha Hadid Architects gave an impressive presentation, which included showing how they had been using Digital Projects (Catia) to create 3D models of their iconic buildings.

Paul Munford a.k.a The CAD Setter Out - speaking at BIM show live

For the first time ever I also got up on stage and gave a presentation. I talked about Digital Prototyping, what it is and how it benefits us at Beck Interiors. I also talked about the similarities  between digital prototyping and BIM and discussed how we can deliver 3D models alongside the traditional 2D drawings to aid in the BIM process.

I rattled through my material, left chunks out and got completely over excited, but thankfully the audience had plenty of questions for me so the presentation lasted the full hour!

After the event, with a beer in hand, it was confided in me that the selection of speakers had simply been based on finding the geekiest CAD geeks that could be found in each given field of the construction industry. This is a group that I am proud to be considered part of.

I’d like to thank Andrew Handley, for introducing me to James Austin and Adam Ward of BIM technologies who nominated me to speak at BIM show live. Rob Charlton and the team from BD magazine for organizing the event and Andrew Handley (again!) Irene Radcliffe, Mike Watkins and James Daniel for the live Twitter support during the presentation!

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Let me leave you with one thought – if you are using BIM in practice, or you are preparing to go down the BIM route, we at Beck Interiors are ready to support you.

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