The devil is in the data: openBIM World Tour 2015

BIM Show Live is back next week and it kicks off a rather busy 9 weeks on the speaking circuit for me personally. 9 weeks; 9 presentations; 4 countries. Its going to be a combination of hard work, education, socialising, fun and exhaustion! So here is where my travels will take me:

BIM Show Live 2015, Manchester, UK (April 8-9)
The “speaking season” kicks off with the UK’s biggest BIM event. Its always a great event with top quality presenters, vendor stands and a good networking (that’s code for socialising ;-)) opportunity. However, I decided this year that I was going to “retire” (at least temporarily!) from presenting at BIM Show Live. I have presented 3 years in a row and this is my third year as a judge. The amount of effort to go into preparing a great class is enormous and judging also adds to the time commitment.

Last year I won “best class” (having been refused entry to the judging panel!) which was a real honour so the effort was truly worth it. It’s difficult to top “best class” and so I decided it was time to give others a go and have a little rest, so I didn’t submit this year.


Image: BIM Show Live 2015

However, an offer from Graphisoft UK&I came to present on the Tech Stage. These are shorter affairs and whilst they still require the same amount of thought and effort there is less material to prepare. Its also a different challenge, so I agreed to present. I must be mad, given all the other things i’ve agreed to present at but it was too difficult to say no! So much for my “retirement” and rest!

So I will be presenting “BIM for Designers: DESIGN driving DATA”. The presentation description is as follows:

“There is a perception from some that design will be compromised by the need to create data to meet the ‘Level 2 BIM’ agenda. This presentation will demonstrate how data compliant with standards including BS 1192:2007 / PAS 1192-2:2013, COBie-UK-2012 / BS 1192-4:2014, RICS NRM1, IFC (ISO 16739:2013) and the NBS BIM Object Standard can be delivered without restricting the flexibility required by designers to create great designs.

The presentation will be a 100% LIVE demonstration using Graphisoft ARCHICAD 18 showing how building robust intelligent templates and employing simple to understand processes can deliver full flexibility for designers but at the same time deliver data for use by cost consultants, contractors and ultimately facilities managers.”

Although an ARCHICAD presentation it is focussed on producing data for use with open workflows.

For more information about BIM Show Live:

Innovation Platform, Brussels, Belgium (April 14-15)
This is not an event but a small informal group of companies gathering in Belgium who meet regularly to discuss various topics regarding the current and future direction of the industry. I have been kindly invited as a guest to present to the group from an Architects perspective as there is currently no architect within their group. They are keen to see what is happening in the UK and for my specific views of where the UK industry is with regards to “BIM Level 2”.


Image: Brussels, Belgium

Middlesex University BIMM Msc (April 24)
I presented last year for Middlesex University as one of their students thought it would be of benefit for my COBie presentation to be included after they had seen it at BIM Show Live 2014. They have kindly invited me back and its nice to give a little back to education establishments who are supporting BIM.

For more information about the Middlesex University BIMM course:

BIM Initiative of the Year, Construction News Awards 2015 Judging Panel, London (April 30)
We have been shortlisted for this prestigious award and we are up against some stiff competition. Our entry is entitled “Bradford College and beyond: openBIM R&D”. For me making the shortlist is reward enough but winning it would provide the icing on the cake for the work we have been doing. In order to win the award though we first have to present to the judging panel in London. Hopefully I do our entry justice but we won’t find out until the awards dinner in June. Fingers crossed!


Image: Construction News Awards 2015 Finalist

See also our News section for more about our submission:
For more information about the Construction News Awards:

Lake Constance 5D-Conference, Constance, Germany (May 4-5)
This event came about as an invite from Graphisoft Germany who asked me to submit a class. I decided to submit a slightly shorter version of “The COBieNATOR”. Thankfully my class was accepted. The agenda includes a keynote from Paul Morrell, the former UK Government Chief Construction Adviser, who is largely credited for starting the BIM Revolution in the UK. I’m looking forward to his presentation “BIM: a Trojan horse for construction industry reform”. Other than Mr Morrell I haven’t heard any of the speakers before, which is something of a rarity so it will be nice to see some more global perspectives on BIM.


Image: Lake Constance, Germany

For more information about the 5D Conference at Lake Constance:

From Germany I fly straight to Australia. I have a little time to visit some friends in Melbourne before its back to presenting again.

RTC Australasia, Gold Coast, Australia (May 14-16)
Last year I presented a joint class with Graphisoft at RTC Europe in Dublin. The presentation was entitled “openBIM in action: Interoperability without bulls@%t” and was presented with Akos R. Graphisoft are also sponsoring RTC Australasia this year and as I was going to be in Australia (see next event) they asked me to present the class again. The difference this time is its just me! Hopefully I can do it justice alone without Akos but either way I will be spreading the openBIM message to a few more out there.


Image: Gold Coast, Australia

As well as presenting the openBIM class, I have also been invited to do another presentation of “The COBieNATOR” (one day i’ll stop getting asked!). This one is the full live version and in fact this one will be the longest session I have done of the class (75 mins) so there is a bit more time to cover some specific detail of implementation and allow for questions.

Although the class uses Graphisoft ARCHICAD as the authoring tool this is still of value to the Autodesk Revit users attending as it is as much about IFC as it is about COBie. The demonstration once again includes live demonstrations of Graphisoft ARCHICAD 18, Solibri Model Checker v9.5 and a quick foray into Microsoft Excel as well as Microsoft PowerPoint and “that” video. Not much to go wrong as usual!

For more information about RTC Australasia:

My presentation times: openBIM in action: Interoperability without bulls@%t: Friday May 15th; Session 11; 4:15-5:30pm and The COBieNATOR: Rise of Industry Foundation Classes: Saturday May 16th; Session 15; 2:30-3:45pm

ARCHICON, Brisbane, Australia (May 22)
Well this is the big one as far as i’m concerned! (and that’s with no disrespect to the other events) I need to thank Nathan Hildebrandt (Skewed / Fulton Trotter Architects) for inviting me all the way to Australia to present the work we are doing here in the UK. Its a real honour to be invited to the other side of the world. This event is particularly appealing as its a conference full of ARCHICAD users although as always my presentation will be about the need for open workflows and sharing open data. The quality of the speakers is also top notch so i’m both looking forward to presenting but at the same time listening and learning from some “ARCHICAD gurus” (Nathan included!).


Image: Brisbane, Australia

Nathan also has gone to the trouble of creating some t-shirts for the event. Nathan, myself and Jared Banks (Shoegnome LLP) are all ARCHICAD users who are presenting around the globe this year with a shared passion for pushing the boundaries of our chosen authoring tool. So t-shirts were created to promote the world tour with the slogan “The Devil is in the Data”. If you look closely you will see IFC data embedded in the devil. 🙂

BIM Blog Devil Is In The Data Tshirt SMALL

Image: ‘The Devil is in the Data’ openBIM World Tour 2015 t-shirt graphics

My presentation entitled “Beyond Architecture” aims to promote the need for ARCHICAD users to focus on looking beyond traditional architectural deliverables and look at how architects can offer much more by applying standards, using open workflows and creating validated data to provide real value to others both in the design and construction phases and beyond in operations.

For more information about ARCHICON:

Graphisoft ARCHICAD 19 Launch, London, UK (June 3)
The speaking tour ends in London. I can’t talk about the specific content for this one quite yet but needless to say all will be revealed in due course!

Final thoughts
Having said i’d do less presenting this year, i’ve signed up to more than ever. I’ll be in need of a lie down in a dark room after getting through all these!

But whilst the “speaking season” will come to an end in early June, it will be straight into our regular “development season”. June to August represents the time when we develop new approaches within the business before roll out to staff in September. Some of this involves tweaking previous processes with updated technology and standards but it also involves developing new digital solutions that will make us better and continue our digital journey.

I hope that the 9 weeks on the road gives me loads of new ideas that can contribute to this next development period. Hopefully i’ll get the opportunity in 2016 to talk about some of these implementations and the projects that are using these processes.

Rob Jackson, Associate Director, Bond Bryan Architects


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