With the main focus on promoting new features and capabilities of Autodesk products for architects, engineers and contractors (in particular in the realm of BIM), the AU also included a series of seminars and innovation forums that dealt with BIM culture, process and implementation strategies in practice.
I’ve predominantly been attending these less technical and more management oriented sessions in order to investigate BIM directions globally. I heard from other Design Technology leaders about the progress they are making and the challenges they are facing in the transition from CAD to BIM.
Overall my impression was that the problems outside Australia are very much the same we face here. Even further, I got the impression that Australia is actually on par if not ahead of other countries when it comes to the BIM implementation effort across our industry. The reasons for this are as follows:
- The Australian building sector is relatively ‘uniform’ when compared to the US, Asia or Europe.
- The market share of Autodesk products is high, making it easier to collaborate across disciplines
- Architects and engineers in OZ have been adopting BIM at a high rate across the industry
- Although there are no formal requirements, (government) clients increasingly request BIM
Collaboration between architects and engineers using BIM becomes ever more commonplace, with most AU leadership forum attendants highlighting the benefits of solid Project Execution Planning. IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) is still not really happening on a large scale. Many clients, contractors and consultant teams still shy away from the risks associated with this relatively new type of project procurement that requires partners to share pain and gain from the start based on non-litigation agreements. As a consequence, a lot of discussions at the AU revolved around the topic of legal implications of BIM such as model IP, liability and professional insurance.
With an increased interest in BIM by contractors and clients, there were a number of discussion forums dedicated to the value of BIM during construction and operation. Facility and Space Management in all its facets being the ‘hottest topic’ at the moment with clients, contractors and consultants coming to terms with their requirements for communicating the kind of information relevant to them that can be hosted by BIM. Not surprisingly, Autodesk is keen to be part of this discussion and their product development for the coming years promises to focus on data integration and management across teams (and possibly also across projects).