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2018.10.10

BiLT EUR 2018, Part One of Three

The BiLT EUR by RTC event, is taking place from 11-13 October (starting tomorrow) in the Slovenia capital city of Ljubljana, at the GR - Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. I am fortunate to be a delegate this year, amongst the few hundred attendees. Many thanks to AUGI and the organisers for sponsoring me to attend and I am pleased to be your guide over these next few days.

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The weather greeting those travelling via air today was a comfortable 21C.

I’ve previously attended the North American version of this conference in years’ past and it’s one of my favourite events of its kind - truly, I'm saying that without prompt. Attribute that experience to the unique people, all experts in their field and any one of the delegates could easily be a speaker, there’s the “by users, for users” approach to learning, and the intimate nature of a purely building industry focus limited to a maximum capacity of around 500. Since a large number of people who attend these know each other there are a few traditions involving presenter outtakes, top ten lists, the swimming pool and funny coloured socks. But, enough of that. So, what’s in store?

In its eighth year, the European version of BiLT - formerly known as the Revit Technology Conference (RTC) - dates back to the early days of Revit, now the dominant building information modelling (BIM) tool in many parts of the world. The annual meeting of the minds was originally initiated by a few scrappy architects in Australia who wanted to share the unvarnished truth about how to work effectively in BIM. Today the annual event has taken a larger stage with a core cast of characters and many regional experts all coming together throughout the year on a travelling stage across four continents: Asia, North America, Europe, Australia and sometimes New Zealand.

Why the change in name for the event?

The American born idea of Revit is now of drinking age, having been idealised by its founders to transform the industry twenty one years ago this month as Charles River Software within the Route 128 technology belt around Boston. First shipping in the year 2000, the 18th birthday of the product was earlier this year. Now solidly part of the Autodesk portfolio, it’s clear the tools have reached a maturity and provide a solid platform for designing buildings around the world.

Since that is the case, the organisers acknowledged the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation (AECO) disciplines of the built environment use more than just the one tool. And our digital tools are merely that, enablers to produce better outcomes by using more effective processes. Many of the conversations extend around the concepts of BIM-like or BIM-ish technologies like: Computational Design, Big Data, Simulation, and Mixed Reality (Augemented/Virtual Reality, and Reality Capture). 

What to Expect?

Cities where BiLT EUR has taken place include Dublin, Delft, Aarus and others. Some interesting venues are chosen by the committee to enhance the learning experience; one year had delegates filing into “The Church of BIM” as the decommissioned church booked for that week was affectionately nicknamed. There was even a pulpit for the speakers. Much of the content of the classes I’ve chosen this year are focussed around workflows and computational thinking.

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View from Prešeren Square of Ljubljanski grad, one of many castles surrounding this historic city.

It will be interesting to see those other than Autodesk platforms discussed in the context of the bigger picture of interoperability, such as the popular McNeel Rhino/Grasshopper combination, and also Graphisoft ArchiCAD, which maintains a strong footing in Europe, and of course the lowest common denominator BIM and Computation tool: Microsoft Excel. After all, it’s all about being data-minded in how we exchange information about our projects. After I settle in, I’ll do some exploring around the city, eagerly awaiting the kickoff sessions and keynote speeches to set the theme for this year’s peek into the future of our digital industry. I’m most looking forward to the below sessions, and have signed up for a full three-day schedule:

  • Tapping the Source: Establishing Responses to External Data 
  • Augmented Reality and Deep Learning in the Design Process
  • Effective ‘LOD’ Implementation in Projects
  • Datadriven Facility Management - Value-based ICT and BIM for Clients and Building Owners 
  • Connecting parametric design and BIM through Grasshopper, Excel and Dynamo 

All in, there is a good deal of optimism in the building industry for a shift in what is next in a post-BIM world. I’ll be sharing a bit more as the event unfolds over the coming days here and on my Twitter account: @seandburke. Thanks for joining me on this ride. Let’s see together where it goes.

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The canals and rivers running through the city are a must see, especially with all this wonderful architecture and foliage lining the banks.

For more information about this conference and others by the RTC Events organisation around the world, visit: rtcevents.com.  If you are on social media, look for the hashtag #BILTeur or follow @BiLTEvent on Twitter.


About Sean David Burke

A member of AUGI since 1997, Sean has been at the forefront of BIM for most of his career. His focus on advancing the adoption of digital tools as a Senior Associate at NBBJ and previously with Autodesk has always been to inspire and instruct others around the world in order to make building better.

 

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