BILT ASIA 2017 & BIM Impressions from Singapore

Last week we had the privilege to be invited as Speakers to the BILT ASIA 2017 Conference in Singapore. It was a great opportunity to have an overview of the use of BIM in the industry at an international level. It was an honour for us to have the opportunity to present our work along such big names. It is actually funny to speak to an audience of the majority of Revit users and show what a small Architecture Design Firm can do with ARCHICAD.

In this type of events, a number of types of users is huge. There are Architects, developers, all kind of engineers, BIM consultants, Software developers, contractors, IT experts, etc.. Even using the same technology in the same industry the approach and the problems everyone faces are different. The scale of the companies varies a lot from one to another. Some very big international companies can reach till 2 Million employees, and some other like us are just… flexible.
Is this technology about Information Modelling giving an answer to all of them? Which is the feedback from users all over the world?

Along with all these professionals, there were some Software developers which their applications were mainly based on Collaboration. This is what I found really interesting. The guys from Flux for instance. They are developing a collaborative platform that connects data in between very different Softwares. It is not even only about BIM or how to import – IFC export models. They connect data in between Softwares. The are able to incorporate workflows from one tool to each other without the necessity of using any plug-in.
Another very interesting visual collaboration platform was Revizto. The aim of this tool is to combine models created in different Softwares into one application that allows users to coordinate project issues. Since can be used in smart phones and tablets it makes easier for all professionals to have a global understanding of the project. In this sense is very similar to BIMx. The main difference is that BIMx imports models only from ARCHICAD and I still find it more flexible and intuitive for visualising projects and documentation. Revizto focuses strongly on coordination and communication in between users and teams. In that sense it is really powerful.
Apart from collaboration tools, we found Autodesk and Bentley showing their BIM capabilities in their respective tools. As well some very cool VR and simulation Software companies were showing their products and alive demonstrations. Have a look to the BILT Asia 2017 website of the event to learn more about the speakers and exhibitors.

As I mentioned before for us was curios to see the reaction of Revit users when showing our work. The fact that all attendees have a good understanding of BIM in general they could also understand the strengths of the ARCHICAD. For them is not that unbelievable that a small firm can get the benefits from BIM working in any kind of scale project.. Actually that was the name of our presentation: BIM Architecture Workflow, from Tiny to Large scale projects. So we showed from masterplanning projects to interior refurbishments. Some of them of course from in a BIMx file which still makes some jaws to drop..
Our colleague Jorge Beneitez did an alive demonstration of the alive Grasshopper – Rhino – ARCHICAD connection in a project we are currently working on. Together with us Zaw Lin Ye, from Lion Seng Contractors (PTE) Ltd, did a presentation of the contractor point of view in the use of ARCHICAD and different BIM softwares.

After everything we have seen in Singapore during the last week I would like to highlight the fact that in terms of BIM implementation Singapore is a few years ahead from Hong Kong. It has been mandatory to submit New Projects for Regulatory Approval in BIM format since 2013 already. In Hong Kong is not that still is not mandatory but it will be in the coming years.. So the industry in Hong Kong is still not at the level of Singapore in therms of BIM. There most of the Architects, Engineers, Contractors, etc.., work and submit projects in BIM format already.
I know that in Hong Kong a good number of professionals work in BIM already but most of the offices relay in 2D Documentation mostly. So its a matter of keep pushing the industry and spread the word.

Apart from there BILT Asia 2017 Conference we had the chance to meet other ARCHICAD users in Singapore. We did some workshops and also join the ARCHICAD users group meeting on the 3rd of April. I will do write some post about those workshops soon.. I was really amazed to meet such advance users. Some of them were really experts in therms of the use of parametric tools. But even regarding the use of ARCHICAD. Of course everyone has a different approach to the software depending on the type of projects they are using it. But the sharing of experience was great and very enriching.. Was great to open a channel of communication with this Singapore Architects that already are working with the same tools as we do in the daily basis.
So I hope this paragraphs can draw a picture of how is it to spend almost one week in Singapore sharing experience about BIM..
Let’s keep fighting towards a smarter and efficient work environment in the Architecture and the Industry here in Hong Kong and everywhere in the world.
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