2020’s biggest BIM and digital construction stories

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021! BIM+ completes its review of the most popular stories of 2020 with our rundown of the top ten most read stories in 2020.

Covid-19, the speed (or lack thereof) of BIM adoption and robots all make appearances, but some of this top ten may surprise you.

Read on!

10. The future of the IFC-COBie saga

“Look away now,” Galliford Try BIM & digital delivery lead John Ford told readers as he analysed the industry foundation classes (IFC) and COBie.

“It surprises me today that the vast majority of people, nine years after the government’s construction strategy was published mandating COBie, don’t realise that the government didn’t just mandate COBie, but they mandated IFC as well,” he wrote.

9. Tackling the BIM blockers – the three levers we have to pull

An opinion piece in which Richard Waterhouse, chief strategy officer at NBS, appeared to say the unsayable: “I am going to be controversial and say that the reason they have not adopted BIM is nothing to do with digital skills, the cost of investment or of client demand. I wonder whether these types of businesses simply lack the mindset to embrace the digital challenge?”

8. ISO 19650 Information Protocol explained

The summer’s must-read, authored by Buro Happold’s May Winfield, Simon Lewis from Womble Bond Dickinson, and Andrew Croft of Beale & Company, did what it said on the tin, explaining the Information Protocol.

7. AI tracks work quality at Norway’s Stavenger Hospital

Oslo-based BIM developer Imerso was given responsibility to monitor work progress on one of the biggest public construction projects in Scandanavia.

Imerso was responsible for creating an accurate digital twin of the new hospital. The construction was 3D scanned continuously to check the work status against the building plans using Imerso’s AI software. The platform compares the scan and the BIM and immediately catches any problematic discrepancy.

6. Q&A: BDP’s Alistair Kell – how we are keeping the business running during lockdown

Alistair Kell, principal: IT and process at BDP, explained how the firm got 1,350 staff working remotely in just 48 hours as the coronavirus crisis took hold.

5. John Ford: Why it’s time for a BIM reboot

It’s that man again! This time Galliford Try’s John Ford carried out an in-depth analysis to confirm whether the industry was getting closer to the 2016 aspiration of BIM being business as usual. Spoilers: the analysis wasn’t all that favourable…

4. Will coronavirus change the way we work forever?

In the second week of the first lockdown, we asked Aecom’s David Philp, Willmott Dixon’s Andrew Gamblen, Tridify’s Alexander Le Bell, and Congrid’s Timo Makkonen for their assessment of the pandemic’s likely impact.

Reading it back now, the pundits’ answers still stand up.

3. Robot bricklayer starts work in Yorkshire

Construction Automation’s automatic brick-laying robot (ABLR), was building a house in Everingham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire when BIM+ reported on it in October.

The ABLR, which took four years to develop, lays bricks, blocks, and mortar. Construction Automation claims it is the first robot of its kind that can build around corners.

The story drew some wry comments from readers:

  • “Does it require a CSCS card to enter site?”
  • “Can they programme it to go down the pub and not come back?”

2. Rhino plug-in to convert 3D models for Revit gains widespread use

While interoperability of systems remains a key topic of debate, stories like this one will be popular: a plug-in for Rhino design software that automates the conversion of 3D models for use in Revit.

Beam, as the plug-in is called (see main image), was developed by MKS DTech to speed up the process of preparing Rhino models for use in BIM, which typically requires complex bespoke software scripting and file management.

1. Annual survey: Poor digital skills hold back BIM adoption

The fifth annual Construction Manager BIM survey, in conjunction with BIM+, showed a mixed picture of a sector still not wholly at ease with digital technology. The adoption of BIM showed little sign of accelerating, but the use of technologies that enable remote working, such as VR, teleconferencing and drones, was on the rise.

Missed the rest of the BIM+ 2020 review?

Construction technology:

Robots on the rise:

Most popular projects:

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