The first construction themed hackathon outside London taking place at The Whisky Bond in Glasgow this weekend will also mark the debut of two new arrivals in the range of available BIM tools – Jenca.org and a Software Developers’ Kit (SDK) for Flux.io.
It will also feature Quartz, a database of materials containing data on the sustainability and health credentials set up by Flux, and Silo, a gaming-style app to navigate information about buildings and locations.
Hack _Construct has been instigated by Darren Lester, founder of products database Specified By, and Ryan Tennyson, a member of the BIM2050 group and an associate in BIM implementation at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Around 50 participants from the construction industry and digital tech community are expected at the event, which has been sponsored by the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and is also supported by Innovate UK.
The “hack” teams will be presented with challenges from five partner organisations, which will each make 10-minute presentations at the start of the weekend-long event. The challenges all revolve around developing tools or apps to make better use of existing data.
Tennyson told BIM+: “The overarching idea is to create open data and open solutions that the industry can tap into. The hackathon is the equivalent of a platform like GitHub, where people can post their code and then other contributors can improve on it.
“It’s possible that the hackathon could lead to a viable product that the CSIC could pick up and develop, but it also helps to identify the skills gaps in the industry going forward.
“It’s a relaxed atmosphere, that allows people to be more creative without the restrictions they might find at work.”
Participants will be invited to explore Jenca.org, a platform for BIM-related apps that seeks to make BIM processes more intuitive and user friendly for “average” users familiar with the type of interface used by Facebook and Google.
And there will also be a chance to explore the capabilities of Flux.io, a platform for integrating other BIM design tools created by San Francisco-based Flux Factory, an offshoot of Google.
As with the Building Data Exchange [BDX] hackathon earlier this month, participants will be invited to explore the open data on the performance gap from Innovate UK’s Building Performance Review.
Exploiting data on the environmental and sustainability properties of construction materials in the Quartz database will also form one challenge.
The Quartz project was launched a year ago by Flux, and aims to provide baseline information for the AEC industry in an open database format, with “relevant actionable data”.
The project’s website says that “key AEC stakeholders will have a truly open, vendoragnostic mechanism to compare, contrast and evaluate materials based on their impact on the environment and human health”.
The final challenge will involve developing a working prototype of a project known as Silo, which seeks to integrate historical data about a given building, site or area with BIM laser scans and photogrammetry representations.
The app is likely to incorporate “gaming” elements, and has been conceived to work on both a community and professional level.
The overarching idea is to create open data and open solutions that the industry can tap into. The hackathon is the equivalent of a platform like GitHub, where people can post their code and then other contributors can improve on it.– Ryan Tennyson, WSP Parsons Brinckerhof