This week on My Digital Life, Hadeel Saadoon takes her turn in the spotlight. She is the building information manager in the Coventry University Estates Digital Services team and is leading the implementation of BIM and digital technologies at the University Estates. She is also chair of BIM4Estates group, a UK BIM Alliance communities lead, regional lead for Women in BIM, an ambassador for Women in Construction, and vice chair of CIAT West Midlands group. Here, she bemoans the lack of development in battery life and home assistants that wake you in the middle of the night.
What new built environment digital innovation that you’ve seen recently really excites you?
The concept of the ecosystem of systems. At Coventry University Estates, we worked very hard on setting up the foundations of our digital estates by creating an excellent database of fully updated building plans, models of new and existing buildings and gathering information on our assets that are critical to supporting the delivery of our services and the operation and maintenance of our campuses.
We are now working on connecting the systems that host those data, starting with the facilities management system, BMS and common data environment. These are existing developments that will facilitate seamless information management of our digital estates.
What single thing would help accelerate construction’s digital adoption?
Getting the basics right. We need to follow standards and continue to develop them, practice proper building information modelling and assets information management in the built environment before looking at digital twins and advanced technologies, and this will help accelerate construction’s digital development.
‘Everything needs charging nowadays and I feel that battery life hasn’t developed fast enough compared with all the gadgets that depend on them.’
Who do you follow on social media about BIM and digital construction – and why?
I follow the UK BIM Alliance and the UK BIM Framework accounts for updates on the releases of standards, guidance, events and BIM communities and the Cambridge Centre for Digital Built Britain for latest information and publications related to BIM, digital twins and digital built Britain. I also follow Emma Hooper who always shares great insights on information management.
What was the last app you downloaded and why?
Blinkist, which offers a good selection of book summaries that you can read or listen to. Each topic is more of a provoking thought than a detailed summary, which allows you to get a grasp of a new idea to play with. It’s a nice app to get away from scrolling through social media news feed in my opinion.
What’s the tech bane of your life?
Chargers! Everything needs charging nowadays and I feel that battery life hasn’t developed fast enough compared with all the gadgets that depend on them.
Mac or PC/iOS or Android?
PC and iOS. I’m a huge fan of iOS for phones, however I never liked the MacBook. I always prefer Windows PC for work and demanding computing tasks.
Do you have any smart home features or other digital gadgets?
Yes and I must admit my husband is the main techy at our house who installed them all! We have so many things from a smart washing machine to a floor-cleaning robot, solar lights, smart baby monitors and CCTV.
My favourites are the smart lights that I can control remotely from a phone without getting up at night. We used to have home assistants and enjoyed Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home for a couple of years until one day Alexa decided to play blasting music in the middle of the night on its own, so we retired them both!