“Run! Run for your lives!! Only the entire future of the construction industry is at stake – so no pressure then!”
Taking on the chair for the South East Hub in December seemed like a good idea at the time! It’s only now I’m realising the enormity of what we’re trying to do – nothing less than transforming an industry into the digital age, to deliver better projects for our clients, improving project collaboration, and enabling smart decisions, to produce smart assets and eventually smart cities and beyond – truly a Digital Built Britain.
We held our first open meeting of the South East BIM HUB in February this year at the Building Centre. Over 40 people attended providing a diverse mix of backgrounds and businesses covering the spectrum of stakeholders that make up our industry. From that meeting it was clear we needed to diversify- the South East is a big region covering Kent, across the south coast to Southampton and up as far as Oxford, but excluding London. (David Miller chairs the London Hub, but we will be working together on events and projects from time to time) So our first main action has been to initiate satellite hubs.
Oxford is up and running (see below), Kent and South are not far behind, and there will be more. These are/will be local groups so that people in a local area can share knowledge, best practice and find out about BIM and what it means. From what I’ve seen so far, these will be intensely practical – I feel that we’ve talked about this for long enough, but now it’s time to get down to it and start putting BIM into practice, cutting through the hype and mystique, and breaking this down into language and actions that people can understand at grass roots.
Another aspect of hub life is just dealing with people and helping them along with BIM. So far I’ve talked with a brick supplier, an M+E plant manufacturer and a few others, just helping them understand what BIM will mean for them and their businesses. For several months now I’ve been presenting around the country mainly to CIOB members and a few conferences and universities.
Wearing my Hub Hat, I presented this week at the Eco Showcase in Milton Keynes. Again a very different audience and experience but still many people were just trying to come to terms with BIM and what it means for them.
So what are our plans for the future?
Firstly to keep growing local hubs, so that everyone has access to BIM support and knowledge in their local area.
Secondly to ensure we keep on connecting people and communicating. We need this to go viral- I have no doubt in time that it will, but for the moment we just need to keep going. I firmly believe if we can join people up and get them talking and sharing, that will start the process of transformation.
Thirdly we will still hold central meetings to keep everyone connected to the main Hub Mothership. We kick off the first of these next week, when Mervyn Richards, author of PAS 1192/2 and a BIM leading light in the UK will deliver a series on Information Management, BIM and collaboration. (30th May, at the Building Centre, details on our LinkedIn page).
In conclusion, I see the hubs as a catalyst for change – joining people up, enabling conversations to happen and providing a platform for us to move forward. This is the most exciting (and challenging) time of my 30 years plus in the industry. I feel very privileged to be able to take part and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for BIM in the UK and beyond. For further information on the SEBIMHUB, contact me anytime on 07702 126 362, or email@example.com. Find me on LinkedIn or Twitter, @56JONTS, @SEBIMHUB.
Oxford BIM Hub,
Brent Rees writes…. At the end of April the Oxford BIM Hub held its inaugural meeting at the Ridge & Partners offices in Woodstock, with over sixty attendees from all corners of the local construction industry coming together to learn more about the aims and aspirations of the hub. Guest speakers John Eynon and Steve Race took to the floor to conduct presentations about the Regional BIM Hubs, the CIC and the BIM Task Group, which set the scene for the group discussions. Attendees were encouraged to frame their conversations around six key questions, which in turn inspired some engaging and lively debate highlighting a diverse range of topics. Looking forward, the Oxford BIM Hub is now using this information to establish topics and formats for future events, as well as what will be made available via the Oxford BIM Hub website (link below) In the meantime and as recommended by our guest speakers, please refer to the UK Government’s BIM Task Group website (link below) for an extensive list of current BIM resources. http://www.bimtaskgroup.org/ http://www.oxfordbim.com/