Five Takeaways and Technologies from BiLT NA 2018 - Avitru

While the roots of MasterSpec are in specification content, we are working more and more with partners in the BIM space, so we decided to check out BiLT NA and the Building Content Summit (BCS) in St. Louis this year. It felt like an especially good fit considering that our partners from BIMsmith and Newforma were exhibiting.

The two events were held concurrently and had very different focuses. BiLT is focused on exposing attendees to the latest and greatest in the BIM world, while BCS is a forum that brings together architects, engineers, and manufacturers to find ways to work together. It was a diverse, yet committed crowd of international attendees.

In no particular order, here’s what stood out from the sessions that I was able to attend and the exhibit floor:

  1. The BCS session entitled, “Architectural and MEP Content – A Manufacturer’s Perspective” was an involved discussion between a moderator who was a manufacturer and a panel of architects and engineers. The session started with a discussion of the differences between what the Designer and Contractor are using BIM for, and how the Manufacturer is attempting to help both. That quickly turned into a discussion about BIM standards and how there is not one in the United States. I got put on the spot for the topic of the differences between architectural and engineering products were included in the design, and then, as a panelist mentioned, “then, how do you bring in the spec and handle alternatives?”
  2. The BiLT session on “Coordination between Disciplines” was another panel discussion between two architects and two engineers. A lot of the issues that the panel was discussing are the same issues that have been questions in the specification world for a long time – how much detail in a specification translates into what is the appropriate LOD for structural components? Often, 3D content not matching 2D content is fairly analogous to the model and specification content not being coordinated, and that spurs the adoption of 3D content and collaboration tools. The mighty screen capture still reigns supreme – GREENSHOT and Jane were mentioned as two often used tools.
  3. ”Business Decisions for BIM Analytics” by Adam Roth of Henderson Engineers showed how easy and fast it can be to build a simple program that can give you serious insights into your business. For instance, by finding out who is doing the most saves of the Revit model, you can potentially help speed up those who may be the most productive by accelerating hardware updates, without seeming to be obviously favoring certain employees. Easy to build and use business analytics are turning into key tools for firms looking to maximize productivity.
  4. On the show floor, I was impressed by ENSCAPE, an incredibly fast and lifelike rendering engine built from the ground up for Revit. And their neighbor BIMBOX builds custom computers for A/E firms – and they don’t just put together high-dollar parts. Take apart a processor and add a custom copper heat sink? Check. Look for some news on who is using BIMBOX on this blog in the future…
  5. There is a lot of talk about VR and AR, and it’s one thing to sit in a room with a VR headset and do a design session. It’s another to put on a hard hat with an OSHA approved AR rig, which is exactly what I did at the Trimble booth. I’m really excited to see where this takes not only construction, but FM.

I’m sold on attending next year, and we at Avitru are hard work to have new products and partnerships to share at BiLT NA 2019 in Seattle, WA.


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