Andrew Cox, Head of Data Compliance and Data Protection Officer, SNC-Lavalin
1.In your opinion, how has the BIM landscape evolved over the years?
BIM has advanced from the simple input of information and modeling to a more robust input of information. This transition is due to the growth of ISO 19650 adoption and the use of advancing technologies. As clients understand the technological advancements, they have begun to require greater optioneering to understand the assets impacts on the environment and life-cycle costs. What are some of the advantages of the current technological evolution? The requirements of greater information in the digital models mean big data. The current technological evolution has produced greater access to cloud storage that is affordable.
The availability of cloud computing has also given rise to the use of AI and Machine Learning during the design and construction process. The IoT (Internet of Things) has also seen advancement in connection to the BIM models, this connection leads to Digital Twins.
2. What according to you are some of the challenges plaguing the BIM landscape and how can they be effectively mitigated?
Big Data is the biggest challenge, there are limitations to local software and hardware capabilities and utilizing the cloud brings in cyber security concerns. There is also the issue of end user education on the proper use and workflows for that data. The biggest question not asked at the start of projects is What kind of data is required and what will it be used for? Massive amounts of data can be added to anything and everything. Missing this question and understanding the impacts hampers the full adoptions of BIM.
3.Which are a few technological trends influencing BIM today?
Artificial Intelligence is being utilized in Generative Design, this practice helps designers run thousands of options to find the optimal design of an asset. AI is being used for risk mitigation on the construction site. We can use XR tools during design and construction to facilitate greater collaboration and coordination.
We use VR (Virtual Reality) to conduct real scale walk-throughs of the design for coordination meetings.
We use MR (Mixed Reality) to walk-through the job site with a contractor, having only 1 person onsite mitigates risks to personnel. What are some of the best practices businesses should adopt today to steer ahead of competitors? Use previous projects to learn, we can learn a lot from our past projects throughout the whole project life cycle. Use AI to understand the impacts and analysis how the project could have been done better. Utilizing AI in the AEC industry will help us provide better and smarter assets to our clients. Inclusion of all stakeholders in the project with the use of XR (VR, MR, AR) tools will mitigate risks to the project.
The use of BIM cannot advance without pushing and relearning what we thought was best practice
4. Do you have any advice for industry veterans or budding entrepreneurs from the BIM space?
My biggest piece of advice comes from a quote I heard during a presentation about learning in the 21st century from Alvin Toffler. The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn I use this quote to push myself in advancing. The use of BIM cannot advance without pushing and relearning what we thought was best practice.