Transitioning to BIM in 2018


CitA Co-founding Director Dr Alan Hore tells us about the 2018 Digital Transition Series and the year ahead for CitA as they help the Irish Construction Industry transition to BIM and Digital Construction.

CitA have a busy year ahead with the Digital Transition Series and the CitA Tech Show event in November. Alan will be speaking at the Digital Construction Summit in March and the National Construction Summit in May. The BIM Category of the Irish Construction Excellence Awards is in association with CitA. Here he speaks to us about the year ahead.

CitA have made new additions to their Board for 2018, they are Claire Penny, Global Industry Leader at IBM Watson Internet of Things; Ken Woods, Director at WK Nolan Real Estate Advisors; David Philp, Global BIM/IM Consultancy Director at Aecom. These are well-known professionals in the industry and Alan welcomes their expertise. CitA also welcome two new staff members to their team, with Mai Morrissey and Ylenia Morselli joining.

2018 Digital Transition Series

It is a packed year with the Digital Transition Series already having started on January 31st at the Royal College of Physicians on Dublin’s Kildare Street. This will be the venue once again for this year’s events. Here attendees heard from Louise Foody, Director of Digital and Brand at Kingspan; David Greenwood, Professor of Construction Management at Northumbria University; and Stephen Good, CEO at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre. The topic of the event was ‘Driving the Digital Transition of the Irish AEC Sector’. CitA are once again working in close collaboration with the Construction Industry Council members. The RIAI will be chairing the next meeting on March 1st, with other CIC members chairing events throughout the year.

Alan says the aim of the 2018 Digital Transition Series is to support and drive the National BIM Council (NBC) Roadmap. Alan says, “It made sense for CitA to align its efforts in 2018 with the NBC Roadmap, as its ambitions align with the Roadmap. The Roadmap is so important that it is assisting CitA in shaping CitA’s strategic direction for 2018-2021.”

We ask what the takeaways from the first meeting were. Alan says, “The question of ‘Why?’ is no longer relevant. It is now – ‘How are we going to do this?’ There is a real momentum; we are now at the implementation stage and up and running.”

Alan describes the programme for the upcoming meetings. “We picked six key messages for the series,” he says. “The first was ‘Driving the Digital Transition of the Irish AEC Sector’. We heard this in the message that Louise Foody of Kingspan provided in the first meeting of the Series and also a real example of a centre of excellence for digital construction in Scotland, similar to that envisaged for in the NBC Roadmap.”

Alan outlines plans for the second event on March 1st. “We want to showcase key stakeholder commitment to a collaborative future. To this end, we will see many of the recognised leaders in our industry displaying their commitment on the day by joining an assembled leadership panel. We are also delighted that we have secured a keynote address by Barry Lowry, the Government Chief Information Officer, who we hope will provide his office’s commitment to the Roadmap. This commitment will also be displayed by the Trinity College Business School Project Team on the day.”

BIM Regions Tour

The BIM Regions have had a big impact in driving BIM adoption in Ireland and there have been many successful events held around the country with great speaker lists. CitA did a tour of the South and West last year, and this year will be returning to both regions.

Speaking about the regional tour, Alan says the tour will be done in two parts. “We will be going to Cork, Waterford and Limerick on the first part of the tour in February and in the second part of the tour we will be going to Galway, Sligo and Athlone.” The Limerick event will be held at the Clayton Hotel in Limerick City on February 20th starting at 9.30am; the Cork event on February 20th at the Clayton Hotel, starting at 3.30pm; and the Waterford event on February 21st in the Granville Hotel, starting at 9.30am. “This tour will include an overview of the Roadmap at each event over the two days,” he says “while looking at local case studies and getting feedback from the Regions. This is a great opportunity to connect with the Regions and see the work that is being done in both industry and academia around the country. It will be good to hear from the Regional BIM Leaders and hubs of innovation.”

CitA Tech Showcase

Aside from the Digital Transition Series, there is a CitA Tech Show 2018 planned for November. “We are currently planning the event,” he reveals. “It is an information technology showcase and we have not done one of these for a while. We are looking at the latest technologies and seeing what products the technology industry has to offer the AEC sector.” It will be a two-day event on November 8th and 9th in Croke Park to round off the CitA calendar of events.

CitA Skillnet

“Skillnets are funding the CitA training programme again in 2018,” Alan informs us. “This includes new courses such as data analytics. It includes funding for a Certificate in Open BIM. This is in association with buildingSmart.” The CitA Skillnet programme is a great opportunity for companies to reduce their training costs by up to 20%.

Future of the BICP, Government BIM Strategy

What is next for the BICP? This project displayed the Irish Construction Industry’s journey with BIM thus-far, which helped to shape and inform the NBC Roadmap. It was in effect a funding vehicle to showcase and celebrate our digital capability. What were the major successes of this research? “The major success was that it elevated the profile of BIM and the value that can be delivered by BIM to the construction sector,” he states. “Unfortunately there is no extension to the funding for the BICP going forward, but if anything that makes me even more determined to press on. Hopefully, the Irish Government will fund the implementation of the NBC Roadmap to manage the digital transition programme envisaged in the NBC Roadmap, after all this is what governments have done throughout the world. Why should Ireland be any different?”

The Government BIM Strategy is much talked about; we ask what Alan expects from the Government this year with regards their Digital Strategy. “The Government have not released a trigger date for the implementation of BIM on public projects but I know that efforts are being made to recruit technical expertise to support the digital transition, in particular, the task to integrate BIM into the Capital Works Framework requirements,” he explains. “We need the construction industry to be treated like other industries. We need a centre of construction excellence in Ireland.” He adds, “There is a recommendation in the Roadmap for a centre of excellence for implantation of BIM in Ireland, let’s see if this will be delivered.”

“We need the Government to lead, the market to respond and an international panel of experts to judge proposals for the development of a centre of excellence,” he says.

Telling us about CitA’s association with the ICE Awards, Alan says, “It is great to be associated with the Irish Construction Excellence Awards, and there is a great selection of Judges for the BIM Category, with Emma Hayes, PM Group; Tim Segal, IT Tralee; Niall Kane, Vinci Construction UK; and Paul Doherty of the digit group inc providing national and international expertise.”

Alan states, “The Irish Construction Industry is looking for support for BIM, particularly SMEs, they need advice. I hope the Government will see the way to support these SMEs as they transition to BIM in the future.”

Concluding, Alan says, “The recent announcement of Kingspan’s investment in the cloud-based data management platform Invicara and Autodesk’s recent announcement of investment in 200 Irish jobs and an Irish base all adds further evidence of the rapid transformation that is taking place at present and we must prepare for this change.”

All Irish Construction Industry stakeholders should make themselves aware of the NBC Roadmap. Link:

The Digital Transition Series will feature in the upcoming issues of Irish building and on throughout 2018. You can read our interviews with many of the CitA Board members and past event speakers in the BIM People section on the website.

Comments are closed.