What BIM means to Mike Turpin and the need for the industry to actually embrace change rather than just talk about it
Our in-conversation-with series continues with Mike Turpin, Consultant at Innovating Futures who told us that we can no longer rely on historic methods and practices of construction and it’s time to look at how we can do things better.
What is your current role?
I am an independent BIM and Digital Construction consultant working for Innovating Futures. My role involves assisting a wide range of people in all aspects of the construction industry from designers and engineers through to manufacturers and owner operators.
What does BIM mean to you and how do you use/implement digital construction methodology on your projects?
I believe that BIM is crucial to the future of the construction industry, its not going to solve all of our problems but it will make a difference. We all know that historic methods and practices can’t continue and we need to look at how we can do things better, I think BIM and Digital construction is the catalyst needed to really push this. My implementation of BIM is usually always different depending on the project and team I am working with, the one thing that is always consistent however is the need to match the BIM implementation to their goals and objectives. If BIM implementation isn’t focussed directly on the projects goals and undertaken in a way that’s realistic for that team then it will always be a struggle.
When did you first start working with BIM?
My first BIM 3D modelling project was in 2007 when I was working in the Civil / Structural department of Gifford’s (now Ramboll). Unlike many however my first project wasn’t in Revit but instead in Civil 3D, where I was tasked with creating an intelligent 3D modelling method for below ground drainage and services. After this I did move into Revit, using the now historic looking 2008 versions of Structure and MEP. It was at this time I also became interested in what we now call BIM following the request of one of the projects to follow the principles of the newly released BS1192. Fast forward a couple of years and I had completely moved away from projects into a BIM lead role helping others to adopt these processes.
Why should BIM Show Live visitors attend your talk?
My talk at this years BIM Show Live is going to be the combination of my focus for the last couple of years – change. We all know what BIM is, what it can do for us and the benefits it brings to projects but yet most of us still struggle with the challenge of getting this adopted by our companies and teams. Having helped many organisations to transition into new ways of working I am going to present and illustrate some of my theories which I hope can help you to succeed with your own change plans. I’m also open to any challenges and findings from the rest of the delegates so if you have a view on this then please come and chat to me.
What technologies in the AEC industry currently impress you the most?
There are lots of interesting technologies coming out most of which impress me however I also think a lot of these are ambitious and overhyped in their reality to become widespread in the next couple of years. For instance tech such as AR glasses could be fantastic for construction and these impress people in demo’s however in reality I believe the industry is so far away from being able to use technology like this as the standard everyday device. Look how long its taken to get established technology such as tablet’s onto construction sites….
Some technology which I spend a lot of time working with and really impresses me is micro computers such as the Raspberry Pi and Arduino. These incredibly cheap, small and powerful devices can do so much and when integrated with all kind of sensors make for an interesting link to the BIM model. I think the biggest tech change we will see in the AEC industry over the next couple of years will be software based with more and more people either developing tools themselves or commissioning bespoke software to be built for them. We’ve built many of these bespoke tools and for the small outlay in development costs they can return some huge time and efficiency benefits.
What do you think will be the next big thing in BIM and digital construction?
BIM and Digital Construction still have a huge way to go in my opinion before we have truly reached a revolution in our industry. Whilst there is a lot of good future thinking out there, I would like to see more being done across the sector to raise everyone to todays required standard rather than running after the next thing and creating a potentially disastrous skills gap. Having said that, I do think that the next big thing will be the introduction of proven artificial intelligence into the industry. My hope for this is that it can be used to assist our industry in its digital transformation.
See Mike’s talk at BIM Show Live: First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you on Wednesday 27 February at 14:00.