When is a model not a model

Be very precise in what you ask for when asking for a model as part of your BIM level 2 methodology, otherwise you might see the following:

  1. When it’s a series of 2d images imported and arranged like the set from blazing saddles to give the impression there are different views of the 3D data set. 
  2. As above but using 2d cad data instead. 
  3. Where objects are in fact imported “dumb” geometry and are limited to making easy 2d coordinated (still better) information. But limited in use. 
  4. When there are objects laid out in plans but the heights are not considered so it’s “intelligent” 2d cad with ambiguous use. 
  5. All this is before you start looking at how models are configured internally with regards to data. 
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“The fate awaiting organisations is brutal” – What happens if you don’t do BIM:

It is not scaremongering when you have observed this first hand!

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It has been a while

It has been nearly 4 months since my last confession. No, that is not the way it was supposed to start!

I promise not to be away so long next time. Suffice to say I have been up to my eyes in the world of Information Requirements and Client interactions. So to keep this short I shall impart these words “Information Management/Manager” predates PAS and is causing me no end of challenges!

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Which application is talking to the internet?

With the advent of “always on” connections we lost that control over knowing the software we using is doing in the background without our knowledge. Whilst it can be benign it can also cause mysterious “hangs” and sluggish response in applications. Also did that “no I do not want to share my data” really work? This tool might ease your mind. It lists every connection both local and internet and tells you which app is doing what and when. You can even stop that process if you want to. Very useful.


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All Your Assets are Belong to us – Moving to a Data Centric view of the world #bsl2015

Stage 3: All Your Assets are Belong to us – Moving to a Data Centric view of the world

 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

In the context of BS1192 the UK is steadily moving toward a future that results in high quality asset information delivered to owners. This is a great step forward for the UK and the industry.

The industry must begin to put data at the centre…. We believe this is the only way to reach Level 3 BIM.

In most 3D model centric workflows the benefit seen by the owner is not as easily seen by the design and construction teams. To get benefits from management and collecting information the industry must begin to put data at the centre. In this approach the 3D model is just one of many possible connected kinds of information that can describe an asset. We believe this is the only way to reach Level 3 BIM.

In this class I will describe this approach and provide case studies on how HOK is beginning to move to a data centric view in our project processes. The class will also provide illustrations of how we are beginning to use like FME and dRofus to enable this transition on top of open standards like IFC and BCF.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the benefits of putting a data centric view of a project at the centre of your process
  • Explore how different technologies can begin describe and collect this data for your firm
  • Understand how open standards like IFC and BCF can server as the backbone of a data centric design and construction process


Greg SchleusnerFirmwide Director of buildingSMART Innovation – HOK
We would prefer a fusion process over fission. At the moment there are a lot of people in between activities. Similar to the days of operators connecting calls. New technology in an old implementation.We are trying to use technology in a forward thinking way but hitching it to a process that does not support it. Rocket booster size/train/track width/chariot wheel base. Things were around drawings so the trend was to have things around a model. Is this right?
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You need to be able to stitch this all together. A thing exists and it has an identifier. After linking ensure that you can continue to mine data about a thing. How do you link laserscans to space data?With flexibility come great opportunities. Computers are not doing enough for us. A lot of the tools we like are those we watch work. Bcf is made for people and not for computers. Software vendors don’t recognise this paradigm. Bcf transmits object ID and a carbon unit based description. Not computable format. I thought the cloud was computers and not just disc drives. Why are we asking so little?CMC – carbon monitored computerWhat are we working on:Separate data from modelFocused workflowsIdentify out needs. 
Sharing data, keeping it live. You have to wait until someone is complete until you can work with it. Once you articulate the challenge you can start to see the solution. Light location, housing, wiring. Three models of the same decision. Allowing a shared but separate representation, needs to be solved. Sometimes lots of effort but you also need action. 
Needs : database, translator that can talk to databases and a model store. 
Recipe for the test kitchen. Drofus, FME and 3D repo as tools. Drofus works on an open source database which FME can see. Www.safe.comFME acts as a router. Manipulate information as its passed through. Links to google docs and spreadsheets. It can carry out data validation of solids etc. 3d repo model store can be queried, data and geometry. Version control and differencing. Example – what were the last 10 operating theatres you did and what do they look like. Version control and differencing. One step synching and communication. You can put web based input the system. So maps. Query the context from open street map. 
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Drofus tracks changes well using differencing. Data needs to be portable, assessable, transformable and flow automatically. 
“They are two things I don’t like change and the way things are. “
Drofus makes unique spaces rather than types which challenges use at scheme design. Robust but not complete 3d dats handling. 

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Business value of photogrammetry in infrastructure projects #bsl2015

Stage 2: Business value of photogrammetry in infrastructure projects

 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Photogrammetry is one of the most promising areas in bridging the physical world and the synthetic. Especially in civil and infrastructure construction where surveying traditionally is a manual and labor consuming task. The convergence of several trends such as miniaturization, cloud computing and augmented reality has enabled NCC to combine technologies to create an autonomous surveying platform based on a photogrammetry and traditional surveying techniques.

At NCC this has not only given us the opportunity to accurately survey larger areas with the same resources but it has also contributed to giving the surveyor role a new and innovative face.

We will outline some of the key drivers behind the program together with some figures on the potential savings photogrammetry can give.

Showing a number of use cases for a small Arial platform only using a camera; from initial area assessments increasing the accuracy in bids to calculating total volumes extracted from quarries, determining progress on road construction to producing as built accurate models of sewage and freshwater pipes in residential areas. Quickly capturing reality data and moving it into the virtual world creating a correct representation of the current environment to be used in the design, both for new production and for renovation.

Learning Objectives

  • Business value of using photogrammetry
  • Current limitations and pitfalls
  • Key uses cases for UAV platforms for photogrammetry


Patrik Lindvall
Manager ICT Applications – NCC Construction Sweden

Core value as a company of looking forward.
Lots of speculation about the future by futurists
4p bottom line
Demands are coming from society. Expectations of those growing up in our society are very different.
The next generation workforce. A consumer based product brought back into the company to meet the expectations of the youth.
The earth is over 4 billion years old but did not come with a built in FM system.
Risks are drivers in infrastructure.
Poor quality initial data, gathering has risks so how to be more efficient and attractive.
We are becoming lightweight nomads. Not fixed to a place or company.
They wanted to change their industry. Make it more attractive.
More high tech than heavy tech.
Needed a platform to get a camera high into the air.
Two things drive this. Adoption, awareness, understanding, support and champion. Change to UAV raised awareness as its was pretty cool in an engineering company. Understand by doing. It means you can support it better and a better informed customer when procuring 3rd parties. Gave 6 champions as an outcome.
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Technical was solved in 2 months after talking to photographers.
Then came legal and insurance in order to operate the machines.
The IT was only 5/10%
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Visual inspection by the building inspector reducing cost of access and safety risk.
Use of picture models. You get the site hooked on this info, they will not want to go back. This will create a demand on design. This will put the demand on the customer to specify it.
Being able to do vertical is inspections save costs on kit and reduce health and safety risk
Some images can be use directly and some need processing.
Is the weather a limiting factor, depends on what you want to capture. Contrast, shadow elinaition, colour.
Asphalt roads are harder to number crunch than open pit quarries.
Higher accuracy, lower flight speed. Lower accuracy, higher flight speed.
Looking for a balance between bandwidth versus local processing.
It’s a not a toy, it’s a platform for efficiency and safety.
A UAV is classed as a commercial aircraft.
Regulations vary around the world. U.S. Have to be trained pilots, Sweden they retrained a QS.
Potential restriction on aerial photography.
Issues with capturing images of people.
Problems with unprofessional “actors”
With all these problems why not get a third party. Immature market, varying quality and levels of professionalism.
Looking to set the standard for 1cm photogrammetry.
Due to the size and complexity of quarries UAV outperformed laser scanning.
60% lower costs and 10% better utilisation. Most of all improved work safety.
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To renew our industry we need the right people.
Be responsible and fly safe.
Lidar is under investigation but payload issues. Limited to 7kg.
Auto runs but you must have an operator as backup and keen in line of site. Manual take of and landing.
Permits to fly in cities. Have to be well away from airports. Fly in fenced off areas.
Takes 5 days to train a pilot.
Operator launches, observes and lands. The rest is controlled by a mission planner.
Visual inspections has a pilot and the inspector controls the camera.
Establish visible markers on the ground for controls and georeferenced.
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Chair’s Remarks #bsl2015


1:45 PM – 2:15 PM

Chair’s Remarks

Date: , Location: 


Clients starting to think about ROI
Clients need to take a share of the benefits.
Starting to get really concrete examples of delivery.
It’s been done and can be demonstrated. Manchester grapheene Center.
Promises made in 2010 have come to fruition.
Bringing things together and not just innovation for innovation sake.
Coordinated BIM approach across Europe.
Clients are interested in paying for research for long term gains.
Information management as a knowledge and business process.
Driving real improvement in the industry and society.
Level 3 is more than the next stage on the wedge, but it’s moving into performance.
Be able to procure more capacity from less resource.
Maximise the availability of assets.
Reduce whole life carbon.
Closer to the mainstream and how digitally enabled countries should operate.
Potential to move to digital trading.
Setting forth on level 3 you have to first look back at level 2.
We have critical mass.
A body of knowledge.
Willingness to deliver the product.
  1. The market availability
  2. The market behaviours. It’s time for the industry to rebalance.
  3. Client outcomes. Is competitive advantage visible
  4. Client expectations. Specify, manage and meet them.
  5. Do the clients have their own readiness.
  6. Do clients have a route to value. If you can link value to owner/occupier/tenant you have something really powerful.
  7. Are you ready for the tipping point? Consolidate level 2.
  8. Do oraganisations have strength and depth.
  9. Can you demonstrate performance.
There are two audiences. Those that need to be brought along and those that are driving it forward.
Have to concentrate more on delivery of benefits.
Think about performance, performance and performance.
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