It’s proving a busy end to this year for GroupBC, having recently attended Digital Construction Week, and now preparing for the next event, Highways UK in November as well as supporting BIM Regions Thames Valley on 31st October.

Digital Construction Week proved to be the biggest and best yet with approx. 5000 visitors over 2 days, with maximum attendance at most of the theatres.  Whether you were interested in the latest cutting-edge AR technologies, trying your hand at drone racing, or simply improving your BIM knowledge, this was the place to be.

Enabling BIM as BAU

Sainsbury's Digital Estate DCW2018

Michael Barber from Sainsbury’s discussing their Digital Estate on the BIM Village

GroupBC was delighted to be represented by customers, partners and staff in several of the talks, including how Sainsbury’s Digital Estate is supporting better decisions, presented by their System Development Manager, Michael Barber.

Michael explained the challenges Sainsbury’s faced when updating their existing estate as they moved from new builds to making the most of what they have, incorporating new initiatives and acquisitions. While some owners might start by laser-scanning existing premises in readiness for BIM, Sainsbury’s adopted a more innovative approach. GroupBC was tasked with integrating existing systems and data into a Digital Estate that would enable users to search across for stores quickly and easily to see what assets they have, how many and where they are located, saving time in making decisions and improving investment planning.

Stephen Crompton delivering COBie Tips and Tricks as part of the UK BIM Alliance panel

Stephen Crompton delivering COBie Tips and Tricks as part of the UK BIM Alliance panel

Members of the UK BIM Alliance Technology Group, including our very own Chief Product Officer, Stephen Crompton, discussed Tips and Tricks for COBie. The group consists of representatives from several software manufacturers who are working together to improve design and construction software interoperability to encourage the development of enabling technologies supporting the adoption of BIM Level 2 and beyond. This fact in itself impressed some members of the audience who weren’t aware that we are such a collaborative bunch of technoheads!

On the Tech Stage, GroupBC’s Rick Cooper demonstrated how Highways England is using our Common Data Environment (CDE) to coordinate and accelerate the sharing and capture of design, construction and operational based information across their major road programmes including Smart Motorways. The CDE ensures Highways England is involved from the earliest stage, helping to improve the delivery of projects, by establishing standards, consistency and reliability in the information across the asset lifecycle.

You can catch Rick at Highways UK on the PA Consulting stage at 1.30pm, 6th November if you’d like to chat about this further. We’re on Stand D28 next to the main conference.

GeoLocation – the key to successful project delivery

Mackley at DCW

Trevor Mossop from Mackley on the GeoSpatial Theatre at DCW 2018

Another key theme was the use of geospatial data on projects, our customer Trevor Mossop at JT Mackley demonstrated the challenges they faced when planning to make use of it on their flood defence project for the Environment Agency. The traditional interfaces associated with information management assume a level of knowledge of tagging and structure usually absent, given the churn on projects. Even the most informed can still struggle when having to search or navigate for information on a small screen, especially when working on site.

It is all too easy to give up or, worse, make decisions using incorrect or out of date information. Mackley solved this problem through adopting BIM standards and linking outputs to GISusing an Ordnance Survey map as the most natural, intuitive interface.

Pushing the boundaries of BIM

Our partners PCSG demonstrated GeoConnect+,which was co-developed and hosted by GroupBC as part of a joint project, and their latest research to connect asset owners to information via a choice of interfaces including the original Ordnance Survey map. As well as a gaming interface, with the aim of creating better value for users by helping them better understand their asset, it’s geolocation, it’s surrounding terrain and the demographics of their assets in the simplest ways possible.

We’re also delighted to be working with Sakthy Selvakumaran, Civil Engineer & PhD Researcher at University of Cambridge, and Satellite Applications Catapult on their ground-breaking research on how satellite radar data is helping to predict weaknesses in built infrastructure such as bridges from space, and how we may be able to use digital models to derive value from this data to prevent disasters before they occur.

If you’d like to find out more about how GroupBC can help you on your digital transformation, and improve your information management no matter what stage you are at, please get in touch.