Our Digital Construction Team share the big takeaways from the recent Autodesk University Conference - ‘The Future of Making Things’
When we were asked to deliver three talks at this year’s Autodesk University, we jumped at the opportunity to share our passion within a room full of other industry leaders.
AU is always a brilliant event that helps impassion and empower, and this year was no different.
Set in the beautiful location of Tobacco Docks in London, the setting only amplifies the desire to create and with digital construction on the forefront of everyone’s minds, the opportunity to learn was ever present.
On the first day of AU, we hosted an industry talk where we focused on using Revit Live from a contractor’s perspective.
In front of a packed class, we discussed a number of our case studies in which Virtual Reality has played an integral role, enhancing the development of the project.
The second day consisted of two presentations, one leading a round table discussion group and the second, a connect and construction presentation to 300 people focussing on how ‘more, better, with less waste’ is becoming a recurring theme within the construction industry.
(Pictured): GRAHAM's Head of Digital Construction, Melanie Dawson, presents at the Autodesk University Conference
What we learned?
AU is a fantastic opportunity to learn from others within the industry and this year we were really encouraged to think about how we incorporate new digital technologies into our workflows, as well as the importance of Industry 4.0.
So what exactly did we learn?
It’s summarised for you in five key points:
BIM is becoming BAU (Business as usual)
I was impressed by the number of people no longer focusing on BIM, this massive mountain that just a few years ago industry struggled to see a way around.
BIM is now seen as manageable and, if taken in small pieces, applicable to all and a tool that will add value.
At GRAHAM, BIM is our process driver for digital construction and we have made a conscious decision to use it for the whole life cycle of the project where it adds value, for other projects a smaller scope works too.
Focusing on where BIM adds value will help make it part of ‘just what you do’ and business as usual.
Robots and machines are shaping our future
They come in a variety of different forms, from 3D printers making chocolate lollies as seen at AU to the creation of the fastest human powered bicycle.
Machine learning and AI, Generative design, Virtual, Augmented and Mixed reality along with robotic systems are already having an impact - let’s continue to explore these types of technology and watch how they are shaping the manufacturing, computer gaming and television industry for clues on how to get them to do more, faster.
Look out for the unexpected potential big disruptors
Information and data is now a powerful commodity, the companies holding vast amounts of information like Amazon or Google have the potential to be major disruptors using this data. This presents the opportunity for non-standard platforms to infiltrate the construction software market.
The same scenario is about to happen in the car industry and companies like Google and Apple are developing their own unmanned vehicle, which can compete with other car manufacturers who are in the industry for more than 100 years.
Seeing more technology companies exhibiting at construction conferences, like AU London, can be a sign of this change.
Unified vision through BIM
The number of construction companies with the ‘Silo’ mentality has been reduced significantly.
We can now see more companies that contentedly share their findings and lessons with their competitors and try to learn from them.
BIM has created a unified vision for the entire industry, and construction companies are now working toward achieving common goals.
Look to the future, to other industries and be brave with what you do.
At present, our strategy focuses on both reactive solutions to help solve problems our teams on site come across but we also look to the future.
Seeking solutions to problems we do not yet know about, it is in this space that real innovation, creativity and opportunity will occur.
We will continue to be brave.