This past week, Christy Cavataio and I had the opportunity to present at the European BIM Summit in Barcelona, Spain. This third installment of the European BIM Summit had France serve as the guest country and drew more than 500 attendees from across the European Union, with an additional 1,200+attending online. The attendees ranged greatly with teams from not only Spain and France but also Lithuania, the UAE, India, UK, US, and Canada, to name a few. The conference highlighted the “latest advances in the management of the information generated during the life cycle of a construction, which has become indispensable to obtain a constructive process aimed at improving the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of any project, construction work and civil work.”

It’s been extremely interesting to see the evolution of BIM in Barcelona, as I’ve had the opportunity to present at all three iterations of the event. Much like the UK BIM Standard, government agencies from across Catalonia have been engaged in the conversation and conference, which has recently yielded the development of eight key BIM documents highlighting the fact that they are beginning to request BIM in new tenders, providing a top-down leadership to drive adoption with other agencies. This initiative will look to provide a full BIM launch in 2018 that will “merge the brick with the click.”

While Barcelona considers itself the capital of BIM in Spain, they have found their biggest hurdle to be supply and demand, and spreading the word about BIM has taken longer than expected. In addition to the importance of a commitment from government, the team in Barcelona has found it to be equally as important to capture the same level of commitment from both design/construction professionals and the public around the use of BIM. This, combined with the need for more training and more cost effective software, will help to drive the future on BIM in the region. In continuing to move BIM forward in the future, Barcelona has established key milestones every six months, which will include the publishing of a public procurement guide, BIM execution plan, user guides (including sustainability and operations) and interoperability documents. They will also continue to work with the EU BIM Task Group to monitor the implementation of BIM across the European BIM Union while developing an innovation and internationalization plan.

Beyond this continued evolution of BIM in Barcelona, there were key examples of leadership with BIM from across Europe and the globe which included the presentations that both Christy and I provided. Our sessions on LOD and CHUM were both extremely well received and positioned CannonDesign as leaders at a global scale.

Christy’s presentation titled “Strategizing the BIM-enabled Delivery of North America’s Largest Healthcare Project” was part of the “Best Hospitals Case Studies” track and focused on how to successfully execute the award winning, 3.5 million square foot Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal (CHUM) project. Christy explored how the project team was able to develop a robust BIM-enabled project delivery plan that would allow the model to have integrity and value from day one through the ten-year delivery cycle.

My presentation was part of the “Strategy for BIM Standards” track where I had the opportunity to represent the work being done in the United States along with a representative from Spain and France. During my “Strategizing Model Development with the LOD Specification” presentation I had the chance to share how the BIMForum Level of Development (LOD) Specification has become a key industry standard in the United States. In addition, I was able to elaborate on how it is enabling architects, engineers, contractors and owners to specifically describe the evolution of their model elements, an essential component to outlining a successful strategy for their project’s BIM deliverables.

Needless to say, the 2017 European BIM Summit provided some great insight into what Spain, France other countries are doing with BIM while continuing to highlight that the work CannonDesign’s Virtual Design and Construction team are doing are top examples of the work being done across the world.