BIM Show Live: BIM’s social impact in the spotlight
The role of digital construction in driving social change was in the spotlight last week, as over 400 delegates and 50 speakers from around the world attended BIM Show Live on 26-27 February.
This year’s event was based on a theme of ‘BIM For Good’, designed to lead the debate around ways in which Building Information Modelling (BIM) can respond to topical challenges such as environmental management of carbon emissions, poverty reduction and an ageing population.
Delegates heard from keynote speakers and Stuart Maggs (CEO of Scaled Robotics), Timandra Harkness (BBC presenter, author, comedian and data expert), Oliver Heath (TV presenter and sustainable architect and designer), Nic Palmarini (Director of the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing).
Topics covered by the full programme of speakers included ways in which the UK’s expertise in BIM is now being shared around the world to improve outcomes in countries as far afield as Vietnam and Peru; the implications of designing for changing demographics and how robotics and machine learning can be used to deliver more value on construction sites.
Rob Charlton, CEO of Space Group and co-founder of BIM Show Live, commented: “This year’s event shows just how far digital construction has come in the UK and how our collective expertise and experience is driving the adoption of BIM not just in the UK but on a global scale. The programme for this year was more outward-looking than ever before and our fantastic panel of speakers over the two days reflected this.
“It’s clear we’re now on a path to realising that the true value of BIM has can, and should, go far beyond how we manage the design and delivery of buildings. We all have a responsibility to use digital construction and data to drive better outcomes for communities and society as a whole.”
“It is genuinely inspiring to see how BIM can be a real game-changer,” added Charlton. “However, what was also very clear from the talks and discussions at BIM Show Live this year is that we still have a lot of work to do to get our own house in order. Many of the people I spoke to, like me, are following the Grenfell Inquiry Phase 2. It’s extremely concerning to see how much urgently still needs to change in the way the sector operates. We now have the tools and the expertise to work more effectively together and ensure the issues emerging on a daily basis around Grenfell are never repeated. A consistent theme of the event was the need for construction to wake up and do better. We can’t wait for legislation to drive process and culture change, we need to be the ones making it happen now.”
As part of BIM Show Live’s theme, a new category was created this year for its national BIM Awards. The BIM for Good Award championed pioneers working to help others and the environment. The winner of the inaugural award was David Miller Architects. Other winners on the night included NBS Chorus (Best New BIM Product), TwinView (Most Innovative BIM Solution) and Auriens Chelsea Project (BIM Project of the Year).
Sustainability was at the heart of this year’s BIM Show Live. Food was all locally sourced and vegetarian and vegan, the printed delegate programme was replaced by a digital app, all drinks cups were reusable, with delegates encouraged to bring their own, and the BIM Awards trophies were made from sustainable source of wood.
Rob Charlton concluded: “BIM Show Live was a real showcase for the expertise, passion and ambition around digital construction in the UK. We are rightly acknowledged as leaders in this field and have much to be proud of. But it also highlights that the challenges we face in moving forward are significant. There’s no doubt we have the capability as construction professionals to take these on, but we need to focus on the big picture, roll our sleeves up and get on with it.”
To find out more about the themes from this year’s BIM Show Live, visit www.bimshowlive.co.uk
XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality
Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality aims to "revolutionise" the construction sector with its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) solution, Holosite.
Designed to enable an on time and on budget delivery of construction projects, by eliminating building errors, HoloSite has been available to select customers through an early access programme and has already been used on projects totalling a value of over £1.5bn in the last year.
With approximately 98% of construction megaprojects facing cost overruns or delays and 7-11% of project costs being spent on correcting errors, XYZ Reality’s purpose-built integrated AR solution directly addresses these issues.
With its safety certified AR hardhat, cloud platform and in-built proprietary software, Holosite accurately positions high fidelity 3D design models on construction sites, enabling teams to build it right, first time. The technology system has been used on complex construction projects including data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and airports.
This funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition of transforming projects by preparing for HoloSite’s commercial launch in the USA and continuing investment in strengthening research and development. The company is also growing its London team to include key hires across technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
David Mitchell, Founder and CEO of XYZ Reality, said developing its engineering-Grade AR solution helping construction teams identify errors in real-time is just the start.
"The next phase is Assisted Reality, where our spatial computing technology will have the intelligence to automatically detect and report issues in the field. And ultimately, the goal is builders building from holograms. Our vision of developing world changing products aligns with Octopus Ventures’ mission of investing in companies that are powering the next industrial revolution. We look forward to building history.”
The latest round of funding is led by Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe, known for its commitment of investing in companies and founders that are changing the world. Octopus Ventures has a strong track record, spanning investment in health, fintech, consumer, B2B software, and deep tech. This includes WaveOptics, one of Octopus Ventures’ early investments in Augmented Reality, which was recently acquired by Snap Inc.
Rebecca Hunt, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: "We’ve always invested in entrepreneurs leading industry change and XYZ is doing just that. It's solving a massive problem that costs the construction industry billions every year, using its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality solution to spearhead a shift in the sector’s approach. The founding team of David, Umar and Murray have deep domain and technical expertise, which we believe makes XYZ uniquely placed to drive this transformation.”
XYZ Reality also announces a new partnership with Mace, for the construction of a hyper-scale data centre in Europe. With speed to market being particularly essential for mission critical builds, HoloSite’s AR technology will have a significant role in supporting an accurate and time effective build for Mace, which last week appointed Jon McElroy its new Managing Director for International Technology.
Mace Technical Director, Stephen Henley, said: “Mace has built a reputation of redefining the boundaries of ambition, always bringing efficiency, innovation and responsibility to our projects. With the implementation of XYZ’s groundbreaking AR system, we continue to be committed to delivering projects faster, safer and better than ever before.”
Five years ago, Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research expected virtual and augmented reality to become an $80 billion market by 2025.
But according to new research by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, nearly 28 million augmented and mixed reality smart glasses will ship in 2026, while the total global AR/MR market will surpass $175 billion in the same year.
"Major tech players across hardware, software, and services look familiar in the consumer space, contributing to strong and consistent overall growth," says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director for ABI Research. "Those big tech names, with active investment and product ranging from already available, to announced, to all-but-announced, are creating a consumer AR market that will be dynamic and welcoming rather than struggling and immature."