2012 BIM Texas Alliance Conference Recap

BIM Texas Alliance held their first conference last week in San Antonio.  The two day event allowed attendees to explore the state of Building Information Modeling (BIM) being utilized in the public sector, standards for BIM excellence, and the future of BIM in the built environment.  The intimate setting of the conference endorsed conversations from BIM users, experts, and project owners.

Here is our take on this year’s conference.

The BIM Texas Alliance conference had a great group of attendees who wanted to talk frankly about what BIM is currently doing in the architecture/engineering/construction industry as well as brainstorm on what it could be doing in the future.  The opening panel discussion had representatives from Parkland Health & Hospital System, UT Southwestern Medical Center, State of Wisconsin, GSA, Bexar County, and City of Dallas.  Each entity is utilizing BIM in unique ways and implementing it in processes that are difficult (but not impossible) to change.  Collectively, they see the importance of having an integrated project process that is efficient and keeps everyone accountable throughout the project life cycle.

Moving BIM forward, the big discussion revolved around utilizing BIM in facility maintenance.  Several attendees had attended the BIM Forum conference in Tacoma during October and they were interested in discussing the topic further. The need to be able to save owners money past project completion through building maintenance was what several owners are looking for.  This reality is getting closer each day.

Keynote speakers included Charles Matta (GSA), Martin Fischer (CIFE at Stanford University), and Keith Beck (State of Wisconsin).  The GSA is utilizing BIM to keep track of their numerous government buildings and to update the aging infrastructure thereby saving government money.  CIFE’s research in BIM applied science is revolutionizing design options and capturing information from outside traditional building project information to make our environments more cohesive. The State of Wisconsin is pushing forward with BIM integration in facility management and being the front runner in BIM/facility management collaboration.

The first BIM Texas Alliance conference left the door open for future exploration and continuous discussion on how to make BIM better and easily accessible to the entire market.  Planning is underway for the 2013 conference with a tentative location in Houston during September.  If the first conference was this insightful I expect next year’s conference to be just as engaging.