Some BIMspiration for us all: Rhys Lewis from the UK BIM Alliance
This past year forced many unforeseen challenges on to us all. These obstacles, in many cases, happened in a flash. Luckily, for those in the AEC industry, and specifically the UK and European region, Rhys Lewis was, and is there.
Rhys is the director of EMEA for Revizto and a chair of the UK BIM Alliance Wales. He has spent the last 15 years in the construction technology space, encouraging clients and stakeholders to create better experiences in design, construction and facilities management, and empowering teams with solutions and ideas to improve collaboration. If there is one thing that Rhys is not afraid of, it’s a new challenge.
As a man of many talents, his energy and passion (not just for construction technology) might be his best features – and they are infectious. We got to sit down with him and hear about his thoughts on the past year, and where the AEC industry is going.
A big BIMimpact in the UK and Europe
While the UK seems further along in the digital transformation journey compared to many countries, in the AEC industry there is a divide depending on who you speak to and what BIM actually means to their organisation. Even with the variety of initiatives being aimed at encouraging adoption across government projects, there is still a long way to go.
“I meet so many different organisations and see this significant divide where the frontrunners are really pushing ahead while others are still considering what and if this transformation is for them or not. This is why I’m keen to share the many benefits of implementing BIM and digital processes via the UK BIM Alliance network with the hope that we can continue to shift our whole industry,” says Rhys.
For many, the pandemic forced them to adopt new ways of working, because they simply have to. Sharing information and collaborating became more difficult as colleagues were not across the room anymore. The good news is that the technology is already there and for those using an Integrated Collaboration Platform like Revizto have seen huge growth. The bad news for many, especially people like Rhys, is that they miss the people.
“Zoom, Teams, Facetime are great for the time being – but a beer at an Expo Hall booth is well overdue!”
We asked Rhys, what are the challenges that you hear from clients?
“Each client has slightly different challenges, and that’s because their focus is different. To give some context, our client list includes 20 of the top 25 ENR firms – including AECO firms like BDP, Aecom, Skanska to the Met Office. Clearly, their needs are different, but as a broad challenge, I would say, data. Making use of the many different formats they have and giving access to the team that need it is certainly challenging. Aecom called this process File Format Gymnastics, prior to using Revizto.”
Creating a culture of true cross-team collaboration
As an ICP (Integrated Collaboration Platform), Revizto offers users the ability to federate multiple file formats (.RVTs, .DGB, .RCPs, PDFs and many more) into a single user-friendly environment. Revizto creates a central hub for all models and project data making it accessible and actionable for all project team members regardless of technical skill level, providing universal access to project’s data, both for 2D and 3D workflows and created a culture of collaboration across all trades from the first day of the project’s inception.
“Our Issue Tracker allows for a wide range of activities to be set, tracked and managed very efficiently in real-time, which all feed directly into our web-based interactive dashboards. We’re seeing our clients use Revizto as a digital communication tool for design review, QA, CDM, DDR, DIR, coordination, clash management, and more now in Operation.”
“What does collaboration mean to you?”
Rhys: “Let me start with: accessibility, usability, affordability, escape-ability. To collaborate on a project, data needs to be accessible regardless of what file formats are involved. Once we have a single container for all this information, we need to be able to use it on our device of choice. The whole team needs to be involved and therefore we need a cost module that allows that to happen. As this is our client’s data, they have the right to extract their data at will. I believe that if we can meet these then true collaboration will flourish giving clients confidence.”
What is the next innovation with BIM and Integrated Collaboration? What does the future hold?
Rhys: “We have a real opportunity ahead of us as we continue to see existing technology evolve and new technology appear. With construction hardware now becoming more sophisticated than ever we’ll see this area start to ramp up. The need for verification is becoming ever more important. Seeing robot dogs scanning construction sites feeding real-time data to project teams will quickly become a baseline standard for all projects.
“Another area I believe we will see lots of activity is with digital twins. There is a huge appetite from clients to get real-time access to their assets. I’m excited to see what this space will look like in the not too distant future.”
What is your favourite project you have seen Revizto used on?
“Good question! There have been so many favourites over the years, but if I had to choose it would be one of our owner-operator clients, and if I have to pick one it would be the Estates Team at UWE (the University of the West of England) managed by Mike Ford. We’ve been on an amazing digital journey with Mike and the team, who are constantly looking to rule bend and break barriers while innovating with their use of our digital technology. Their use of Revizto continues to evolve, and they are a great advocate for showcasing the benefit of BIM for Estates and Operation.”
The year put a huge focus on not just collaboration, but effective digital collaboration – and that will not be changing anytime soon. Luckily, Rhys is here to BIMspire us all.
Revizto just released their annual Collaborators of the Year Awards with some other major industry players from around the world that took the challenges of 2020 head-on, including the largest design-build project in the United States. For more on the winners and about Revizto, visit Revizto.com
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