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BCFA Bim Workshop Overview

Tuesday 12th February - London

This February at the latest BIM workshop, BCFA members were given an introduction to digital product data and what this means for your business.

Speaker: Craig Sewell

Presentation: Building Information Modelling for The Manufacturer

From: Trade Washrooms



Craig has fifteen years of experience working with construction product manufacturers in the UK and abroad, helping them use digital technologies to transform their business to add value to both themselves and their customers. He recently founded Trade Washrooms, an online marketplace for commercial washroom products.

Craig talked about BIM from a manufacturer’s perspective - how this has evolved, and why manufacturers have a significant role to play in the construction industry making a shift to digital.

  • Product data in Construction is fragmented - PDF, CDs, Word, Excel. The lack of a single source of truth can result in discrepancies, inconsistencies, and, issues with data quality.
  • For a digital built environment, Construction needs to be more like Google, Amazon, Expedia and AutoTrader. The key to unlocking this is structured Data Templates.
  • Read the UK BIM Alliance report on Product Data -

Speaker: Darren Lester

Presentation: Why Specifying Your Products Should Be as Easy as Buying a New TV

From: SpecifiedBy



After training as an Architectural Technologist in Edinburgh, Darren founded in 2013 to help architects and specifiers to research building products and materials more efficiently. Since then, the platform has grown to over 50,000 users per month and has been supported by some of the UK's leading technology investors.

Darren explored the impact of consumer trends on building product selection, and how and why we should be aiming to deliver an experience which looks more like eCommerce.

  • The internet has changed the way we all research products and make purchasing decisions - convenience is king.
  • Architects and specifiers are consumers too. Research shows that 70% of specifiers want to do their own research online without speaking to a manufacturer.
  • Accept and embrace that you are an internet business.

Speaker: Pete Foster

Presentation: So What Data Should Manufacturers Share?

From: Cobuilder UK



Pete is the CEO at Cobuilder UK and specialises in data solutions, software/process and business improvements and offsite construction and manufacturing. He has been actively involved in BIM since 2013.

Pete’s presentation showed us that to facilitate a digital built environment, manufacturer data needs to travel. That is why products need a digital passport. A structured format that gives all the important information in a way understood by everyone (even machines).

  • Construction projects need to work towards a ‘Golden Thread of Information’ as mentioned in the Hackitt Report.
  • Objects are optional, but information is not.
  • Investing in BIM may not win you more work initially, but it will ensure you don’t lose work.