The BIM Academy of 2022

by Dr Graham Kelly | December 21, 2022 | 6 min read

The BIM Academy of 2022
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Just as quickly as we entered 2022, we are about to embark on our end of year exit. 2021 was a challenging year, and for many the beginning of 2022 was a welcomed one. For me it was the start of my first full year as Managing Director. Having been with BIM Academy for 10 years, I have been part of its supersonic growth – with expansions in our team and regional reach.

We have grown into one of the world’s leading experts in digital transformation, partnering with global businesses in the built environment to tackle the most important digital construction challenges. We help our clients unlock their potential to drive project success and organisational growth through digital strategies and better information management.

In 2022 we placed great emphasis on expanding the business in North America and this year we have achieved new client wins across the US and Canada in automotive, healthcare, housing and heritage. As a global leader in technology and software it is clear this region is a dominant force on the world stage of digital transformation.

With one of the largest construction markets in the world, the US construction sector alone was valued at $2 trillion in 2021 and is projected to achieve an annual growth rate of more than 3% from 2023-2026.

The recently passed $1 trillion US Infrastructure Bill includes an investment to accelerate the deployment of advanced digital construction management systems. This means it is fast tracking the digitalisation of national building and infrastructure projects. As a result of incentives such as this, we are witnessing an increase in BIM adoption across the US and a need for strategic BIM consultancy services.   

But project wins are not the only successes for BIM Academy in 2022. We celebrated our people behind the process and welcomed Paul Thorpe and Bola Abisogun OBE as two new Directors – both with exceptional skill in digital construction and extensive experience enhancing project success through the use of new technology and future thinking.

We also saw Dr Melanie Robinson awarded best Young Property Professional of the Year, with Melanie leading on an initiative that celebrated International Women’s Day, showcasing the brilliance of many women who are pioneers in their field. Initiatives like this are important to us at BIM Academy to show the significance of  talent within our industry, with thinking beyond the typical myths of traditional roles within construction.

It is often rare to find a business that is passionate about people, process and delivery, with an understanding on adding value as much as achieving success. Over the past year we felt it was important to share key thinking and themes from industry with our clients and our community, which is why we have delved deeply into the workings of ISO 19650, Digital Twins, The Golden Thread and Building Safety. These four areas are key drivers in our operations for client support, guidance and thinking.

Through the service areas of strategy, information management, research and learning and development we have been helping clients take their projects and their own digital skills to the next level.

In early 2022 we released new training programmes in our Future Learning series, to help people better understand what is expected from the likes of ISO 19650 and Digital Twins.

At BIM Academy we have been delivering on Digital Twins for over 10 years, most notably with the delivery of digital solutions and improved data management for the Sydney Opera House. We all know the use of the Digital Twin is expanding, and there is clear evidence Digital Twin technology is transforming the fabric of our buildings. But to maximise its impact, the Digital Twin needs to be all about interoperability, ensuring secure and resilient data flows seamlessly between all parties. This is an important enabler for achieving not only a connection between the asset and its data, but for the realisation of asset optimisation, net zero emissions targets, climate change resilience and a truly circular economy.

This also forms a key part of our own BIM Academy sustainability strategy,  which alongside our sister company, Ryder Architecture,  we released earlier this year. Our actions on climate change have intensified with the release of our second Digital Climate podcast series when Peter Barker talked to some of our friends and knowledge experts around the world about the creative ways innovation and digital technologies are converging to address the climate emergency.

The responsibility to protect the planet lies with each of us and at BIM Academy we have been committed to working sustainably for a number of years through our heritage of deep understanding of sustainable ways of working. We have set our own net zero carbon targets across the business and have already identified significant savings from previously wasted energy. Taking data from our offices during 2019, 2020 and 2021, with half-hourly measurements from energy use, we have identified on which days and months we are consuming the most energy and where savings can be applied.

As a result, we have made significant behavioural changes, adjusted control settings and taken corrective action. All lighting and heating are now on timed sensors and significant carbon reductions have been achieved. We have also taken into account the impact of the pandemic and the time out of the building! To the future we are looking at more detailed data monitoring and reviewing retrofit options for our offices to make them smarter.

It certainly has been an incredibly busy year, and we end it with further commitments, as we embark on a 12 month strategy to educate industry on Building Safety requirements and what this means to building owners/occupiers. We plan to implement a series of events and education activities to ensure full understanding of what is needed and required to prevent any future tragedies.

My mission is to continue investing in our team and our business to help our clients grow in knowledge, skill and organisational success. The closer we stay to our clients and to understanding what their challenges are, the more nimble and agile we can be to invest and stay ahead of their needs, and the industry’s needs.

I am looking to 2023 with positivity, confidence and optimism for another year of great achievement from a commendable team with shared passions for digital processes and how they can truly be transformational.