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eConstruction Roundtable Includes BIM DiscussionApril 22, 2009
Design Data participated in the eConstruction Roundtable held one day prior to the NASCC conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Organized and sponsored by the AISC, this invitation-only gathering brought together leaders in the steel industry to share knowledge and brainstorm ideas on how to tackle current challenges in the industry.
The eConstruction Roundtable topics included BIM experiences and industry perspectives, an owner's BIM viewpoints, legal issues for BIM in collaborative contracting, and interoperability from the software developer's perspective.
During the roundtable, Doug Evans, Design Data's vice president of sales, spoke about the importance of software interoperability for BIM projects. Evans emphasized that software interoperability allows each project partner to shine in their area of expertise, using the analogy "let the fish swim and the rabbits jump." While encouraging the audience to team with partners and find ways to provide the information using software, Evans also pointed out that a true BIM job is more than software — it requires a change in the way projects are implemented.
Following the presentations, several breakout sessions allowed attendees to delve further into the day's topics. In the software interoperability session, Design Data's Interoperability Network (IN) was recognized as an industry event that facilitates the continued need for software interoperability and integration. Other sessions addressed the legal aspects of BIM and its impact on standard practices for design and construction.
Overall, the eConstruction Roundtable was well regarded by both attendees and presenters. Said Evans, “I'd like to commend AISC in continuing to keep interoperability and technology at the forefront of the steel industry. Their efforts in organizing and hosting events like the eConstruction Roundtable not only benefit those in attendance, but the entire industry. Exchanging project successes and failures, and discussing new approaches as a group, is invaluable. Not many industries have this vision and I believe that gatherings like this will help the steel industry advance at a much faster rate and become an example for others to follow.”
Barry Butler, Design Data's executive vice president, has attended several of these roundtables in years past. He noted that, "the software in the steel industry has made great strides to be more interoperable. We are not exactly where we want to be, but I think we can see our efforts starting to pay off. It was nice to see consumers in the industry recognize this progress at the eConstruction Roundtable. The near future promises to be exciting.”