CanBIM Ottawa - 2020 Virtual Session

Published by Kirk Stalkie

June 1, 2020

CanBIM Ottawa - 2020 Virtual Session

Recently, CanBIM came to Ottawa, albeit in a virtual manner. dbNCR was honoured to host and help plan Ottawa’s first full-scale Regional Session in nearly a decade! The event was also CanBIM’s first Virtual Event. While we missed the in-person discussions and catching up, we had the opportunity of reaching a much wider audience, with guests from Europe and South America. For those who were able to attend, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be with us!

The theme of the day was “Digital Twins: Digitalizing a Better Built Environment”. The idea of Digital Twins is by no means new, but it has been coming up in conversation in our industry a lot recently. There are several efforts around the world to begin the digital transformation, including the United Kingdom and Singapore. As we look ahead to this effort in Canada, we thought it important to provide the Canadian AECOO industry with knowledge from global leading experts and provide a reflection of where we stand currently.

We were fortunate to have several amazing presenters from Willow, Bentley, Trax.GD, SAP, Siemens and Dassault. These global leaders provided tremendous insight into the technologies, workflows and current capabilities of Digital Twins. There was also remarkable local representation. Nicolas Arellano, dbNCR’s Director of Research, presented how CIMS is using Dynamo to automate their workflows and leverage data in an effective way. Patrick Lalonde, dbNCR’s Treasurer teamed up with Philip Meadows to present how EllisDon and Modern Niagara are improving collaboration through technology.

In the afternoon’s Executive Speaker series, we were fortunate enough to have two presentations from the federal government, and the work they are doing with BIM, Real Property and Digital Twins. Thank you to both Pierre Tessier, Director General, Project Management Service Line, Real Property Services at PSPC and Wanito Bernadin, CIO and Director of Information Technology at the NCC. Both of these discussions showed how digital workflows will be playing a major role in the future of the National Capital Region.

Finally, the day wrapped up with a panel discussion regarding the human perspective of Digital Twins. I was honoured to moderate our esteemed panel which included Stephen Fai, Director of CIMS and Associate Professor at Carleton University, Patrick Saavedra, Director of Architecture, Engineering and Design at York University, Gord McElravy, Director, Infrastructure Councils at buildingSMART Canada and Jonathan Murphy, Founder and Managing Director of GoGeomatics Canada.

Since the day was filled with discussions surrounding the technical and implementation aspects of Digital Twins, the panel decided to focus on the human element. Specifically, we discussed lessons learned from BIM adoption and how change management, training and strong communication were keys to success. As Digital Twins promise to be a disruptive technology as well, these lessons from the past will prove vital. Next, we discussed the impact to the people using the spaces. Often, discussion around Digital Twins favour the benefits to the owners and operators of the infrastructure. While this is a very important topic, and is required to continue moving the technology forward, it is also valid to consider how this technology will improve the lives of everyone who walk, drive or bike through these environments.

Finally, we discussed how to build a community in Canada to aid with the adoption and implementation efforts of Digital Twins. Groups like buildingSMART Canada, CanBIM and dbNCR are in an excellent position to drive this initiative forward. The people in these BIM communities will ultimately be the driving force behind Digital Twins in Canada, and we should continue to cooperate and support this evolution. If you are working in this space, please reach out to me to see how we can help.

I encourage everyone to watch these presentations, they were incredibly informative. If you attended the event, you can watch all of the presentations here. If you didn't attend, you can access the videos for $5.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on CanBIM's YouTube channel for their public postings of the presentations.

I would once again like to thank all of our presenters for sharing your expertise. I learned a great deal from the presentations, and from the feedback I have received I know that others have too.