Record breaking event – ECI & COMIT Joint Workshop & Community Day

It’s official! ECI / COMIT had a new record attendance of over 90 people at the ECI & COMIT Joint Workshop & Community Day. Including our guests we had representatives from a total of 51 different companies or academic institutions who are active in the construction sector. The event was kindly hosted by COMIT member Bentley Systems at the BIM Academy in their offices in London.

The record turnout was helped by the large number of guests we had from both COMIT and ECI members. We had guest attendees from AEC Events, 4 Green Architecture, Austin Company, Bouygues UK, Brunel University, CAT Surveys, CB&I UK, CNS, Dragados, FCC, Ferrovial UK, GeoEnable, GlaxoSmithKline, Global Insurance Group, Imtech, Lendlease, Mammoet, McKinsey & Company, McNicholas Group, PHS Compliance, Ponticelli, Scantech, Skanska, Technimont and Trellis Works.

Clive reminded the delegates that ECI were involved in the creation of COMIT (almost 14 years ago) via their link with Loughborough University.

New Member
Iain Miskimmin (COMIT director) welcomed everyone on behalf of hosts Bentley Systems and also welcomed Peter Mavo of new member Ecologic into the community.

COMIT currently has 53 member organisations, a diverse mix of clients, construction companies, suppliers and technology solution providers including a number of academic partners.

 In a “safety moment” Iain also took the opportunity to promote Citizen Aid. This is a mobile application supported by the UK Government and MOD that provides information on what to do during an emergency – such as an explosion or terrorist attack – including first aid advice. It can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play and you are encouraged to try it out.

Project Updates
Tony Shooter (Chair for Technology) described COMIT’s recent involvement with Innovate UK and the KTN in gathering feedback from the industry for the governments new Industrial Strategy.

Tony and Steve Slater (Chair for Construction) also reported on a number of activities and gave an update on the Rapid Site Setup and Automated Drone Reality projects. The later has already been trialled at the Crossrail Plumstead Depot in London and is now entering Phase 2.

Throughout the day there were a number presentations from members and guests. Most of these are now available on the Community Day Page of the COMIT website, along with photographs from the event. The presentations included:

  • Cost Effective Digitisation of Existing Assets by Graham Cameron of GlaxoSmithKline

  • Supply Chain BIM Experiences by Mehul Pindoria and Justine Weed of Austin Company

  • Advanced Work Packaging by Steve Rice of Bentley Systems

There was also a number of shorter Ten Minute “Tech” Talks later in the day which included:

  • Wearable photogrammetry by Monika Zibolyte and Michal Zu of Bentley Systems

  • VR – Health and Safety Plant by Harry Parnell from Balfour Beatty

  • Crossrail VR Tunnel Inspection by William Reddaway of Crossrial

  • Rapid Site Deployment Success Story by Graham McLean from Link-Connect

  • Making use of a Matterport Camera by Justin Aroyeun of BAM Nuttall

Many thanks to all of our presenters for taking the time and effort to share their knowledge and experience with the rest of the community.

Demonstration Technologies
It would not be a COMIT event without some technology in evidence and this occasion was no exception. Max Mallia-Parfitt of COINS:FULCRO brought along a HoloLens with some example models and there was no shortage of volunteers willing to test it out during the breakouts.

The workshop was designed and facilitated by ECI. Delegates were split into 5 groups with each group considering one of a number of questions around the theme of new techniques and technologies that could improve construction efficiency.

1. Digital design, BIM, Conceptual design, virtual & augmented reality
2. Manufacture, additive manufacturing, 3D printing, off-site mass customisation
3. Automated construction & assembly on site
4. Automated inspection & maintenance of in situ infrastructure & asset management
5. Procurement, management, communication, ICT/BIM integration & risk

Each group was tasked with considering the challenges and barriers in using these technologies and what successful examples could be found. This led to some lively debate and useful (and at times amusing) feedback.

The day ended with a networking event with free drinks and nibbles that was attended by about 50 delegates. Many thanks to everyone who stayed and made this an enjoyable as well as a highly productive event.

(Photographs and article courtesy of COMIT)