Anstein Skinnarland

Anstein Skinnarland

First name: Anstein

Last name: Skinnarland

Chapter: Norway

Role: Managing Director

Where do you live? Røyken (soon to become Asker), just south-west of Oslo.

Work history: I worked as a Consulting Engineer for 17 years, mainly in the company COWI, but in different roles. My education is Master of Science Electrical Engineering, and I functioned for some years as a Project Manager, designing electrical installations in buildings, industry and infrastructure. I was later National head of BIM development in COWI Norway, and a line manager. I took on the position as Managing Director for buildingSMART Norway from January 2016.

How long have you been involved in openBIM and buildingSMART?

In my work as a consulting engineer, I was eager to find smarter ways of working. Since 2002, I have followed the development of Building Information Modelling and open standards for the construction industry. In 2005 I got to know the buildingSMART community in Norway, took the initiative for a strategic focus on openBIM in COWI, and was tasked to lead this effort. I co-founded the BIM-group at the Norwegian Consulting Engineers’ Association and was Member of the board in buildingSMART Norway for a couple of periods.

What do you like the most about your work in your chapter?

I like to improve and share good ideas with others, and in buildingSMART, I get to influence at a larger scale. I enjoy the possibility to develop an organisation, the network and the industry, through engaged and competent colleagues, and people in the community. 

What is your greatest success achieved within your chapter?

I would say the greatest success is the membership growth in our chapter. Since 2010 the number of members in buildingSMART Norway has increased from 40 to 140 organisations, representing several thousands of employees. This is proof that buildingSMART is considered relevant and that it is attractive to be part of the community and this movement.

The most notable companies concerned with digitalization in the construction industry are members, representing the major capital investments in the built asset economy.

This again has enabled us to contribute internationally in the development of the buildingSMART standards, and smarter information sharing. For many years Norwegians were about 10% of the participants in bSI Summits, despite us being a small country. Luckily, we’ve got great competition there, and now we work hard to further grow the Norwegian community and engage even more members in the development.

What does openBIM mean to you?

All solutions based on open standards – for a user-driven development in free competition.

What is the biggest challenge the community is facing today?

We have been too much inward facing. If we are to be relevant for more in the future, we must open up more, be more inclusive and responsive to impulses from the outside. We must remember that buildingSMART is about interoperability and smart sharing of information – not only IFC. We should be aware of the technical development in other industries and seek synergies across industries.

New forms of cooperation challenge our institutional structure, and we should think of broader cooperation’s. 

What challenges do you encounter in your country?

Everyone talks about digitalization, but it’s difficult to gather all in a common effort and to base solutions on one common digital platform. Innovation is happening very fast, and that challenges the traditional centralized development. Change, innovation and build-up of experience happens in the construction projects, and it’s a challenge to pull this out and share with the organisation and the industry as a whole.

What are the main opportunities for your market?

There are not huge switching costs of modernization and change in technology here. Project-based industry is well adapted to changes. The buildingSMART Methodology (the integrated IDM/MVD process in four phases) can cope with the challenges above and can create opportunities for buildingSMART.

Digitalization is more and more present today; what do you do in your chapter to meet the challenges it poses:

One of our main tasks is to secure that the digitalization is done well, in the appropriate direction. All solutions must be based on open standards – for a user-driven development in free competition. By showcasing the opportunities and success stories, we try to gather everyone around the common goal of digitizing the whole of the industry. We can be a rallying point for the industry – across all sectors, public and private, and all actors in the value chain.

What vision, as a chapter leader, would you give to the whole community?

Don’t get stuck in the past – adapt to the future.

What is your overall vision of the future?

Smarter information sharing - for a sustainable built environment.

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