GII is a high-profile initiative organised by McKinsey Consulting to convene leaders from around the world to pursue new solutions in major projects and infrastructure. Over the last four years, they have held summits in Rio de Janiero, San Francisco, Singapore and most recently London. Against the well-articulated shortfall in construction productivity and its lagging position in digitisation, this is a true thought leadership initiative of the highest order.
I was delighted to be invited to represent buildingSMART at this event. Special thanks to Roz Buick from Trimble for her backing. Structured around four themes; Plan, Finance, Build and Operate the event comprised very senior representatives from around the full life cycle of built assets. Familiar buildingSMART participants included Heinz Ehrbar from Deutsche Bahn, Ros and her colleagues from Trimble, Arup was represented as were the Danish Road Authority. I had the welcome opportunity to meet important leaders from companies we hope will soon engage more fully with us such as MACE and Heathrow Airports, Bentley Systems and RIB Software
Most exciting for me was the strong recognition of the need for an industry standards body in many of the discussion groups. SO much so that the theme was captured as one of the best ideas from the summit. “Create an industry-level group that sets industry data and technology standards to unlock the opportunity of IoT, analytics and AI.”
This builds a theme already articulated by the World Economic Forum that “Infrastructure and Urban Development Industry companies should support similar bottom-up consortia to standardize BIM data exchange …One such consortium exists – buildingSMART, which developed the Industry Foundation Class (IFC), the only open (non-proprietary) BIM data exchange standard – but more needs to be done.”
The growing recognition of those ideas and ambitions which have, for so long, been the deeply rooted motivations behind buildingSMART is, of course, exciting and represents at the same time a hugely demanding challenge. I was however proud, on behalf of all those who have and continue to support buildingSMART, to be part of these leadership discussions.