“Now, nobody questions whether or not it is a good idea to work with BIM: not doing so means that you are already late”

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Interview with Ignasi Pérez, Content Manager of the European BIM Summit

Ignasi Pérez Arnal is a founding partner of BIM Academy and has been the European BIM Summit Content Manager since it was created. He has an extensive professional record and has collaborated with different national and international consulting companies. We talked to him about the current edition of BIM and its novel hybrid-format approach (attendance-based and online).

What are your sensations about this new edition of the EBS?

I feel that we are actually dealing with topics that are appearing in all the media. Some of them are the Digital Twin, in which the entire railway industry is totally involved; the topic of industrialised construction, as well as collaborative work. About a year and half ago, before the pandemic, we thought that these were the topics that needed to be tabled in the construction sector. And now we will be covering them at the European BIM Summit.

You get the sensation that the European BIM Summit is always one step ahead.

The idea of the Summit is to provide an advanced overview of all BIM-related things going on in the world. This leads us to talk less about BIM, although on the other hand we talk more about applications that we can add to it to work better. Now nobody doubts whether or not we should be working with BIM, the fact is that people who have not yet adopted it realise that they are late. The European BIM Summit is opening up the way towards the digital transition in the construction, architecture, engineering and maintenance sector.

How would you describe the Congress’s evolution over these seven editions?

Its evolution has been interesting, because contents have changed constantly. If we used to have the sensation that changing the construction sector was impossible, it now feels like something probable, and I think that this is magnificent. This year, for example, one of our speakers will be Jaan Saar, head of digitisation of the Ministry of Construction of Estonia, regarded as the world’s most digitised country, and what this means in the construction world. And it is an example of how a country has introduced the BIM methodology into its way of doing things.

And how do you as the manager see this?

My role is to choose the best people in each one of the topics that we will be covering. We will bring these European experiences closer to everyone, and this is how the Congress’s value contribution should be understood. In other words, the European BIM Summit will bring us closer to things that we were unaware of because they are outside our domain, in order to see that the implementation of this methodology is not that difficult and that there are already reference points in the topics that we deal with. I believe that this evolution of the EBS has brought us recognition and made us a benchmark.

Why is it important to involve young people in Congresses such as BIM for students?

One of the functions is to bring things that are innovative around the world closer to the people in the street, such as the major concepts and research. And BIM for students helps us to make sure that the new generations feel involved. What we definitely cannot afford is to have students graduating without BIM being fully integrated in their educational centres. This means that students are professionally obsolete on day they graduate. We have to change all of this; this is why we created the event, for regular professionals and for future generations. It would be great not to have to hold BIM for students because it would mean that all our students were already trained in this methodology.

What is the BIM Exhibition and what do you expect from this first edition?

The BIM Exhibition is a virtual trade fair in which we adapt the entire way in which we did things as a result of Covid 19, but it also allows us to take a much deeper look and with much information than we can with the attendance-based format.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about attending the EBS?

I would say ‘don’t think twice’. Don’t hesitate to come, because you will see the very latest and this will also improve your status. The fact is that if you do come to see us, you will discover applications that you have still not deployed in your own setting; therefore, you cannot go against the future or against digitisation. And digitisation is known to promote industrialisation and sustainability. If you are not going digital, you will not only be making your internal processes more difficult, you will not be contributing to sustainability. You need to sign up, you need to come!

The European BIM Summit is organized by the Col·legi d’Aparelladors, Arquitectes Tècnics i Enginyers d’Edificació de Barcelona (CAATEEB) and is possible thanks to the contribution of our sponsors: BIM AcademybuildingSMART Spain, as Content Partners; Roca, as Main Partner; Finalcad,  MUSAAT and Autodesk, as Gold Partners; ; Agència Catalana de l’Aigua, ATL, Bentley, ASP Corredoria d’Assegurances, BIMTRAZER, CIAT, FGC, Graphisoft Archicad, PREMAAT, SIMBIM Solutions and Thinkproject, as Silver PartnersCalaf Constructora, Copisa, Bosch Pascual Construcciones, Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, ACCA and Citythinking, as Pro Partners; Master Builders Solutions, as Sustainability Sponsor; and Arquitectes per l’arquitectura, Objetivo BIM, Nuevo Azulejo, IMCB, Arquitectura y empresa and Upclash as Media partners. It has also the support and the collaboration of the Departament de Territori i Sostenibilitat of the Generalitat de Catalunya.