Digital Construction Week | Trappco Ltd

Digital Construction Week | Trappco Ltd

Last week’s DCW proved to be yet another very successful event in the Construction Industry calendar, with well over a hundred exhibitors and half a dozen or more stages hosting several hundred seminars over the 2 days.

As with the recent UKCW the previous week, this event presented many more networking opportunities and I had the great fortune to meet up with Paul Wilkinson from Extranet Evolution and thank him in person for his recent blog post “More mobile AEC tools” shining a brief spotlight on Trappco Ltd as a “new kid on the block”. I would also like to thank Su Butcher for spending the time to impart some of her vast knowledge of the value of utilising social media and SEO techniques for increasing brand awareness.

As a mere visitor this year (with plans for Trappco to exhibit next year), the general impression I got was one of a high turnout of enthusiastic industry professionals keen to consolidate and learn more about how digitisation is shaping our built environment. Inevitably, BIM and “collaborative working”, dominated the subject matter for a vast majority of the seminars.

One of the underlying messages that came across was that this “digital change” is not only inevitable but essential for the future growth of the industry which currently lags significantly behind the Automotive, Aerospace and even Agricultural industries who have already embraced the change. Barriers to this “change” are very strong, with resistance to the implementation of collaborative digital systems, being sighted as a major contributing factor to the current poor state of the industry.

Su Butcher delivered an excellent seminar helping to define three key barriers to effective collaboration. She suggested that from a legal perspective, we should share the risk more, instead of profiting from someone else’s loss, but expressed that this would mean a change in people’s behavior, with the need to build a culture of trust and make collaboration a habit. Tech was the third and arguably the most important barrier because without an easily accessible, shared data environment, collaboration is very difficult to achieve.

A few week ago I intended to publish a blog about BIM solutions in which I express my slightly naive, (but not uncommon) opinion that such systems are only for the big construction guys and not suited to the SMEs. I still intend to publish this blog but it will have a slightly different message. What I have learnt from my visit to DCW, and discussions with for more informed industry professionals than myself, is that BIM should not be considered as an abstract thing or a shiny box of software but, more of an approach or concept and that even small amounts of “digital change” can make a big difference.

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