Belfast to host major international conference on the fast changing world of digital construction

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  • Belfast is set to host Digital Construction Live 2017, a major international conference on the rapidly emerging world of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and new digital technologies in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry on Friday 17 November 2017 (8am - 4pm, Europa Hotel, Belfast).

    Jon Briggs, broadcast journalist and the original UK voice of Siri, will host the event.

    The conference, which is organised by the NI BIM Regions Group, aims to raise awareness of BIM and digital construction, and provide a collaborative platform for best practice to be shared. The event is free to attend thanks to the generous support of a number of key sponsors.

    Leading BIM and digital construction expert, Melanie Dawson, Head of BIM at GRAHAM Construction, and founder member and Chair of NI BIM Regions Group, explains:

    “The demand for Building Information Modelling (BIM) continues to grow across construction projects in the UK. I think this is partly as a result of the government mandate for BIM Level 2 in 2016 but also because public and private sector clients are increasingly understanding the potential value BIM can bring.  

    “BIM, digital construction, and indeed the wider industry 4.0 digital revolution in construction presents a very exciting new era for our industry. Progressive businesses have recognised and embraced the importance and potential of BIM processes and technologies in helping drive real business benefits and value.’’

    Mrs Dawson continues: “The construction sector in the UK employs over two million people and contributes £100 billion in economic output. It is a key contributor to the UK economy. With the global construction market expected to grow 70% by 2025, digital transformation plays a key role in driving efficiencies and ensuring the ongoing competitiveness of the industry.”

    Discussing what’s in store for delegates at Digital Construction Live 2017, Mrs Dawson adds:

    “We believe that collaboration is fundamental to our industry’s future success. Digital Construction Live 2017 presents an excellent networking opportunity for all those who procure, design, build and maintain building or infrastructure assets.  There will be delegates from the UK, Ireland and wider Europe. Some have even registered from as far away as Australia, which means we will have a wide and varied range of participants on the day.

    “We are delighted that nineteen top class local and international experts**, who are shaping the digital transformation of the industry, will be speaking at the conference. The event will be one of the best places to learn more about BIM and digital technologies.The use of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), robotics, virtual and augmented reality, internet of things (IOT), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, off site manufacturing and digital reality capture are all topics that will be discussed.”

    Digital Construction Live will feature a major exhibition showcasing many of the emerging technologies that are being discussed at the event - from UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and 3D laser scanners to wearable technology in virtual reality and augmented reality. 

    There will also be a 12 metre long, cable-stayed bridge assembled at the event, where attendees can cross the bridge and get the sense of the water flowing beneath as the technology transports them to the virtual environment.

    BelMCraft, a computer game based on the globally successful Minecraft platform, which allows players to create and explore a virtual city will also be on display. Developed by researchers from Ulster University, the game is closely aligned to aspects of the building information modelling (BIM) process.  

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