2nd International Conference on Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Design, Construction and Operations
10 - 12 May, 2017
The Second International Conference on Building Information Modelling in Design, Construction and Operations (BIM) was held at the University of Alicante (UA) represented by Prof Antonio Galiano, in collaboration with the University of the West of England (UW), represented by Prof Lamine Mahdjoubi, and the Wessex Institute (WIT), represented by Prof Carlos A Brebbia.
BIM new and innovative tools and techniques have transformed the construction and the built environment industry. BIM provides value creation collaboration through the entire life-cycle of a built environment asset, underpinned by the data attached to it. They offer project teams, collaborative tools and opportunities for new communication structures.
The Conference brought together experts from industry, practice and academia to debate these key topics, to develop innovative solutions and predict future trends. The meeting included a series of keynote addresses, international papers and discussion seminars. An important technical visit was arranged during the conference to the nearby town of Orihuela.
Opening the Conference
The Conference was opened by Prof Rafael Munoz, Vice-Rector of Campus and Technology at the University of Alicante, who referred to the importance of BIM for operations and maintenance of the University’s main campus.
Rafael also referred to the University’s commitment to research and full development of its potential as a young and dynamic institution, open to international contacts.
Following this, Prof Antonio Galiano, Co-Chair of the Conference, welcomed the delegates and hoped that they would not only enjoy the meeting but also have occasion to see some of the sights of Alicante.
He also explained that a special excursion had been arranged to the old town of Orihuela where a series of unique Heritage Architecture buildings are now being renovated. The idea is to use BIM on some of them to start new research on this important field of application.
Prof Carlos Brebbia welcomed the delegates in the name of Wessex Institute, explaining that the main objective of WIT is the dissemination of knowledge at an international level.
Carlos explained that WIT is renowned for the development of its own computational tools based on the Boundary Element Method, a novel technique that originated with the WIT research group when the research was still taking place at Southampton University. In 1986 the group became independent, giving rise to what is now called Wessex Institute. The BEM technique has been used on a wide variety of problems.
A key feature of WIT’s work is its ability to collaborate rather than compete against other Institutions. Because of that WIT is able to take part in many joint projects, contributing with its unique simulation tools.
Collaboration is also reflected in conferences such as this, which are held in association with other University Institutions, like those in Alicante and the University of the West of England.
Another important activity of the Institute is the publication of Journal papers through WIT Press. All papers included in WIT Transactions and Journals are now archived in digital format in the Web library at www.witpress.com/elibrary, from where they can be downloaded for free by the community. This major initiative to disseminate scientific and technical publications is complimented by the launch of eight international journals on a wide range of topics covered by the conference programme. These Journals report on fields which are not properly taken into account by existing publications and those in which more research work is required.
Carlos ended by describing the facilities at the Wessex Institute Campus in the New Forest and inviting everybody to visit, to achieve a better understanding of WIT objectives and in order to find ways in which to collaborate.
The conference was enhanced by a series of invited presentation, ie
• “Building Information Modelling in the Digital Age”, by Lamine Mahdjoubi, University of the West of England, UK.
• “BIM understanding and activities”, by Eilif Hjelseth, Oslo & Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway.
• “Building Information Modelling in operations of maintenance at the University of Alicante”, by Antonio Galiano-Garrigos, University of Alicante, Spain.
• “Building assessment conditions of built heritage in historic Building Information Modelling”, by Fabio Fatiguso, Politecnico di Bari, Italy.
• “BIM and Genetic Algorithm optimisation for sustainable building envelope design”, by Yaik Wah Lim, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia.
• “BIM for Rail; an opportunity for change”, by Marek Suchocki, Autodesk, UK.
• “A comparative suitability study between classification systems for using BIM in heritage buildings”, by Noha Saleeb, Middlesex University, UK.
• “The role of BIM for Safety and Security management”, by Fabio Garzia, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.
The papers were classified in a series of sessions, as follows:
• BIM in design co-ordination and construction operations
• BIM and Cultural Heritage
• BIM and sustainability
• BIM and life cycle project management
• BIM and collaborative working and practices
• BIM applications
• BIM in working practice
Visit to Orihuela
The delegates had ample opportunities to interact with each other during the social functions, coffee breaks and lunches offered by WIT.
A particular occasion for becoming better acquainted with each other was the special guided visit organised to Orihuela. Prof Antonio Galiano-Garrigos has been a consultant for the restoration of the many heritage buildings in town, some of these using BIM (Building Information Modelling) techniques. The delegates were welcomed by the City authorities upon their arrival and offered a sumptuous buffet lunch with local delicacies and excellent wines. Following that, Antonio gave a short presentation on the work carried out in the town, after which a tour of them was arranged.
Orihuela is a very old town, founded at the time of the Visigoths and expanded during the Arab domination period. Following the departure of the Arabs in the XIII Century, helped to establish Orihuela as a major centre for the Christian faith, with the existing Mosques being converted into impressive churches. The presence of a Bishopric in the city drew a number of religious orders which promptly constructed their seats there. This provided momentum for the development of the city’s civil as well as religious architecture and as a result Orihuela a pre-eminent position in its architectural heritage.
The delegates were able to appreciate some of the most important buildings in town, including the Cathedral dating from the XIII Century and built in gothic style on the site of a mosque. The building has many valuable renaissance and Valencia artworks. The Sacred Arts Museum contains paintings by Velazquez and Nicolas de Bussy. The building itself is dated XVIII Century and was once the Bishop’s residence.
The surrounding agricultural fields provided wealth to many families who built their homes in the city, and contributed to outstanding examples of private architecture. An interesting civic building is the Portillo Palace also dating from the XVIII Century, with ornate windows and balconies.
Orihuela was also the birthplace of the Poet Miguel Hernandez who was imprisoned for his anti-fascist views and died in prison in 1942. A special Museum is now dedicated to his life and work.
The International Scientific Advisory Committee of the Conference and the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning took place over dinner in an excellent local restaurant. During the meeting, ideas for new topics were discussed as well as possible venues for BIM/19. Several nominations were put forward for the ISAC of the conference and for new members of the Editorial Board. Carlos will implement these suggestions as well as discuss ways in which the meeting could be improved when reconvened in 2019.
The Conference banquet took place in one of the best restaurants in Alicante overlooking the Marina. The excellent local starters were followed by fresh turbot and accompanied by outstanding wines of the region.
The evening entertainment was given by a Jazz quartet whose members played a series of famous pieces, some of them at the request of the audience. The friendly atmosphere and beautiful surroundings contributed to enhance the occasion and to the development of close links amongst the participants.
Closing the Conference
The Conference was closed by Carlos Brebbia, Antonio Galiano and Lamine Mahdjoubi who thanked the delegates for their presence and hoped they would consider other WIT meetings in the future.