The Digital Built Environment Institute was founded in 2016, and now is incorporated as a not-for-profit entity on 4 continents, but it is in fact the outcome of a process that began much earlier.

In early 2003, Mr Wesley Benn (Founder and Executive Chairman of DBEI), a Sydney-based architect and (former!) expert user of both Graphisoft® ARCHICAD® and Autodesk® Revit®, setup a Revit User Group (RUGs) with the support of AEC Systems (since merged with KarelCAD to form A2K Technologies). Like most technology-oriented user groups, RUGs members met once a month to discuss their design and documentation platform, to share stories, tips and tricks, and to commiserate over the problems they faced in using a platform new to the market with limited support and knowledge resources. This was before Wikipedia was popular or Youtube was founded, before any expert users had yet written books on the software, before blogs, vlogs, and podcasts. If you wanted support you had your local colleagues, and your user group. As a result, the members of RUGs became a close-knit group and, after a couple years of meeting, began talking about doing something more than a monthly couple hour long ‘wine and whine’. Wesley grabbed a couple of staff members from his office and a couple of friends to form a committee and in August 2005 the first ‘Revit National Congress’ was run at the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney. 79 people attended a 2-day event, focused on deep dives into technical aspects of the use of Revit across design and documentation. There were sponsors, a small exhibition space, a user content competition, and a big social event in the evening (that lasted until just past sunrise). Everyone agreed it had been a great experience and that ‘we should do it again’.

And so it began …

Over the following six years events were held annually, moving between cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, as well as a roadshow in 2007 that included single day events in Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. The name of the event was now the Revit Technology Conference, as it was recognised right away that ‘National’ was a limiting term, and that ‘Congress’ wasn not a very well-regarded institution! In 2009 Mrs Heidi Earl, a professional events organiser, joined the new RTC Events Management company as an Event Director, and proceeded to build up a team renowned for creating the best events dedicated to the AECO space. Now Managing Director, Heidi continues to oversee a team that in 2019 put on 12 events in 5 countries.

By 2011, the Revit Technology Conference was being recognised internationally for its quality and value, with many international attendees, and through the urgings of two people in particular, Mr Steve Stafford and Mr Jim Balding, the first international running of the conference was held in Huntington Beach, California, USA. This event mirrored the now established format of 3 days, running from Thursday through Saturday, with an exhibition hall and social events every evening, and attracted 287 attendees from 32 US states and 11 countries. In 2013, after a long push by the indefatigable duo of Martin and Silvia Taurer, the first European event was held in Delft, The Netherlands. Attracting 182 delegates from 23 countries the event gained traction quickly and also spawned the start of the BILT Academy in 2018, about which you can read more here. In 2015 a fourth region was added to the portfolio, Asia, with the help and support of Singaporean local, Mr Phil Lazarus. The Asia event runs in a slightly different format to other regions, being biennial and consistently in Singapore to date, but otherwise provides the same high-end knowledge sharing and community building that characterises all DBEI events worldwide.

During this expansion phase there were other changes occurring that have helped to define and expand who we are and what we do. As you can see above, our addition of international regions has always been driven by those local communities reaching out about running events locally, as well as the passion of local champions who could help us to understand and respond to the particular needs and development of their local communities. Indeed, all our events have always been driven by regional committees comprised of industry participants that provide a diverse representation of discipline, platform, geography, and gender. This ensures that as an organisation we will always hear and represent the industry’s needs, not an arbitrary interpretation of it applied by an unengaged third party. It has also helped us to focus on continuous improvement and the broad nature of those needs. For instance, while the genesis of the organisation was in the running of Revit technical conferences, it was recognised and acted on from day one that no single tool would ever be all you need to fill out your toolkit, and so the Revit Technology Conference from the very beginning included discussion of many other tools and processes, including some that might have been considered directly competitive to Revit. Our goal has always been to put the best tools and processes in front of our community, regardless of derivation.

This then led to some other changes: The shortening of the event name from Revit Technology Conference to RTC, and then, in 2017, the change to BILT (Buildings, Infrastructure, Lifecycle, Technology) an evolution of name that reflected our longstanding broad focus on tools other than just Revit, and the need to be more inclusive in name, as well as in deed. Also during this period various community members began approaching us in relation to other gaps in knowledge and community that they hoped we could help fill. As a result, there are several event series that now run annually including BILT, the Design Technology Summit, Data Day, the Building Content Summit, the BILT Academy Summit, and the DBE Hackathon. In 2021 further event series will be commencing, inline with the expanded mission of the Institute.

And so we come to 2020, a year that it is likely everyone will be looking forward to putting behind them. As COVID-19 went from being a novel coronavirus along the lines of SARS and MERS – previous viruses that made the inter-species jump and threatened global chaos before being contained and controlled – to a global pandemic unlike anything seen for a hundred years, the global economy began to shutdown. Travel, then tourism generally; events, then social gatherings of any kind; cafes and restaurants, then nearly all shops; manufacturing, then nearly all production.

The world went quiet.

The globalisation and economic momentum that fuelled improvements in all industries, and improved the living conditions of a huge portion of the world’s population (while still leaving behind many disadvantaged groups) became the vector the virus used to accelerate its advance in ways we now know we were ill-prepared for. Naturally, there have been economic repercussions, with much of the world moving into recession, and faith in the economic outlook at a historic low. A degree of tribalism and protectionism have inevitably followed close behind, and questions now centre around how the re-opening of economies and the reintroduction of travel can be effectively managed when we do not yet have a vaccine, or even, for many countries, effective control of the original outbreak. The world holds its breath in fear of a possible ‘second wave’ and all its ramifications.

RTC Events Management and the Digital Built Environment Institute entered this period as a group still entirely dependent on revenue derived from gathering large groups of people into small spaces (not a great model in the time of a global pandemic), but we had a plan. In the period from 2015 onwards it had become obvious that, while we had enjoyed great success within the context of the event environments we had created, what we had done was in fact to create something that was, or that could be, a great deal more.

Research shows that the global design, construction and asset operations industry, while employing around 1 in 10 people, accounts for slightly over 1/2 of the world’s energy production, and more than 1/3 of the worlds generation of both solid waste and airborne pollution. Further to this, the increases in productivity that globalisation and innovation has brought to the rest of the world’s major industry groupings has largely left us behind. While there are a few reasons that we could begin to elucidate here, they are likely beyond even the rather lengthy origin story you are reading now. Instead, we should begin to wrap this story up. Yet, it is indeed just the beginning. One takeaway that we hope you take from this is that what we have done to date is to get us to the starting line. There is so much we can do, so much we must do.

RTC had built a community of thought leaders, innovators, and implementors. A global community focused on making things better – for them and their organisations, for the industry overall, and for the entire planet. DBEI could take this core and expand it. Leverage the passion, the energy, the collaborative instinct to build a collective voice for our industry that transcends the silos within which we have been trapped. Work together to build an organisation whose purpose is the collective good of our industry and thus our planet.

In 2020 DBEI has created several online activity sets: from ‘Discover by DBEI’ – webinars to keep you up to date with new, exciting, innovative tools, processes and activities; to BILTx and our online events that replace (for now) the in-person events that would have run this year; to ‘DBEI Insight’ – a highly curated, themed series of webinars running biweekly through the end of the year. We are also deeply excited to have seen the recent introduction of the BILT Academy Podcast. These activities will continue in 2021 and beyond, in concert with the anticipated return of our in-person events. At the same time, the DBEI Community platform has been released. A membership program that will be introducing many resources and supporting structures for industry over the coming years, the program will also be driven by its members. It is our hope that we can use this platform to widen our outreach to all participants in the built environment industries, and to foster and support the changes we need to improve productivity, efficiency, and sustainability.

If you have managed to stick it all the way through this story, thank you! It has been a lengthy journey, and yet, as I mentioned, it has only just begun. To finish off with a more personal note, what I see ahead of us now is a glorious sweep of horizon and the sun, peeking through a fading layer of cloud. I can feel the wind starting to fill the sails, and the creak of the rigging as the ship comes alive. I hear the slap of the waves and the smell of salt fills my nostrils. I am energised, I am full of passion, and I am smiling.

Come on the journey with me.

Wesley Benn

Founder and Executive Chairman
RTC Events Management and the Digital Built Environment Institute

July 2020

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Registration Conditions

DIGITAL BUILT WEEK AMERICAS 2023 (“Conference”) 15 – 17 June 2023 will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, Texas.The Organizer (“Organizers”) of the Conference is the Digital Built Environment Institute USA, INC (DBEI).

3943 Irvine Blvd. - Suite 13 Irvine, CA 92602 USA

Phone: +1 213 814 2888

All inquiries relating to these matters should be directed to DBEI’s Marketing Team at info@dbei.org.

Be Well Agreement

Any public space where other people are present holds a possible risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. By attending this event, I agree to voluntarily assume all risk related to exposure and agree to not hold DBEI or any of their affiliates including partners and sponsors, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, volunteers, or sponsored venues liable for illness. I will take necessary precautions while at the event including, but not limited to, engaging in appropriate social distancing, wearing a mask in public areas when not consuming food or beverage, minimize face touching, frequently washing hands and avoiding risky environments such as overcrowded bars or restaurants. I agree to not attend any DBEI event if I feel ill or had recent exposure to a COVID-19 case.

DBEI together with the venue and their suppliers, commit to taking all reasonable actions to provide a COVID safe environment for its attendees, sponsors, speakers, staff, and visitors by complying with local regulations.


Once registration is received, a confirmation email will be issued. Any accounts must be paid in full 30 days from the invoice date or 10 business days before the Conference start date, whichever comes first. The Organizers reserve the right, without notification, to cancel outstanding accounts any time after 45 days from the date of the confirmation e-mail being sent. If payment is not received prior to the conference, access will be granted only after full payment is made via credit card. Non-payment does not constitute cancellation.

All payments should be made to Digital Built Environment Institute USA, INC (DBEI).

DBEI understands that circumstances can change. At any point prior to the Conference, you are welcome to contact us in writing to nominate a substitute attendee at no extra charge (ideally at least 72 hours prior to the Conference).

Cancellations of registration, social functions, accommodation, and other items received:

  • 6 weeks prior to the Conference will incur a fee of 50% of the item(s) cancelled. All cancellations received within 6 weeks of the Conference will be liable for 100% of the total fee. No refunds will be offered after 02 May 2023.

All cancellations must be made in writing to  Digital Built Environment Institute USA, INC via info@dbei.org. Any cancelled registrants with an outstanding balance due will be liable for the full registration fee; this liability will be the responsibility of the attendee.

Please note: A ‘no show’ to the Conference will still be considered as a cancellation and therefore the above terms apply.

In the unlikely event that DBEI is required to cancel or postpone the Conference for any reason (other than Force Majeure as noted below), DBEI will issue you a non-transferable credit note for the amount of the Fee, which may be redeemed against any appropriate future DBEI event for a period of 12 months from the date of issue.The Organizers hold no additional liability for travel costs, hotel costs, or any other cost, damage or expense whatsoever.

It is strongly recommended that registrants take out insurance at the time of registration to include any eventuality including but not limited to loss of fees through cancellation of registrant's participation in the Conference or through cancellation of the Conference, loss of airfares through cancellation for any reason, loss or damages to personal property, force majeure or any other reason.

Personal Information acquired by DBEI for BILT AMERICAS is governed by Digital Built Environment Institute’s Privacy Policy.

Registrants must opt-in to have their details shown on the event app and attendee list for DBWa 2023. If you do not wish for your details to be included in the event app, please select the opt-out option.

Registrants must indicate if they agree to receive marketing updates, event information and newsletters by email, post, phone, and other communications from Digital Built Environment Institute. Diamond, Platinum, and Gold sponsors also have access to this list. If you do not wish to be contacted, please select the opt-out option.

By registering for the Conference, registrants agree to receive emails in relation to this event.

By completing the survey post Conference(s), registrants’ comments and feedback will be used for marketing and other related purposes by DBEI.

Conference Code of Conduct
Our event will present opportunities to learn, share knowledge and network. We believe the event should represent a safe, enjoyable, and inclusive environment for all people, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, religion, disability, socio-economic background, experience, size, shape and so on. No one should be subject to any harassment, bullying or abuse. Any such behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will take such action as we deem necessary to ensure it does not reoccur. This may include immediate removal from the event and a prohibition from attending future events held by DBEI. This Code of Conduct explains exactly what we mean by unacceptable behaviour, and it outlines the steps someone subjected to such behaviour at an event can take to report it.

DBEI is a listening organization focused on its participants and fosters interaction, engagement, collaboration, connectivity, and community, in a fun and safe learning environment.

We value the participation of each member of the community and endeavour to deliver an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Conference participants are expected to conduct themselves with integrity, courtesy and respect for others and maintain the highest level of professionalism at all conference programs and events, whether officially sponsored by DBEI or not. All attendees, speakers, organisers, volunteers, partners, vendors, and staff at any DBEI event are required to observe the following Code of Conduct.

DBEI is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone. All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate for the conference.

Be kind to others. Do not insult or defame participants. Harassment in any form, sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not condoned at DBEI events.

Participants violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference at the sole discretion of DBEI. Thank you for helping to make this a welcoming event for all.

The Organizers reserve the right to reject or terminate a registration without giving reasons at any time, with full refund of registration fees received – if terminated prior to the conference. Registrants asked to leave during the running of the conference, with reason, will not be entitled to a refund.


Student Registration
To qualify for the student registration category, registrants must be studying full time at their indicated university/institution. Full time study is a minimum of 20 hours of active class participation. Students must provide the Organizers with a copy of their photo student identification card, proof of full-time status as a student from their university/institution and contact details for their administration office. Registration under the student rate is not guaranteed until full-time student status is verified by the Organizers.

Change to Conference Program
It may be necessary, for reasons beyond the control of the Organizers, to alter the times, dates, itineraries, or speakers of the Conference by notice to you at any time and in doing so DBEI will carry no additional liability for these circumstances beyond that noted below.

Registrants register for and attend the Conference at their own risk. Registrants agree not to hold the Organizers liable for any losses, damages, expenses, costs, claims or liabilities suffered or incurred by registrants including consequential or indirect losses or loss of profit through registering for the Conference, attending the Conference, cancellation of the Conference, failure of the Conference to achieve your expectations, or for any error or omission by the Organizers.

Registrants agree not to hold the Organizers liable or responsible for any personal injury (i.e. physical, psychological or emotional stress) or any loss or damage to personal property.

By registering to the Conference, registrants agree to receive emails in relation to this event.

By completing the survey post Conference(s), registrants’ comments and feedback will be used for marketing related purposes by Digital Built Environment Institute.

Photos taken during the Conference (which includes the Exhibition and social events) will be used for marketing related purposes by Digital Built Environment Institute.


Force Majeure

DBEI shall not be liable for any loss caused by the cancellation of the Conference where such cancellation is due to Force Majeure. The organisers will use all reasonable efforts to conduct the conference despite the intervention or occurrence of any such cause.

In this clause, Force Majeure means circumstances which are beyond the reasonable control of DBEI and which are reasonably likely to affect DBEI’s successful delivery of the Event or would make it inadvisable, impracticable, illegal, or impossible for a party to perform its obligations as originally contracted under this Agreement, including: fire, flood, earthquake, extreme adverse weather conditions, failure of electric power, gas, water, or other utility service, collapse of building structures, widespread disease or other public health emergency (including pandemic or epidemic), strike or other industrial action, the outbreak or declaration of war, act of terrorism, revolution or government orders or action (including the declaration of a State of Emergency).

If, as a result of Force Majeure, DBEI cancels the Event/s, DBEI shall use reasonable commercial endeavours to reschedule the Event. If DBEI is unable to reschedule the Event in accordance, DBEI will issue you a non-transferable credit note for the amount of the Fee, which may be redeemed against any appropriate future DBEI event for a period of 12 months from the date of issue.

Without prejudice to its obligations DBEI accepts no liability and will not be liable for any compensation where the performance of its obligations under this Agreement is affected by Force Majeure.


Disclaimer and Waiver
The Conference Organisers reserve the right to change activities, topics, and presenters where necessary.

The Organisers reserve the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time without prior notice. These Terms and Conditions will be governed by and constructed in accordance with the laws of the and the parties submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of that state and country.

As a condition of my participation in this Conference I hereby waive any claim I may have against DBEI and its officers, directors, employees, or agents, or against the presenters or speakers, for reliance on any information presented and release DBEI from and against any and all liability for damage or injury that may arise from my participation or attendance at the Conference. I further understand and agree that all property rights in the material presented, including common law copyright, are expressly reserved to the presenter or speaker or to DBEI.

I acknowledge that participation in DBEI events and activities brings some risk and I do hereby assume responsibility for my own well-being. If another individual participates in my place per DBEI transfer policy, the new registrant agrees to this disclaimer and waiver by default of transfer.

DBEI intends to take photographs and video of this event for use in DBEI news and promotional material, in print, electronic and other media, including the DBEI website. By participating in this Conference, I grant DBEI the right to use any image, photograph, voice or likeness, without limitation, in its promotional materials and publicity efforts without compensation. All media become the property of DBEI and media may be displayed, distributed or used by DBEI.

By registering for this event, I agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of contact and demographic information. This information includes any information that identifies me personally (e.g. name, address, email address, phone number, etc.). DBEI will use this information to: (a) enable your event registration; (b) review, evaluate and administer scholarships or other DBEI initiatives; (c) market DBEI opportunities you may potentially be interested in; and to (d) share limited information (e.g. title, company, address and demographic information) with third parties that perform services on behalf of DBEI. DBEI may also distribute the attendee list of those who have opted into the list, to eligible sponsors and partners, however not without the prior consent of the individual. DBEI may use this information for so long as DBEI remains active in conducting any of the above purposes.