DBWNA Chairman’s Wrap Up

This year’s event was held in the beautiful city of Seattle in the wonderful venue of the new downtown Hyatt Regency. It was the largest event ever for DBEI! And yet, it still had the benefit of bringing together leaders in the industry with passionate, innovative people in an environment that promoted continual networking. We observed, and participated, many conversations occurring in the exhibition hall, lounge areas, and in the halls after breakout sessions. It was great to see all that networking.

BILT NA 2019

BILT and now as part of Digital Built Week has always been an event by the users, for the users. Many attendees told me how they enjoyed most of the sessions they attended. There is a lot of work that goes into the selection of the sessions, but the primary criteria has always been: would this be a class we would want to attend? The feedback regarding the event shows that we are still doing a great job of providing what the attendees want to see.

Some of the key takeaways:

  • The pace of technological advancement is continuing to grow exponentially. Many jobs won’t look the same at the end of the next decade. Maybe not even after the next five years. You cannot sit back and wait for others to “figure it out” for you.
  • The human-side of our industry is as important as ever. People are the best asset we have and we need to be sure that all feel included and are shown that they are important.
  • Talk about change is not enough. There are people and companies out there that are doing amazing things. Are you a part of that, or apart from that?

Design Technology Summit 2019

DTS 2019 is in the books and what a great one it was! We would go so far as to say quite possibly our best! We had a full house (sold out) and as a committee we were thrilled with the quality of the conversation. This year DTS was a bit different from previous years. Wednesday was our first day where we had a room of just over forty people involved in discussions on the topic of Continuous Next and its impact on practice and the relationship with technology and all that it touches in our practice. Keep an eye out for more follow-up material to be posted this fall as an outcome from those sessions. Thursday saw the DTS attendees attending the BILT opening Keynote in the morning where Phil Berstein talked about the need for practice and the AEC industry as a whole to change to better suit the new paradigms that technology offers. It should be noted that Phil sat in all day on Wednesday which was great and after Phil’s keynote, DTS attendees had a chance to have a private Q&A with both Phil and Shane Burger from Woods Bagot (who also provided an address as part of the morning session). The afternoon of Thursday saw the first iteration of DTS Simultaneous roundtables which were open to not just DTS attendees but anyone attending BILT as well, the feedback on these sessions has also been very positive. We expect that we will make some tweaks for DTS 2020, but overall we were thrilled with the event this year and we were left with the impression that our attendees were as well. 


Data Day 2019 was a great success.  With over 130 attendees and our biggest event ever, Data Day provided attendees with a great educational and networking event on topics that are clearly on the rise in the industry.  Additionally, Data Day’s roundtables, new this year, were well attended and provided a great venue for lively interaction and discussion.

Speakers ranged from Owners (Alberta Infrastructure) to Industry Leaders (Tesla) and Labs included education on Data Visualization and Machine Learning.

We look forward to an even bigger and better Data Day event in San Diego, CA in August 2020 and thank you for all the feedback we’ve received!


The 2019 Building Content Summit was our 5th event in North America and 2nd year we’ve held the event in conjunction with BILT. Thanks to the over 400 attendees of DBWNA who attended one of our BCS sessions and helped make the event a resounding success. Special thanks to the manufacturers who brought their deep knowledge and insights and helped shape the conversation including Schneider Electric, Assa Abloy, BASF, Haworth, Victaulic, KONE, and United States Gypsum Company.

This year’s event kicked off with Ricardo Rodriguez and Justin DeMarco’s session AEC Business Transformation in the Era of AR/VR.  Ricardo and Justin conveyed how BASF and other manufacturers must adapt to the changing technology landscape with evolving business models and processes.  Day one ended with a lively panel discussion titled Bridging the Gap Between Manufacturers Content and Designers Needs. One of the great aspects of BCS is the open, frank conversations between manufacturers, software and service providers, and the design community.

Day two kicked off with Chris Schafer’s popular Managing BIM Content for a Multidisciplinary Firm and ended with Robert Weygant’s deep dive into the world of Revit materials.  Interspersed throughout the two days were 18 roundtable sessions that provide intimate deep-dive conversations with the industry’s leading experts.

The Building Content Summit has continued to prosper over the past 5 years. Now that the event is fully integrated with BILT, we anticipate continued growth.  No other event fosters the level of conversation between manufacturers and the design community like BCS.

To summarize, all of the committee members hope that that everyone who attended had a fantastic time at Digital Built Week North America 2019 and are looking forward to creating a bigger and better event next year in San Diego where we can continue these various discussions and really help grow and further the industry!

By Bob Bell, Robert Manna, David Haynes & Randall Stevens

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