RTC to Digital Built Environment Institute: A New Era

Our History

The legacy of the RTC name, and the Revit Technology Conference series, began when we were truly a Revit focussed event, back when we ran our first conference in 2005. The members of RUGs had grown very close-knit, and wanted something more than just a drink or two once a month. The sense of community and the desire to share more intensively drove the need for a longer, deeper, interactive environment. In the years since, we have stuck to that mantra, of intimate, deep, together. We have kept the numbers at the event relatively small, and we have catered to those looking to advance their processes and to use their tools better. 2 years ago the name of our primary event series, RTC, changed to BILT – Buildings, Infrastructure, Lifecycle, Technology –  to represent the changing nature of our events and to more accurately reflect the BIM community’s needs. Our goal now is not only to provide knowledge around software and technology, but to be a trusted builder of communities dedicated to the built environment. We are all about sharing knowledge, working smarter and more collaboratively in order to increase productivity and efficiency as well as reduce waste in our industry together, and this is how the creation of the Digital Built Environment began.

The Digital Built Environment Institute (DBEI) is a global non-profit organisation established with the goal of responding to the demonstrated inability of the AECO industry to achieve the sort of productivity gains seen in every other industry worldwide. DBEI believes that the answers are within our reach and that we must take responsibility, must take action, to implement those answers and to provide a better environment for our descendants. We have seen how we have failed to make an impact with our work to date, now we must find the ways to expand beyond our existing constraints in order to have an impact on the wider stage.

The DBEI tagline reads ‘Advancing People, Processes and Technology’. People are core to our philosophy, processes are what people implement, and those people are supported by technology. Once again, it comes back to the community. There are many voices engaged in the discussion of what and how we do our work, and therefore how we move forward, but the voice that is missing from that conversation is ours – the users, the people who actually carry out the work that everyone is debating. The people who understand action and consequence most clearly are the people who are missing from the conversation! DBEI aims to give a voice to the user community so that the expertise, the knowledge, and the needs of the broad user community can be accounted for in the global conversation.

What does this mean?

We will remain the same team with the same core values and community that make our events unique, just with a new name to suit the direction our organisation is heading. We are now the Digital Built Environment Institute.

So what’s changed now?

We won’t just do events.  As our event series’ have grown in both numbers and regions (hosting 15 events across 5 countries this year!), we needed a brand that matched our vision and mission. Yes we hold events – but our goal for the future is so much more than that. We aim to help develop and grow the community with future services, resources and outreach opportunities which we couldn’t deliver under the old RTC name: So expect more exciting news to come!

We are now a not-for-profit. While our goal throughout the years has never been a for-profit exercise, operating officially as a not-for-profit enables our organisation and events to integrate with other similar communities and industry associations, allowing us to learn and grow with a wider audience. It also means that we are closer aligned to our mission and goals as an organisation.

What hasn’t changed?

Our values, vision and mission.  Our goal is to be recognised as a trusted builder of communities dedicated to the built environment. With this name change we feel this suits our community more closely.

Our events. The core goal of our events will not be changing, while we have a few format changes to this year’s events, the core purpose and goal will not change. They will now simply sit under the DBEI brand in an effort to ensure we continue to push for a collaborative approach and vendor/software neutrality.

Our team. We are the same people with the same committee members volunteering their time and effort into the running of our events. RTCem will remain the Event Management company, however the Digital Built Environment will host our events.

What’s next?

From now on, you will see the DBEI will take ownership of the existing event series that we currently run. This includes not only the BILT event series, but also the Design Technology Summit, Data Day, Building Content Summit, BILT Academy and our newly created Hackathon series. We will also work to connect more and more of the industry community together through other activities which we will begin to solicit feedback on in the coming months. We are already actively working to expand inclusiveness in our events through outreach to contractors, to the estimation community, to facility managers. We are also looking at how we can make the event environment more open and inclusive without losing the focus and intimacy that characterise our events. Some of the other activities we are considering could include a membership environment, a certification program, an AECO equivalent to the maker space movement, and more. Most importantly, though we want you involved in determining what those activities could be. We need to build on the basis of what we as a community identify as the needs of the community, not the imposed assumptions of someone outside looking in. We need your help to do this. Contact with any thoughts/ ideas you have about how DBEI can serve your needs and the needs of the broader community, and let us know if you would like to get involved!

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