Sponsor Spotlight – Benjamin Glunz, BIMsmith
This week we had a chat with Benjamin Glunz, CEO of BIMSmith and Anguleris Technologies to talk all things BIM and what he is looking forward to at this year’s Digital Built Week! Ben will be joining us at this year’s event as both a speaker and as our Sponsor for the Saturday Night Gala Dinner!
1. Who are you?
I’m an entrepreneur, architect turned technologist, husband, and father. As CEO of BIMsmith and Anguleris Technologies for going on nine years now, my role involves a little of everything, but all of it focuses on creating tools that help the building design community thrive. One of my favorites is our platform BIMsmith, a free product research and selection platform that facilitates the relationship between building designers and building product manufacturers.
2. What’s interesting to you outside of your work?
First and foremost, my wife and 1-year-old son are absolutely the best. I also enjoy all things outdoors, good bourbon, my roof deck and home reno projects.
I am unashamed to be a coffee snob and am always ready for a coffee run (or sit). I love traditional architecture and urbanism and advise the Traditional Architecture and Urbanism program at Judson University where I am also on the board of trustees.
3. What do you feel is most lacking in our industry currently? And how do you think this can be changed?
Our team talks a lot about data sourcing and reliability. With the introduction of BIM, our industry began to tap into the potential of information at work within our designs. However, the world keeps moving and technology keeps evolving, and if the data that drives our workflows isn’t able to keep up, it’s not useful.
To date, our industry hasn’t found a good way to do that. Maintaining accurate data can still be a very manual process, and when you get data replicated multiple times across a variety of sources, there’s very little accountability to ensure data accuracy.
At BIMsmith, we’ve been working for a while to close the gap on this issue. Since BIMsmith Market is primarily a product research tool, we have a clear need to provide our users with data that’s recent, accurate, and verified. We’ve accomplished this on several fronts through key partnerships and direct integrations with the sources of the data themselves. Our platform integrations with UL, MasterSpec and HPD (Health Product Declaration) Collaborative are great examples.
4. What are some issues that your customers face and how has BIMsmith managed to help overcome these issues?
BIMsmith has the unique scenario of serving two primary “customers”: the manufacturers of building products and the architects/designers using them in their projects. We’ve made it our mission from the beginning to bridge the gap between the two groups, because each has tremendous value to offer the other. The manufacturer gets value when designers specify their products, and the users get tremendous value by leveraging the expertise and product data from manufacturers.
The trick in this relationship has historically been balancing the interests of each party in order to provide great value to the other. That’s where BIMsmith comes in. Through our suite of free tools, the BIMsmith platform has given us the ability to work with manufacturers to provide quality, clean content that professionals actually want to use, and enabling the manufacturers to reach the architectural community with their products and therefore get specified in more projects than possible on their own. Our position as interpreter/advocate for each party has helped each derive value from the other.
5. Tell us a little about your product/s and what are the next big development in store from BIMsmith for the AEC Industry?
BIMsmith has always been about facilitating product research and selection for building professionals. BIMsmith Forge, our patented free Revit configurator, makes building Revit assemblies (walls, floors, ceilings, roofs) fast and easy. BIMsmith Market, our cloud research tool, allows users to find and compare the products that best fit their projects’ needs and download for Revit. Then, the BIMsmith Revit Plugin compounds the value by bringing both Forge and Market into Revit.
In terms of what’s next from us, we’ve got quite a bit up our sleeves! Some of it will have to wait before it’s ready for prime time, but one thing we’re really excited to offer is our integration with our sister brand, Swatchbox, an architectural sample ordering service, which allows building professionals to order samples from within the BIMsmith platform. It’s just another way we’re helping manufacturers offer a streamlined workflow for building professionals.
6. Do you see differences between Australia, North American, or the European markets in how technology is being used to help support and deliver projects?
The easy answer is yes. Tech in the built environment is advancing all over the world at a pace that growing exponentially. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is the personalities and the way that each culture chooses to drive adoption and implementation. Europe we see standards for everything down to the coffee cup color you can drink from. In the US however, we see much more of a free/customized approach to tech adoption. I believe one of the big challenges is how can we find the best of both to help reduce inefficiency while not hamper innovation by being overly prescriptive.
7. Tell us a little about your session: ‘Dont Get Walled In By System Families’, Session 1.3, Thursday 18 July, 1:45pm – 3:00pm
a. What was the motivation behind it and why should delegates attend?
My session this year derives from the initial reason we created BIMsmith in the first place – finding a better way to create and manage system families in Revit. We’ve got at our fingertips some secrets to significantly improve the lives of anyone who works with system families, and are excited to be sharing it with the BILT community.
b. Who are you hoping to reach with your sessions and why these people in particular?
Honestly, our audience is any and every Revit user who wants to spend less time with the boring stuff and more time designing.
c. What are you hoping delegates will gain from attending your session?
At the very least, they’ll learn how to save themselves a tremendous amount of time throughout the design process. But if we have anything to say about it, we’re hoping they’ll recognize the significance of what we’re doing at BIMsmith to shape the way the building community uses product data and get inspired to help us keep innovating. We’re always looking for new ideas and feedback – and BILT is the best place and time on earth to receive both!
See the full schedule here.