The Silos are coming down.

In October 2018 we united under the theme ‘The Death of Interdisciplinary Silos – The Birth of Integrated Industries’. Our battle cries that rung high towards a sunny and warm Ljubljana sky was ‘Let’s break down some silos’ – and boy, you sure did.

Driving and nurturing collaboration; bridging that divide is one of the reasons we announced the birth of DBEI (Digital Built Environment Institute) –the not-for-profit organization behind events like BILT, Building Content Summit and BILT Academy to name a few.

A few weeks ago, I got to spend a wonderful week with the BILT Europe Committee – to finalize our abstract review and program setting for this year’s conference. A record number of abstracts were submitted again this year; thank you so much for sharing your passion.

Truth be told, when you sit on a pot of gold (the abstracts), it is not an easy process when the overall quality is so high. Our process is similar to other regions, but this year we changed one big thing, initially we blind reviewed all abstracts– that means we had no clue who submitted the abstract – and the review was solely on the merits of the abstract itself. Speaker experience was only factored in when we met to formulate the final program.

This entry in the DBEI news space is not about the fact that we will be putting on more than 90 sessions or how excited we are to welcome more than 70 speakers Nor will I go into the melting pot they will create when learnings from more than 20 countries takes the stage or that we will have 10 streams running concurrently. Instead, I want to highlight four trends that really shined through from abstract submissions.

Right off the bat; I can reveal that Facility Management / Operations & Maintenance folk have taken their BIM hammer to the gargantuan walls that have surrounded them in AEC space – for the first time we have a full, dedicated stream, covering tools, cases and methodologies. While we have had excellent classes throughout the conferences on O&M, we have never been presented with such a feast. From my own network of multi-national companies, who own and operate hundreds of sites, their facility managers are becoming more BIM aware – and are looking for solutions in bridging their old school drawings, asset and facility management tools full circle. To me, this stream is a testament to us acknowledging that need in the built environment.

Second base; innovations within computational design has taken off like a SpaceX rocket – and not just for facades and space planning – but also MEP has stepped up their game in this exciting field. I can’t help to think back on our theme from BILT Europe 2017 in my hometown, Aarhus, ‘Beyond Automation’ – we are starting to get there, and we have some very exhilarating sessions to present to you.

And even though this is my first blog on what’s to come in 2019, I am taking it all the way to third base; content is back with a dedicated two-day stream as Building Content Summit returning to Europe after a short hiatus in 2018. The discussion around content has shifted from ‘what is an object’ to ‘how can content support collaboration and value creation throughout the project lifecycle – from early design to operations and maintenance’. This has been a hot topic in recent years, but now we begin to see actual solutions for the masses.

Since I’m on a roll, OpenBIM made the home run. The amount of cases and learnings has increased tremendously. As a moniker for cross platform and disciplinary collaboration it is fused with every stream in the BILT Europe 2019 program and THAT is a true testament to the silos in our industry being destroyed.

Stay tuned for the next entry, where Martin Taurer, our program manager, will go into more detail on the program that awaits you in Edinburgh. The full program will be revealed in its entirety when our selected speakers have accepted their invitations over the coming weeks.

For now, all that is left for me to say is:

Thank you for heeding the call. Thank you for sharing your passion. Thank you for inspiring.

Yours Truly,


Chairman – BILT Europe

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