Jun 20, 2019 | Blog | 0 comments

Nigel Ford, Chris Smeaton and Greg Wimsett represented Atlas Industries at this year’s BILT conference in Melbourne on 22–25 May 2019.

This was the biggest Australian BILT conference ever, with over 600 clever people talking AEC design technology and more than 100 conference sessions and presentations. 

This was also one of the first opportunities we have had to share our work on the Digital Twin being produced for the Airport Authority of Hong Kong – a great story that we presented on our exhibition stand with a fantastic video and some VR experiences using HTC Vive & HoloLens.

100s of people visited our stand to see the video and play with the technology, including Joe Woolf, Steve Halliwell and our old friend Trieu Nguyen.  It was definitely part of the conversation across the exhibition hall.  People wanted to know about the project itself, as well as how they could achieve something similar (answer: appoint Atlas Industries…).

Inspired and amazed

With 107 sessions to choose from, we were spoilt for choice on the learning front.

Keynote speaker, Jordan Nguyen, was particularly inspiring.  Dr Nguyen is a Vietnamese-Australian biomedical engineer and inventor whose technological innovations are targeted at improving the lives of those living with physical disabilities. Through VR technologies, he has helped people with severe disabilities to stand and walk again.

“Technology can serve humanity in ways most of us haven’t yet dreamt of!”

We were inspired by Dr Nguyen’s ambition and commitment to leaving the world better than he found it.

We were amazed by the impact of technology on Melbourne’s “Connected Sites” initiative for its Level Crossing Removal project.  Internet of Things technology is being used to monitor construction sites – environmental factors, machine activity, people and vehicle movements – predicting delays or cost increases so that project teams can adapt.  When connected to a complex construction programme and fully integrated BIM model, the use of real-time, accurate information is having a material impact on project budgets and delivery.

We also gained insight into work underway at Auckland’s hospital campus, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail and MEP collaborations between design consultants and contractors. 

The key themes were about collaboration across disciplines, how AEC design technology is bringing projects in faster, cheaper and more safely, and about disruption of the industry.  AEC design teams are creating more innovative, people-friendly spaces, with a sharp eye on environmental impact.

We also explored the other exhibition stands and have brought some new knowledge back to HQ that will help us to become more efficient as a business and remain at the forefront of the latest technology.

Return on investment

BILT ANZ 2019 was by far the most successful conference that Atlas has attended.  We are in new business conversations with Guymer Bailey, Laing O’Rourke, Auckland District Health Authority, Nilsen, NBRS Architecture, GHD, BG&E and NBS.

BILT North America is next in the calendar, taking place in Seattle 18-20 July. Levi Naas and the USA team will be representing Atlas and building on the Melbourne success.  BILT Europe follows in Edinburgh 10–12 October. We have a speaking slot and are considering how best to make an impact.

BILT ANZ 2020 will be in Sydney 18-20 June and we hope to be there again, with some work as impressive as our Hong Kong Airport project to share.