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Cape Town BIM unconference, Thurs 24 Oct 2019

Thank you to everyone who attended the first BIM unconference in Cape Town. It was the first and definitely not the last. 46 brave souls threw their lot in, and after some initial discomfort - who knew that an unconference meant moving out of your comfort zone and shaping agendas and conversations - some robust conversations were had.

Graciously hosted by Aurecon, and co-facilitated by UCT and Aurecon the day provided the opportunity to bring BIM concerns into the open, to be discussed frankly by BIM practitioners with no agendas or pre-determined outcomes.

Our unique way of choosing discussion topics was to ask delegates to write their topic onto a piece of paper, fold it into a paper plane and launch it across the room. These paper planes were then picked up and similar topics clustered.

The 5 topics* chosen for discussion were:

1) How do we seamlessly collaborate between various sectors, companies/disciplines?

2) How do we implement ISO?

3) How can we create a common set of standards so we can automate tasks?

4) How do we effectively implement BIM from construction to FM?

5) Where does BIM stop?

There were several similarities to the conversation topics raised in our Pretoria unconference on 22 August. And it's clear that, across the country, practitioners are grappling with the practical considerations of implementing BIM in an intelligent and holistic way.

*The notes from each of the sessions are posted on our Blog in separate posts.

What's exciting is that, for the first time, those who have to BIM (yes, it looks as though it might become a verb) are coming together and crafting a way forward without anyone's predetermined agenda but with a commitment and need to improve BIM adoption and execution across the entire Built environment.

What was disappointing was the absence of property owners and developers at the unconference. BIM encompasses, and adds value to, the entire workflow and it needs the buy-in and commitment of every part of that value chain. Perhaps it's time to start having those conversations with your clients and sharing the business benefits of a holistic BIM implementation.

This was just the start for Cape Town. We are hoping to host another follow-up session in February 2020 and will be hosting one in Durban at the same time. And, hopefully, an ISO 19650-focused one in Pretoria, also in February 2020.

If you attended the Cape Town unconference, please share your feedback with us? You can either post it in the comments below or send a mail to

You're all a part of the BIMcommUNITY and we are better and #strongertogether (Thanks Springboks!)

We will be posting pictures of the unconference soon, so keep an eye on our blog.

Thank you again to everyone who facilitated and participated on the day. Our BIMcommUNITYAfrica is growing and gaining momentum. Join us and help #RaiseTheBIMTide

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