What I learnt about BIM during my “Mullet Run” Sub Tropical Architectural Network Tour

From the desk of Paul Trotter, Director

Last month, I returned from a global adventure visiting universities and architectural practices across South Africa and Brazil in the name of subtropical architecture. I also stopped by Budapest to attend GraphiSOFT’s Key Client Conference (KCC) – the global frontier of innovation in Building Information Modelling (BIM).

The purpose of this trip was to foster a number of cross cultural relationships for joint research, creativity and innovation in architecture. The networks I established were inspired by two lines of thought: environmental design, and of course, BIM.

(As these are two huge, yet vastly different subjects, I’ll talk about environmental design separately in our next newsletter edition!)

GraphiSOFT is the Hungarian company that develops the best and most innovative OPEN BIM software for architects. They have long regarded Fulton Trotter Architects as one of the world-leading users of BIM software.
To this effect, our Associate Director, Nathan Hilderbrandt was invited to present three workshops at GraphiSOFT’s two-day international conference.

During the conference, I met with Kevin Grayson, the Director of the UK’s leading BIM specialist practice Bond Bryan Architects. Kevin oversees the work of Rob Jackson, who presented at our recent BIM seminar in Brisbane.

I also met with a number of leading ArchiCAD practices in South Africa and Brazil to discuss their BIM strategies and approach to design.

Some of the key learnings from the trip included:

  1. BIM will be mandated in Australia within the next 5 years, following the recent standard set by the UK. Fulton Trotter Architects is extremely well placed to deliver on these changes as they are implemented. We’ve been assured that our high degree of architectural modeling is world class. Our clients, consultants and contractors can be assured of our experience, and will benefit from the surety of our modeling and guidance through the industry’s transition.

  2. The days of 2D drawing in architectural documentation are almost dead! We need to think of BIM models as long-term architectural databases that can assist the entire industry and can allow us to extract information in any format required by contractors, developers and facility managers.

  3. There is enormous potential to develop augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with Oculus RIFT to help our clients visualise and almost ‘taste’ the finished product. We are currently experimenting with our first pair of 3D goggles (and developing our modelling along with the potential to be using ‘Grasshopper’ and ‘Rhinoceros’ software to enhance our design process).

  4. Fulton Trotter Architects is actively exploring and working with the world’s best. Our global network of GraphiSOFT and ArchiCAD specialists will continue to see us at the forefront of global software innovation and development in the future.

Why the “Mullet Run”?
As each city is located on the same latitude and on the southern oceans with similar currents they all have the same run of mullet that run north in the winter months and these fish are netted by the locals. The mullet fish school together in masses along the coast and this is a great metaphor for this potential alliance of universities and practices with a common purpose. Long live the mullet run!