BIM People – Louise Kelly, Fulcro


Louise Kelly is currently a BIM/Project Manager with Fulcro, and at the moment she is working within a team to co-ordinate design documentation and resolve issues before they come up on site.

Since graduating she has worked with Hamilton Young Architects (Dublin), a kitchen design firm and McElroy Associates Consulting Engineers (Dublin) before joining Fulcro’s London Office in September. Louise studied Architectural Technology in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Bolton Street, graduating in 2006. Since then she has followed new technologies and regulations and developed a passion for BIM.

Louise currently works for Fulcro, which is an established team of UK-based specialist design engineers. For more than 12 years the company has been delivering 3D virtual design and construction services to cost projects, check coordination and validate designs for major clients and construction companies. Fulcro is widely recognised as experts in the world of BIM, and has worked and collaborated on award-winning projects in the UK and abroad. Fulcro recently joined with COINS, a technology based ERP business in the construction sector. This venture places COINS-FULCRO in a unique position to work with the industry to manage information, improve design and construction assembly, and handle the data exchange to empower life cycle of any project.

Louise talked to about BIM, and BIM adoption in the UK.

You are an Architectural Technologist and BIM Co-ordinator. When did your interest in BIM begin?

My interest in BIM piqued as a result of being requested to use Revit to model the structure of a large pharmaceutical facility. Seeing the additional benefits that BIM could add to the project I championed its use on our other projects. In some cases this was internally where we would transfer the models to the engineers for analysis, or in other cases where we would share it with quantity surveyors who would use the models to create the BOQ. We also shared the models with contractors and clients, depending on their requirements.

What is your preferred BIM software and technology?

My preferred BIM authoring tool would be Autodesk Revit. This is largely due to the types of projects I’ve worked on. Where possible I use Dynamo to automate tasks within Revit that would otherwise be time consuming.

What is your impression of BIM adoption in the UK?

I have been following the UK’s BIM journey for the last four years. In my opinion the UK is leading the world in its adoption of BIM as a result of the 2016 target. While that target only relates to Public Sector Asset Procurement, it has led to the adoption of BIM Level 2 almost as a standard of current best practise.

From an Architectural Technologist’s viewpoint, what are the difficulties in adopting BIM?

I think it’s probably the same for most disciplines. Changing the way you work can be difficult. BIM is a completely different process to the one many people will have used previously.

What challenges have you encountered in your work?

In relation to BIM, resistance to change is the most difficult challenge. Hearing “but we always did it this way” can be frustrating.

What are the key challenges witnessed to the adoption of BIM in the UK?

In both the UK and Ireland I think staffing is becoming a major issue, in that a lot of people need to upskill. The cost of this can be prohibitive to both individuals and organisations.

It’s not just the person modelling the project. They need to have Project/Information Managers providing the right data at the right time. They also need to ensure that the information is accurate and being correctly managed for that particular project.

Do you think BIM will significantly change the roles of the Architectural Technician and Architectural Technologist?

I think the use of BIM authoring tools and the sharing of models/data can only help Architectural Technicians/Technologists. They should be able to spend less time manually coordinating information. That time can then be better used to create more efficient and sustainable buildings.

What are the main topics discussed when talking about complying with BIM Level 2 in the UK?

The main topics discussed in relation to compliance would be COBie and IFC and how to best use these files going forward.

Do you think there will be major loss of work for those slow to adopt BIM, in the UK, in the next few years?

Again I’m sure this is just as relevant to Ireland as it is to the UK but I think that implementing BIM creates efficiencies and that these efficiencies will lead to a BIM enabled team to win work over a non-BIM team.

With regards BIM, are you influenced by any specific consultant firms, research organisations or professional bodies?

My influences are many, from professional bodies to individuals that share their experiences through blogs, Twitter, or YouTube videos.

Will BIM affect the professions and their boundaries, and the traditional statuses of those professions?

I think within the construction industry boundaries were always quite fluid, I believe that BIM can afford modellers a better knowledge of the information within the project and allow them to progress to more of an information management roIe, should they decide to do so. I also think that it will lead to a more multi-disciplinary approach to projects. 

Will BIM cross borders in terms of standardising the design / construction process?

Yes, it will. The EU directive regarding the use of BIM in public procurement will hopefully standardise BIM at European level. Assuming that existing standards are developed upon.

What do you predict for the future of BIM education and research?

As more standard documentation is released I assume it will be incorporated into existing education courses, as I said previously there is a massive demand for an upskilled workforce. So I can see a growth in postgraduate and part-time courses specialising in BIM technologies.

BIM opens up a lot of possibilities for research, the possibility of models and their associated databases providing ‘intelligent’ information is endless.

What documents should those interested in BIM read?

To begin with BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 and the associated Publically Available Specifications. After that I generally follow #UKBIMCrew #IrishBIMCrew and #GlobalBIMCrew on twitter. If there is any recently published documents they will be discussed here. There are also some great blogs covering all stages of BIM implementation.


Louise regularly Tweets about Architectural Technology and Building Information Modelling. You can follow her on Twitter: @weezybop BIM Ireland

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