Report from CitA’s 4th Breakfast Meeting of 2016


The 4th Event of the CitA Smarter Cooperative Building Series 2016, titled “Building a Competitive Edge through Technology and People” took place on June 15th, in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin.

Chris Edwards from Facebook was the keynote speaker. The other speakers were Sean Downey of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Joe Mady from Designer Group, Ciaran McManus from Mercury Engineering, and Joseph Little and Malachy Mathews from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

The CIF organised the event and Sean Downey was chairperson. Michael Stone, Group CEO of Designer Group and CIF President, opened the event, speaking of his company’s Lean and BIM journeys and how good they have been for business. Lean and BIM would encourage young people into the industry, he said. The first speaker, Chris Edwards was introduced.

Chris, Senior Construction Manager at Facebook, has extensive experience and works for one of the world’s most popular companies. Chris said owners do not know what they want from BIM, and that they need direction. His talk was interesting, titled: “BIM Expectations from an Owners Perspective”. One of the main points made by Chris was that “serviceability is missing a lot”. By this, he meant how owners can service the buildings/facilities after construction. He recommended that contractors work on this and show how a building can be serviced in the facilities management stage. He spoke about technology and what we can expect in the coming years. He said, “don’t be afraid to invest in your team” regarding BIM and technology knowledge and skills training.

Sean Downey talked about clients brief and the problem with professionals not collaborating. Joe Mady, BIM/CAD Manager at Designer Group was the next speaker, with a presentation titled, “Making BIM work on site”. Joe told the audience about “perceptions versus the reality of BIM”. Joe said at CitA meetings, people get to see the future. He said meeting site staff needs is essential in the transition between technologies, stressing the importance of CPD and training. He said paper is the past and that tablets and technology are the present. Joe spoke of how Lean and BIM were integrated into the company. He said Designer Group has been proactively pushing out “the paper mentality” in projects. He said that collaboration is a problem.

Sean Downey introduced DIT Lecturers Joseph Little and Malachy Mathews. Their presentation titled, “Developing practical IT skills on site”. They spoke about DIT’s new CPD Certificate – IT for Site Workers, which starts in September. They spoke in detail about the current adoption of technology on site and the need for up-skilling workers. In talking about the Irish Construction Industry and technology, DIT was praised by Sean Downey for its range of courses. Sean introduced the last speaker, Ciaran McManus, BIM Surveyor at Mercury.

Ciaran, in a technical talk titled “Model deviation analysis and the correction process”, spoke about his experience in surveying facilities, and how deviations and tolerances are managed in the survey process. Mercury uses BIM to drive the solutions it needs. Ciaran said Mercury adopted BIM on the back of client requirements. Mercury is also interested in Lean, and the benefits of this were reported. Following this, there was an interactive Q&A session covering sustainability in BIM, mandating BIM, terminology issues, and BIM and FM over the building lifecycle. Closing, Sean Downey said it was great to get a prolific speaker such as Chris, and that there was a great speaker panel. Dr Alan Hore concluded an excellent event thanking attendees, the speakers, sponsors, Sean Downey and the CIF.


Irish building magazine Issue 3 of 2016 will have full coverage of this event.


CitA’s Work

The CitA Smarter Cooperative Building Series 2016 will assist in accelerating Ireland’s transition to digitisation and leaner work practices and creating an integrated future for the Irish Construction Industry.

Become a CitA Member:


Follow on Twitter: @BIMIreland

Comments are closed.