buildingSMART in Norway

I think this post’s title has quite a few meanings. It says that two members of the HOK buildingSMART team visited Oslo, Norway recently. It also says that there was a buildingSMART convention happening there that same week. And it also indicates the general state of the construction industry in the region – they are definitely building SMART in Norway!

Greg Schleusner and I were invited to visit Oslo by our new strategic software partners – dRofus. Back in December 2011, it was announced that HOK and dRofus entered a 3-year enterprise license agreement to use their client-server database solution for integrated program management on a majority of HOK’s building projects. While members of the dRofus team have visited our offices in the US and London, this was our first visit to their office in central Oslo. We had the benefit of an unusually warm week in the region, which allowed us to dine outdoors for just about every meal! Think about that…there are SO many restaurants with outdoor dining in a city that is at 60 degrees North latitude! They really embrace the crisp clean air and make the most of any nice weather.

It was so refreshing to return to a relationship with a software provider who understands our workflows and aligns their development priorities with our needs. During our weeklong visit, Greg and I spent a day or so at the dRofus office discussing ways to push the integration of their tool with Revit even further. According to Rolf Jerving, CEO of dRofus, HOK has been the driving force behind their amazing and almost seamless connection to the Revit platform.

While we were visiting, dRofus also conducted their very first user conference. Of course, we were invited to share our implementation experiences; however, we had the benefit of observing how regional teams were already using the tool and gaining true value from managing the I in BIM as they say. Presentations were made on the new Ostfold hospital in Fredrikstad, the DNU hospital in Aarhus, Denmark; and the new Terminal 2 at Oslo Airport.

On Tuesday night, we were able to join up with the buildingSMART International User Group and Technical Management Committee for a bit of Norwegian folklore at the Cultural Museum in Bygdøy. We learned that the Norwegians consider beer to be a ‘gift from God’ and we all drank from the beer bowl and toasted, ‘Skaal!’

Finally, we attended the more formal buildingSMART Norway conference where we were treated to a keynote presentation by HOK’s CEO, Patrick MacLeamy. It’s always a pleasure to watch Patrick give a presentation in his calm, cool, and matter-of-fact way. There is such an excitement, interest, and motivation to support open BIM in that part of the world. I hope that same enthusiasm can be shared in North America and other parts of the world.

Patrick may not look too happy in the photo I snapped above, but trust me…his dedication and support to the buildingSMART movement is unparalleled. Before we departed Oslo, Greg and I were able to explore the city – a rarity at least in my hectic travel schedule. Feel free to check out some more of my photos of the Oslo Opera House, Holmenkollen Ski Jump Tower and the Vigelandsparken sculpture park.

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