A2K Technologies Blog

Inaugural BIMbattle Proves Sleep is for the Weak

Glenn Sinclair, Consulting Technical Lead at A2K Technologies, reports on last weekend’s 24 hour BIMbattle at Deakin University, and shares his advice on BIM to students.


After staying awake for 24 hours, most of us could be forgiven for confusing BIM with an elephant. But students participating in the inaugural BIMbattle not only mastered the idea that BIM is greater than the sum of its parts, they also swung it into action over the two days.

Commencing Friday 12th September and concluding around 6pm Saturday 13th September, the BIMbattle exposed students from Architecture and Construction Management at Deakin University to the latest in design and simulation techniques using Building Information Modelling (BIM) software.

Their task was to design a ‘pop up’ bar for Little Creatures Brewery – over a 24 hour period with no sleep! Competitors were required to design, model and simulate the construction using Autodesk BIM software, namely Revit, Recap and Navisworks.

The majority of students competing at the event, which was run by talkBIM, a non-profit BIM group hosted by Deakin University, had never used this technology previously.

Having had just an hour’s training on the Friday night, the students fearlessly dived right in to using the software, with many using proper Revit techniques in their ‘battle’ submissions.

It was a privilege to be involved in the judging of the competition, and to have the opportunity to share my knowledge of BIM with the next generation of architects.

What I shared with the students at the event was as follows:

BIM is not completely defined or locked down.

Some of you students are going to choose a technical/BIM management career path; and you will be the ones who define how collaborative the next generation’s industry will be.

How open the industry is will be determined by your willingness to share…and your ability to work with the legal department to let you share anything!

The definition of BIM is very broad and means different things to different people and disciplines, as each interacts with a different part of it.

My old Woods Bagot colleague, Franz Hein, likens BIM to putting blindfolded people into a room with an elephant, then asking them to define the elephant.

One person says it’s smooth and tough because they felt the tusks; one person says it’s soft and leathery because they touched the ears, and another describes it as fluffy and spindly as they touched the tail.

So we have the designer saying, “Oh, BIM is where I can visualise my design”; the contractor saying “BIM means I can resolve more clashes before getting to site”, and the building owner saying “BIM means I get as-built data at the end of construction”.

And with BIM, each of them can be right.


As an Authorised Autodesk Training Centre, A2K Technologies is committed to supporting education institutions and students, and was a proud sponsor of the 2014 BIMbattle.

In conjunction with Autodesk’s free software for education, A2K has formulated a services offering and a professional development program to keep institutions and teachers up-to-date with the latest technology. With A2K’s support, institutions’ CAD courses and learning curriculum can be delivered without interruption, for a fraction of the usual Autodesk price.

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About The Author

A2K Technologies is an industry-leading solutions, training, consulting and management firm specialising in the design technology space. With a multi-million dollar turnover and over 150 staff across Australia, New Zealand and China; A2K Technologies is Australia’s largest Autodesk re-seller.

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