An Interview with. Claudia Cozzitorto,Toronto BIM Community (tBIMc)

April 21, 2017

Our objective at the Toronto BIM Community (tBIMc) is to build a local network across all facets of the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner Operator (AECOO) industry centering its focus Building Information Modelling (BIM). Our mandate is to promote the use of BIM from design through construction and into operations, as well as share ideas and facilitate the opportunity to create solutions to the shared challenges we all face

KS: Tell us about the Toronto BIM Community

Claudia: The Toronto BIM Community is a local organization made of volunteers from the architecture and construction field. Our objective is to build a network in Toronto across all facets of the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operator (AECOO) industry centering its focus on Building Information Modelling (BIM). We want to create opportunities where the local Toronto construction industry can work together to resolve the challenges we face in the ever evolving flow of information, the increasing complexities of projects and the desire we all have to improve as an industry.

This group is intended to facilitate a community centred on the topic of BIM in Toronto. We believe the conversation needs be across sectors rather than as a silo within a specific segment of the industry which naturally views BIM through their own lens, this will allow for dynamic and broad conversation supporting collaboration.

KS: Tell us briefly about your role and expertise as well as some of the key people involved at Toronto BIM Community

Claudia: It appeared that many people were looking for a group such as this, including myself, so I reached out to the individuals who now make up the committee to get it started. They are experts in the industry and BIM champions with an equal interest in contributing to the local BIM community. I am the Executive Director of tBIMc, I invited the members of the committee and started the initiative. I am a practicing architect and a long standing promoter of BIM. Being a BIM Champion can sometimes be an isolating experience. Thus having a network of BIM champions can help with challenges we collectively experience in our segment of the industry.

CanBIM and buildingSMART Canada (bSC) are represented on the committee by Brent Mauti, who is on the Board of Directors for CANBIM and myself the Vice-Chair of Communication Committee for buildingSMART Canada, I also sit on the bSC Affiliate Advisory Board. This is of great benefit because it allows tBIMc to be directly connected to both organizations and an outlet for their initiatives.

Our committee is a collection of talented leaders in BIM who actively participated in the BIM community. Some key personalities at the tBIMc Committee include:

Executive Director: Claudia Cozzitorto

Claudia is the BIM Director at Maclennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, a licensed architect as well as the vice-chair of communication for buildingSMART Canada. Leading the implementation of BIM in multiple offices, she is an advocate of collaboration, openBIM and BIM workflows.

Treasurer: Brent Mauti

Brent is a practicing architect, the Global Director for Design Technology with IBI Group as well as a member of the CanBIM Board of Directors. During his career he has focused on how BIM enhances the design professions through efforts on major, multi-discipline projects focusing on cross-platform, lifecycle data interoperability.

Membership Chair: Omar Zuberi

Omar is the Virtual Design and Construction Manager for Eastern Canada at EllisDon Corporation. He brings an Engineering degree, 2 years of IT/web development, and 10 years of Construction industry experience with him; with projects ranging from large scale retail, high rise residential, hospital, and TTC subway. Omar helps deploy and support the constantly evolving people, knowledge, and technology of BIM on projects while pushing the boundaries of collaboration and open interaction.

Operations Chair: Andre Carvalho

Andre is the BIM Manager for Diamond Schmitt Architects and an early adopter of the BIM process, championing it since early 2000. With many years of experience in BIM implementation and management, has assisted some of the largest and most important Canadian AEC firms successfully transitioning to BIM. He is very active in the BIM communities, where he shares his opinions on the process, the tools and the methods to achieve it.

Communications Chair: Sara Vossoughi

Sara is the BIM Coordination Specialist and Office BIM Lead for IBI Architectural Group in Toronto. Her BIM experience spans both vertical infrastructure as well as linear data management and thus carries skills with various BIM software platforms. Her mission is to introduce and implement BIM in all projects and achieve better results using BIM on day to day basis.

Jackson Fung

Jackson is the BIM coordinator at Diamond Schmitt Architects, a part-time instructor at Seneca college. In his career, he has focused on implementing and educating the best practices of BIM. He holds CanBIM BIM Professional Level 2 credential.

KS: Whose initiative is it?

Claudia: The tBIMc is an affiliate of buildingSMART Canada (bSC), the bSC initiative is aimed at building a Canadian community of excellence by connecting local and regional BIM interest groups across Canada. There already exists strong local affiliate BIM communities in cities such Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Quebec. The bSC affiliate initiative allows us to be connected to what is happening nationally and internationally but operate independently. This group is fulfilling a local need for a BIM community that reflects Toronto, one that had repeatedly resurfaced when I met with people in various BIM-centered events

KS: How does tBIMc plan to promote BIM through the different life-cycles of the construction industry?

Claudia: Our mandate is to promote the use of BIM from design through construction and into operations; we do not want to limit the types of conversations regarding BIM or impose a single perspective. We plan to reach out to all the segments of the Toronto AECOO for feedback on how tBIMc can benefit them. Our events will range from discussion panels, workshops, innovation talks, networking and more, focusing on topics which are equally as diverse, ranging from legal discussions to collaboration tools and workflows. We are not limiting ourselves in how to present topics or what the topics may be, so the group is able to evolve and grow.

KS: How does it plan to work with organizations like CanBIM and IBC - what does it plan to do differently, how does it contribute to their objectives etc.

Claudia: CanBIM and IBC / buildingSMART Canada operate at a national level. There are regional differences in the Canadian construction industry across the country and different cities are at different levels regarding the implementation of BIM. An opportunity exists at a level between the national organizations and the local project teams and individuals practicing. tBIMc will operate at that local level, we are able to hear and respond to the specific needs directly from the local Toronto industry. The CanBIM Regional Session is a great event which occurs annually in Toronto, the tBIMc will be able to provide events throughout the year. This local group will shine light on the national organizations and make the resources that are being developed nationally accessible for the local Toronto community by featuring them at our events via presentation, discussion panel or Q &A as well as promote them on our website for our members. We will act as an outlet to present documents such as the IBC Contract Appendix, AEC (Can) BIM Protocols, the upcoming Canadian Practice Manual for BIM, and so forth

KS: We wish the Toronto BIM Community all the best!