Eric Poirier, Véronyk Duguay and Sébastien Frénette from Groupe BIM du Québec talk to CanBIM about the organization’s mission, goals, and its association with CanBIM as well as its plans for growth under their new leadership.
Karan: Tell us briefly about the Groupe BIM du Québec . What are its objective, goals and mission?
At its core, the Groupe BIM du Québec is a community of practice whose goal is to consolidate and share knowledge on the digitalization of the built environment through Building Information Modeling. Our objective is to support the adoption and implementation of BIM in the province of Quebec on a strategic, operational and tactical level. That means being involved in different initiatives across the province, namely helping with CanBIM’s Montreal Regional Sessions, and even on a national scale, namely participating in the Canadian Practice Manual for BIM lead by buildingSMART Canada.
The group is a neutral organization and supports the development of best-practices in BIM and other digital approaches to the design, construction and operations of our built environment. It is also a buildingSMART Canada affiliate and works alongside other affiliates to share and promote BIM in Canada.
Karan: Groupe BIM du Quebec has recently appointed you as the new directors. Could you give us a brief introduction to your backgrounds?
Originally founded in 2009, the group has recently undergone a change in governance with three new directors being elected to take the helm. Véronyk Duguay, Sébastien Frénette and Erik Poirier were elected in April 2017 as the new board of directors. The three new directors bring a wide array of expertise and each have their particular strengths. Véronyk works as a BIM consultant in her day job and therefore is close to the industry and understands its needs with regards to tools and training. She brings a highly pragmatic view of BIM and the needs of industry. Sébastien has recently been appointed as BIM director for a large architecture firm in Montreal and has a good background in construction and engineering. He brings a strategic vision to BIM and understands the intricacies of BIM throughout the supply chain. Finally, Erik has conducted research on BIM across the country and has been involved with buildingSMART Canada since 2014. His vision is that of a more federated and lean approach to BIM, with government playing an important role at all levels according to their spheres of influence.
Karan: What are some of your goals for the organization as the new directors?
Of course, growth is one of our top priorities. We’re the only group in Canada, evolving in this particular domain that is distributed across three cities: Gatineau, Montreal and Quebec. This provides tremendous opportunity to reach a wide audience and consolidate knowledge across the province. We hope to grow our membership as well as our network of partners. Our other priority is to really help structure BIM adoption and implementation in Quebec. In this sense, the group is developing partnerships with different government bodies to lead certain initiatives aimed at pushing BIM adoption in Quebec. We are also looking at developing strategic partnerships with academic and industry partners to carry out research & development activities.
Karan: How does the Group plan to promote BIM through different life cycles of the construction industry?
Being a community of practice, our main touch point with the members is during our meetings. So far, the group has, for the most part, let its members dictate the meetings’ content. Our members belong to organizations that span the supply chain and therefore, we have been able to touch on many lifecycle aspects of BIM. We are currently looking into setting up a thematic meeting structure, based on the chapters of the Canadian Practice Manual for BIM, where by we’d present and discuss each section on an ongoing basis – that’s one idea. The other is to become more involved in a governance role in Quebec. Ultimately, we’ll be looking at taking a more involved approach in pushing BIM adoption and implementation in Quebec.
Karan: How does it plan to or work with organisations like CANBIM and Building Smart - what does it do differently, how does it contribute to their objectives?
The group is really grass roots and close to its members – that is key in ensuring coherence and consistency in how BIM is discussed and knowledge shared. Construction being of provincial jurisdiction, the importance of these local groups, who act at a regional level, and understand the regional context is really important. While national bodies such as CanBIM and buildingSMART Canada are important to unify the community and work on the development of national standards and such, it is at the local level that people will have to implement these standards and technologies in their everyday practice – hence the need to be able to discuss openly, share and even give feedback to improve these tools.
The Group is looking forward to closer collaboration with CanBIM and buildingSMART Canada, namely through growing the regional sessions in Montreal and perhaps developing satellite sessions in other areas of Quebec.
Karan: Any important upcoming events?
We’re taking a hiatus for the summer and reconvening on September 13th, 2017. Over the summer we will be preparing our fall sessions and developing our strategic plan for the next two years. We will also be announcing an initiative in partnership with the Government of Quebec in the upcoming weeks.
Thank you for talking to us!