BIM Brunch: Belinda Thompson

Credit: GHD Woodhead
Credit: GHD Woodhead

BIM Brunch is the perfect accompaniment to your dinner break. Featuring some major players from the #GlobalBIMCrew, BIM Brunch is an interview feature where industry specialists talk about their passion for Building Information Modelling.

Taking part today is Australian professional Belinda Thompson, Western Australia BIM Coordinator for GHD Woodhead. Belinda tells all about the favourite project team she has worked with, the close collaboration she shares with her colleagues, the rewarding nature of educating other staff, and swapping dental nursing for architecture!

What is your favourite career related website/blog?

I have a couple that I love to read. The Midnight Lunch by Ceilidh Higgins is a great blog. What Revit Wants by Luke Johnson, Mystical BIM by Jasper Wong and also Practical BIM by Anthony McPhee are great too. The B1M website is wonderful as well.

Do you have a favourite industry book, magazine or publication?

The B1M Mail as an industry publication is fantastic. I also do like to get my hands on the Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture books each year.

Favourite Twitter handles to follow?

@LukeJohnston81, @BIMinions, @bondbryanBIM, @Twiceroadsfool, @Steve_Stafford, @earthcruiser13 and @BIMcrunch just to name a few!

What is your all-time favourite building?

Too hard to answer!

What is your favourite project you have worked on?

I think that there is no favourite project as such but favourite teams of people that I have worked with. One of the most interesting projects would be the Perth Underground Bus Port. The Bus Port went through many design iterations which challenged the coordination efforts of the BIM team. Thankfully it is now currently under construction and expected to be finished well ahead of schedule.

What is the best thing about the team at GHD and GHD Woodhead?

The best thing about GHD and now also GHD Woodhead, which is our Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Planning and Urban Design division, is that we all work closely together. For Instance, the benefits from having the Building Services and Structural teams sitting on the same floor as the Architectural side of things means that communication and education is friendly and easy.

The same applies for all disciplines, if someone needs to ask a question about Oil and Gas, Water Technology, Surveying, Roads and Transport etc., then we have the resources within the one building to provide the answers.

What was the first BIM related project you have been a part of and what did you learn from the experience?

The first ‘real’ BIM project was a hospital project that I inherited at the Tender stage. There were many lessons learnt, especially when tackling a project that is as far along as this one was. The most important lesson learnt would be that overly complex wordy BIM Execution and Management plans are useless because people will just ignore them.

The most exciting possibilities Building Information Modelling can offer are?

Better functionally designed buildings that are truly fit for purpose whilst offering time, energy and cost savings during the entire buildings life cycle.

Who or what made you want to work within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector?

I always had an interest in architecture so when I had the chance to change careers (I was a dental nurse for about 4 years) and to go back and study I grabbed the chance with both hands. I believe that the interest started because my father was in the structural and civil engineering industry, specifically involved with bridge design.

What is your proudest career highlight?

Becoming Studio BIM Manager at Woodhead.

What is the best part about your job?

Educating other staff. I love fostering excitement in other staff members as to what can be achieved with BIM and how we can streamline what we do, making everything more efficient without losing the overall design of a building.

To learn more about Belinda and GHD Woodhead, follow them both on Twitter. You can do so by clicking their aforementioned names.

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