Talking Tech at BILT

Ceilidh Higgins , 12 April 2017

Co-organiser of BILT ANZ 2017, Ceilidh Higgins, gives us a rundown of the program and points out the value of all architects at all levels keeping abreast of technological change.

As architects we can no longer ignore the fact that technology is a key part of designing and constructing buildings – and the pace of change and new technological advances will only get faster. Whatever your role in architectural practice, you need to have some understanding of what technologies are available and what they can do – even if you are not ‘hands-on’ with all the tools. Technology no longer encompasses just CAD or even just BIM, but includes tools for virtual reality, for generating design options and smart buildings.

BILT stands for ’Buildings, Infrastructure and Lifecycle, supported by Technology’ and is a learning event for all of those involved in the design, delivery and ownership/operations of the built environment. BILT ANZ 2017 will take place in Adelaide from 25 to 27 May 2017.

As a senior associate working primarily in interior design, I am often asked why I attend a technology conference. I have been involved with BILT (and its predecessor RTC) since 2009, and can personally attest to the fact it’s not just an event for BIM managers or for modellers. This event allows me to keep up with industry trends in design and construction. It gives me the chance to view and compare new software and technology and to connect with a wide variety of people including architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and contractors who are working at the forefront of our industry.

Over the years I have been attending and speaking, the role of technology in design practice has grown, and the benefits of understanding how technology can be combined with knowledge of design and project delivery is becoming more and more important. Senior staff can’t afford to rely on the tech people to always know the best solutions. Small practices can’t afford to be left behind. We all must understand the technology and its applications in design and construction in order to knowledgeably deliver the quality of projects our clients expect.

The potential technology has to disrupt our industry is huge; you can read more about this in my article for the ACA’s ’Where to from here’ series. This is why I believe BILT is for everyone working in architecture and design today.

This year’s event will be outstanding, with three days packed full of international and local speakers – all experts in their respective fields – and opportunities for networking throughout the event with colleagues, friends and with the speakers themselves. The 96 conference sessions include presentations, forums and hands-on labs presented by well-known speakers practising in their respective fields. Process, people and technology are at the heart of the content. Alongside technical presentations, BILT supports professional and personal growth of its attendees.

This year's keynote speaker, Dr Louise Mahler, will present ’The Missing Ingredient of Leadership’, while other sessions on change management and business strategy will also feature. Attendees can choose from any of the sessions when they register. However, we have put together a suggested program aimed at those ‘not on the tools’ – for practice directors and leaders, senior staff or project managers. Visit our blog to see the program.

For further information or to register visit the BILT ANZ 2017 website, or contact me on When you register, you can also enter to win a Golden Ticket to the event, which will entitle the winner to conference registration (including all social events), four nights accommodation and return flights from any capital city in Australia or New Zealand.

We look forward to seeing you at BILT ANZ in Adelaide for an amazing event.

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