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3 Questions: Rebecca De Cicco

Published: 2020-08-13

Rebecca De Cicco, Digital Node CEO, and Founder of Women in BIM, has a passion for diversity in the built environment and founded the initiative Women in BIM (WIB) in 2012. WIB has grown to over 1200 global members, extending to women in the UK, Europe, the United States, Australia & New Zealand, the Middle East, and South-East Asia, with a now successful mentoring scheme underway to support our industry globally.

Why did you first get into BIM and digital design?

As an architect I was always fascinated with how technology and the process of different digital applications can affect how we design and innovate. The way in which I loved this technology came from a very young age and I always wanted to explore the synergies between design and technology. As I moved into architectural practice, I found that the process of design and documentation was outdated and this continued well into my career. I felt that there must be a better way to manage information and design better so i moved into technology led roles in the practices i worked for.

BIM was a natural progression for me as a young architect as I loved using the software applications and processes to innovate but also to communicate ideas more effectively. Working in the UK and being a part of the UK BIM Journey in terms of BIM allowed my career to flourish as I embedded myself in the industry groups who were leading these incentives.

What do you think will happen when fire safety design becomes fully BIM integrated?

Recently I have been interested in the research around the Golden Thread and the concept of the golden thread of digital information enforced in the United Kingdom following the tragedy around the Grenfell Fire in 2017. BIM and digital information managed to control and track decision making is crucial to a building safety and using a golden thread of digital data can ultimately support better safety for those who live or work inside of buildings. This is why fire safety and the importance of safety in regard to BIM is a critical component to the future of our industry. In the United Kingdom there is much work around how building safety can be achieved via the use of BIM related processes and technologies and how BIM can fundamentally support building safety by allowing an audit trail of project information as well as an accountability trail of decision making on a project. I think we are many years away from integrating BIM for building safety as part of our projects globally but the work around the digital golden thread and the UK agenda is certainly a fundamental step forward in allowing this to occur.

What do you see as the single most important benefit with BIM and digital design, from a societal perspective?

The use of digital and the way digital processes are evolving is a key driver behind business growth and profitability. This is not only true for the construction industry but for all industries looking to strive ahead and be innovative. The work we do not only includes working in BIM but supporting clients like the government in allowing them to understand the importance of linking digital data to improve society on many levels. This includes how we live, work, move and use data to make our lives better. BIM is the backbone of these processes and tying digital data together for buildings, cities and then services impacts society in fundamental ways. We can learn to live better, to interact with our built environment in more innovative ways and to travel more safely. The process of using digital design and BIM across our infrastructure is a fundamental game changer for how we live, work and utilise our cities and built environment and ultimately drive a safer and more integrated culture across the globe.

Read more about Rebecca┬┤s work:
Women in BIM
Digital Node

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