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Over the past decade, we have witnessed an unprecedented transformation in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operation (AECO) industry in the UK but also abroad.

Digital Twins provide a form of a digital counterpart for a physical asset. They promise to transform construction delivery and Facilities Management (FM), boosting operational productivity, quality and ultimately profitability in the process.

But the clients’ ambition for the technology will fall flat if important lessons are not learnt from the prolonged and often painful BIM rollout from the past decade.

The aim of this roundtable discussion is to highlight the possibilities of digital twins and to debunk the myths surrounding them. We’ll also discuss various experiences of implementing BIM while challenging the industry to avoid the same pitfalls by approaching digital twins in a radically different way.

This will then lead us into a brief discussion of the Golden Thread of information, looking at what we know now, why we need the golden thread, and what building owners, architects, and contractors are going to need to do.


  • 3D Repo – Matthew is the Product Manager at 3D Repo. Previously, Matt had been consulting in the construction industry in various forms for the past five years. Most of his work was with main contractors focusing on innovation and efficiency in planning and commercial activities, with a focus on BIM. Prior to that, Matt was a Product Design Engineer in the transportation and consumer goods space, learning about the power of parametric modelling, 3D as a communication tool, and Total Quality Management.
  • Architype – Lydia has extensive BIM experience working on large residential schemes in the West Midlands and holds an RICS certificate in building information modelling. Lydia has also taught Revit skills at Birmingham City University (BCU) and runs training within the office. She regularly shares her knowledge and experience through BCU’s BIM talks, covering topics such as demystifying BIM and its fundamental principles, as well as Passivhaus and BIM integration.
  • Buro Happold – Alain Waha is the CTO of Buro Happold, the global engineering firm, and co-founder of Cogital Ltd– a digital and VC agency for AEC. Alain works for multiple market-leaders to implement digital transformation and technology initiatives worldwide. The major focus is on Industrial Construction, Platformisation Strategies, and Digital Twinning initiatives. Alongside his work at Buro Happold (worldwide), his clients have included JLL (EMEA), PWC (Europe & India), Rhomberg Group (Europe), Deutsche Bahn (DE), and Qatar Public Works Authority.  He combines this activity with venturing and incubation in #proptech and #contech; and sits on startup advisory boards, including,, and, and key client digital advisory panels such as HS2 and UK Construction Innovation Hub.
  • Centre for Digital Built Britain – The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge. The partnership aims to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors can apply a digital approach to better design, build, operate and integrate the built environment. The National Digital Twin Programme was set up to deliver technical foundations and provide a coordinated and vibrant community platform for organisations and industries to share expertise and know-how, and to support each other to reach digital twin goals.
  • L&Q Group – Johnny and Kirsty lead on BIM Strategy for L&Q Group, one of the UK largest housing associations with thousands of homes in their development pipeline including the massive Greenwich Peninsula project. They have been collaborating to build holistic solutions that are sensible and easy to use, focusing on delivering digital strategies that work to provide ‘the Golden Thread’ of information through the complete supply chain. They’ll join the session to discuss their work using BIM and how they are achieving ‘the Golden Thread.’

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