AIA Building Connections Congress 2017 Recap

By: Don Rudder

I recently had the great pleasure of being invited by Cory Brugger, AIA TAP Chair, to speak about technology at the AIA National Headquarters in Washington, DC.


Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community (TAP) Building Connections Congress is an annual event for the AIA TAP Retooling Practice where technology and innovative process is the primary focus, as well as how this already is or should be leading to positive change in the AEC industry as a whole. The discussions are not just centered around design and construction, but also the operation and maintenance of the built environment. I was obviously honored to even be considered as a presenter and was delighted to accept.

I’ve given plenty of lectures to large audiences in my career, but this was my first UN-style seating event, where everyone in the room had their very own microphone to use whenever they felt the need. Approximately 100 attendees showed up, all of whom are either technology leaders in the industry or working in a role that is heavily impacted by the progression of technology in AEC.

A one-day event held on January 9, 2017 in the main boardroom at the AIA Headquarters in DC, the conference was comprised of four sessions each consisting of a few 20 minute lectures followed by a roundtable discussion. The four sessions’ themes were Design, Document, Construct, and Manage. The lecture that I gave was under the Manage session entitled “Measuring BIM for Better Management.” I discussed the hands-on Revit skills assessment that I designed for quantifying STG Design’s overall production capabilities and efficiencies in regards to Autodesk Revit.

I opted to use a light comedic approach to keep the room entertained and engaged and it worked quite well. When presenting a topic that might otherwise be boring to some of the audience, I think it is important to be as unpredictable, yet informative as possible; this maximizes the impact your material has on the participants. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun presenting to this group and the discussion that it sparked in the following roundtable was all very interesting and positive.

I was thoroughly impressed with all of the presentations and discussions that each spawned. I left this event mind-blown and excited about the future of technology in AEC. I found the experience to be one that I’ll remember for a long time and will definitely keep future AIA TAP Building Connections Congress on my radar for events to attend and hopefully present at again in the future.

Don Rudder is STG Design’s firm-wide BIM Manager. He oversees company-wide BIM training sessions and is tightly integrated into every project. Don has over 20 years of experience in the AEC industry and has been working in architecture since 2009. He is a recognized industry leader on the Revit Application Programming Interface (API), a four-time published author on Revit topical training guides, and a regular speaker at several annual conferences including Autodesk University and Revit Technology Conference.