Hero Background

Company Updates:
Glider welcomes Lucas Cusack

Better to start somewhere than never at all

We often talk about the supply chain and the importance of all parties working in a true, collaborative manner. However, the difference between design, construction and operation all too often means that projects are not run as effectively as they could be, with intent, information and understanding often lost. It’s therefore interesting to find someone who has witnessed all of these parts of the supply chain and has taken it upon themselves to try and make change happen by taking learnings up the supply chain to major asset owners.

Lucas Cusack studied architecture in his native Australia before starting as an Architectural Intern at Design Forum Architects. At this very early stage, the intrigue of modelling saw him become a Structural Modeller at Archiform 3D before becoming an Architectural Technician, with a focus on CAD and graphics at Cottee Parker Cottee.

A move to London saw Lucas take the role of Project Professional at Woods Bagot before a significant move to BIM Manager at Anshen + Allen. Whilst in this role Lucas identified the void between architects and main contractors and how the intent of BIM was being massively underutilised. It was 2014 and information modelling was in its infancy for many, with main contractors not fully embracing its potential.

Driven by a desire to facilitate change, Lucas joined Laing O’Rourke as Lead Digital Engineer (BIM). Part of the senior leadership team within the Digital Engineering function, he managed the implementation and usage of BIM on large-scale building projects during construction in the London and Oxford region. Managing a team of seven digital engineers, they supported 10 projects collectively worth over £1 billion.

Managing the creation of the BIM Execution Plans and negotiating BIM deliverables with key stakeholders, Lucas was heavily involved in consultant and client engagement. It was at this juncture that a further gap in the supply chain tweaked Lucas’s drive for wider information management adoption – the exploitation by end clients.

“Working with clients whilst at Laing O’Rourke, it became abundantly clear that the first instructions around building information was limited to one line in a contract and the data that was being handed over upon completion was not being used effectively,” commented Lucas. “I have a tendency to jump into a problem to see how I can solve it and that’s exactly what I did, by joining Westfield as Project BIM Manager in a role that saw the delivery of their first BIM project.”

“At Westfield, I was in charge of the development, implementation, execution and management of BIM for all projects developed by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. My remit covered a development pipeline of around £4 billion within the UK and Europe.”

“My time at a tier 1 contractor has shown me that all too often contractors are only able to deliver what they are asked to deliver and all too often clients are afraid to provide additional instructions, as a project progresses, as they are afraid of what it will cost. Further, any data centres that exist are disconnected and there is little value to be gained.”

“Understanding that when you invest in building information you are investing in an outcome not a piece of software is important. The information all typically exists but the way in which it is managed is not efficient and as more smart systems are added to the process, it can get overly complicated with opportunities to create valuable information being lost.”

Whilst at Westfield ‘the bright lights of digital twins’ caught Lucas’s eye. Coupled with an appreciation that end clients need to know what to ask contractors and the need for clients to have internal building information expertise to help manage costs and expectations, a move to a building information management provider comes as no surprise.

As the first employee of Willow Europe, Lucas in the role of Director of Project Delivery, UK & Europe, grew an international team, whilst being the key contact for clients and supporting product development. “With my experience spanning so many disciplines, helping to steer the development of new products comes naturally,” he said.

So where can someone who has travelled the supply chain from design to construction through to the end client and consultancy go next? With the growth in digital twins and client asset owners appreciating the value that data and technology can bring to their projects, there comes a requirement to go beyond just the delivery of a building and look at its ongoing management.

As clients invest in the creation of digital twins and the creation of building information, there comes the need to ensure this valuable commodity is managed into the future. What good is there in creating a digital model if we fail to maintain it? With an eye on the future, Lucas has now joined the team at Glider as Strategic Lead, Asset Management. A new role that will see Lucas work with clients to provide consultancy support in the use and maintenance of building information.

“Whilst at Westfield, Glider presented to me. I was blown away by their approach and I’ve followed the company with interest. I see the company as a best practice example of how to collate, manage and hand over information. It’s with the handover my new role comes into its own. Gilder has seen an opportunity to work with asset owners to provide ongoing help to maintain their information and ensure the value of their asset benefits from accurate information. This includes how to interpret data, how to update following moves, changes and adaptations and how to manage risk in terms of uncertainty around expenditure.”

“If anyone looks at my career it has been varied but there has been a natural path through the supply chain. The industry is getting better in terms of how it creates and manages data but we do have a long way to go. My career and experience of working across design, construction, operation and consultancy has shown me the true value of investing in information. Whilst early involvement is always desirable, it’s better to start somewhere in terms of investing in information management than never at all.”

Stuart Bell, Director of Sales and Marketing at Glider commented on Lucas’s appointment: “We are delighted to have Lucas on board as Strategic Lead. His expertise in BIM and whole lifecycle asset management made him the obvious choice for the role where he will be leading the Glider go-to-market strategy for property developers, property managers and major asset owners.”


To find out more about Glider and gliderbim® call 0203 8268 001 or email info@glidertech.com.