2006-08-06

National BIM Standard

Did you know that there will be a national BIM standard soon? No? Well... you can find out more about the BIM Committee here on the website for the National Institute of Building Sciences.

Their goal is to finalize a National BIM Standard by the end of 2006.

Many in the constrution industry might cringe at the thought of another standard which they have to follow. But, personally, I am thrilled with the idea. We all have different ideas of what information is important, how to transmit it, and how strictly to abide by it?

If we can declare certain definitions and expectations, that will only help us all work together toward our respective goals.


From their website:


Building Information Models (BIM) for the facility industry are comparable to the transformation that occurred in the aircraft, microprocessor and automotive industries. There are some definitions being circulated that say BIM is simply a 3D model of a facility which is far from the truth. BIM is intended to be a open standards based repository of information for the facility owner/operator to use and maintain throughout the life-cycle of a facility.

Today nearly every piece of information that an owner needs about a facility throughout its life is available electronically. We currently don’t have the infrastructure in place to capture, organize and mine that information. Our goal at the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) is to create that infrastructure through all facets of the industry and weave that information into something useful.

There has been a life-cycle oriented cultural change gaining strength in the facility industry for years but adopted by only a few of the most sophisticated owners. Currently we look at facilities in fragmented 12-18 month views but we really need to look at them holistically over their complete life-cycle. Each discipline in the development of a facility, planning, design, construction, and management look at only their 12-18 month view and don’t really care about anything outside their window. The loser is the owner – to the tune of $15.8B annually according to NIST

We currently re-collect incredible amounts of information at each phase of a project. During operations and sustainment we recollect information each time we do a work order. Often the data is different and that ends up coming out of the owner’s pocket as a change order due to unforeseen conditions. If we could hold onto that original information and reuse it later we would positively affect the industry.

The mission of the National BIM Standard Project Committee as identified in the charter is to improve the performance of facilities over their full life-cycle by fostering a common, standard and integrated life-cycle information model for the A/E/C & FM industry. This information model will allow for the free flow of graphic and non-graphic information among all parties to the process of creating and sustaining the built environment, and will work to coordinate U.S. efforts with related activities taking place internationally.

The standard shall consist of, at minimum, the following:

* BIM Scope
* Coverage of Version
* Reference Standards
* Business Processes
* Business Rules
* Data Structures and Models
* Implementation Guidance
* Maturity Model

They have agreed that the work they produce shall be shared freely with the other members of the team. Wherever possible consensus industry and international standards development efforts, especially International Standards Organization (ISO) efforts will be recognized and incorporated into this standard so that the standard is usable by multinational organizations.

...to ensure that information gathered throughout the life-cycle of a constructed facility is collected in a standardized manner such that it will be useful to all interested parties for all purposes throughout the life-cycle of any constructed facility.

Membership in the Council is open to all individuals and organizations with an interest in and commitment to the Council's purposes. The Council's Board of Direction is made up of representatives from user organizations, private software developers and vendors, and governmental agencies.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Facility Information Council, contact Earle Kennett at NIBS, 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005-4905, (202) 289-7800; fax (202) 289-1092; email ekennett@nibs.org.

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