BIM Growth on the Horizon, Says One Expert
April 15, 2010

Dana K. "Deke" Smith, executive director of the buildingSMART alliance, part of the National Institute of Building Sciences, expects that Building Information Modeling (BIM) will soon become the information heart of a facility, from inception onward. Smith discussed some ongoing efforts of the buildingSMART alliance in regards to BIM, including the development of an industry BIM standard, during the BEST 2 conference that's been underway this week in Portland, Ore.

One point Smith covered was finding a way to use information throughout the life cycle of the building.

"Collect the data once and use it from inception onward," said Smith. "Many times building information is entered over and over again and that creates waste."

Smith explained that with BIM the building can be built electronically first, before it's built physically. Some of the benefits of doing so can include the reduced risk of litigation; a reduced risk of requests for information and change orders; and provides a way to solve problems ahead of time.

In talking about the efforts of the buildingSMART alliance, he said a key element of the group has been to get various groups and projects going around the country. One significant effort has been the development of a BIM standard.

"We're coming up with an open standard that everyone can use," said Smith.

He continued, "BIM ultimately changes everything; it changes the mindset and gets the designer thinking about what the contractor needs."

Smith also gave an example of a building project that was a collaboration of the buildingSMART alliance and the Open Geospatial Consortium.

"We manipulated the exterior skin of the building and at the same time could see what the impact would be on the energy usage of the building," said Smith, who said they are next planning to expand the project test to include geospatial aspects, to review solar heat gain, natural ventilation and other related aspects.

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