Dana K. Smith sees building information models evolving without a foundation. “If we are going to have long-term and sustainable building information models, we need a standard,” says Smith, chair of the National BIM Standard project committee of the National Institute of Standards & Technology.
The committee, which began work last August, is on schedule to publish the first version of the standard by year-end. A draft is expected to be out this month.
A basic premise of BIM, says NIBS, is collaboration by different stakeholders at different phases of the life cycle of a facility. The stakeholders will insert, extract, update or modify information in the BIM to support and reflect the roles of each stakeholder. The BIM “is a shared digital representation founded on open standards for interoperability,” says NIBS in its definition of BIM. The National BIM Standard promotes the business requirement that the model is “interoperable based on open standards.”
The first portion of the standard, funded by the Charles Pankow Foundation, will be on precast concrete. It will then provide the templates for other areas of interest to produce more sections, says the committee. The basis for much of the standard will be in the form of information delivery manuals. The BIM user will not need technical knowledge to understand the manuals.
The scoping team has developed a standards-based matrix for identifying the information exchanges required for a project life cycle. The testing team is now testing the first item—the interface between CAD and a geographical information system. The Open Geospatial Consortium is carrying this out.
Sponsors are needed for the CAD-GIS interface project and others. “We are also looking for in-kind support,” says Smith, who is a chief architect in the Defense Dept. Information is available on NIBS Website, www.nibs.org/BIMcommittee.html.