According to the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), Washington, D.C., construction companies comprise 13% of the global economy. And while the United States already plays a major leadership role in delivering innovative technologies and design/construction services to a global marketplace, it lacks the same leadership to tackle industry productivity and efficiency problems to benefit asset owners.
In the past, NIBS created a U.S. National BIM (Building Information Modeling) Standard. However, it was developed through volunteer efforts and with little coordination toward making it a comprehensive standard. As a result, there have been varying levels of adoption across delivery and management processes, as well as education and training. However, according to Phillip Bernstein, associate dean and professor adjunct with the Yale School of Architecture, New Haven, Conn., the United States faces continued challenges with data interoperability.
Early in February, NIBS held an executive roundtable with representatives from public and private organizations to discuss the need for a coordinated program to advance collaboration and innovation in the building industry. The Building Information Management Executive Roundtable included representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. General Services Administration. From the private sector it included Google, Mountain View, Calif.; Microsoft, Redmond, Wash.; Amazon Web Services, Seattle; Autodesk, Rafael, Calif.; Bentley Motors Ltd., Crewe, England; Epic Systems Corp., Verona, Wis.; Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Redlands, Calif.; HDR Inc., Omaha, Neb.; KieranTimberlake, Philadelphia; and WSP Global Inc., Montreal.
The executive roundtable’s goal is a solution that would be implemented at a national scale to enable digital process standards that will streamline business, accelerate the effectiveness of the supply chain, provide predictable processes, improve project outcomes, drive efficiency and foster innovation.
The roundtable is looking closely at the BIM standard created in the United Kingdom, which, while it costs about £5 million (roughly $7 million U.S. dollars), led to 33% lower costs through a reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of building assets, with 50% faster delivery.
For more information on the NIBS Building Information Management Council, visit www.nibs.org/bimc.