The Future of BIM: New Standards to Meet New Demands

Debuting in the 1980s, building information modeling (BIM) tools have redefined the process of designing facilities. BIM allows architects and engineers to use one piece of software to produce a collective set of digital models of buildings rather than separate and disconnected drawings—creating more effective and efficient methods for design and construction.

But how substantial has the introduction of BIM been to the design community? These five facts shed light on how BIM has, and will, continue to move the design industry forward and why creating updated standards is necessary to keeping pace with the technology’s adoption.

  1. In 2007, there was a 28 percent BIM adoption rate in North America versus 49 percent in 2009 and 71 percent in 2012.
  2. In 2009, it was estimated that AEC firms would be “largely or fully dedicated” to using BIM on 60 percent or more of their projects, with that trend continuing to rise.
  3. In 2014, 96 percent of AEC firms were aware of BIM and 48 percent were using it.
  4. Currently, in the 2015 National BIM Report for the U.K., 92 percent of AEC firms expect to be using BIM within three years, and 95 percent within five.
  5. Of those BIM users in 2015, 83 percent said that they would use it to produce 2D digital drawings, and 75 percent used BIM to collaboratively work on design.

New and developing standards guide these new waves of BIM users toward a better process. With the booming popularity and adoption rate of the technology, experts stay ahead of the curve by being continually up to date with the latest changes.

In 2008, more than 20 years after BIM’s debut, the first national standards documenting optimum BIM usage were created. During July of this year, the buildingSMART alliance®, a council of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), released the National BIM Standard-United States® (NBIMS-US™) Version 3 (V3). Developed with national and international building expert input, this version defines industry best practices—from planning and design through construction and operation. The project committee responsible for compiling and reviewing the standards received 40 submissions and accepted 27 additions or modifications to the standards. The impressive document includes 3,100 pages of content.

Woolpert’s BIM expert John Przybyla actively participated in the release of buildingSMART alliance’s® new version of its well-known BIM standards. John has been involved in V2 and V3 of NBIMS-US™.

“The untapped value in BIM comes from leveraging the tremendous amount of detail that is created during the design and construction process throughout the lifecycle of facilities,” Przybyla said. “V3 highlights the use of COBie and other technologies to provide the means to populate facilities management, asset management and geographic information systems with the information needed to operate and maintain facilities effectively throughout their lifespan.”

Woolpert’s adoption of BIM during the last decades has allowed us to evolve and simply create better buildings. As BIM was introduced to and became immersed in the industry, we discovered strategies to integrate multiple disciplines to generate better products. More recently, cloud-based 3D BIM and clash detection have improved constructability and expedited our schedules. Overall, BIM continues to allow us to create efficient and functional designs through collaboration, which adds value and pride to the built environment and our communities.

The use of BIM will continually increase among the global design community—causing an expansion in possibilities for the software and a refinement of all facilities-related processes. We here at Woolpert are excited for BIM’s potential and rely on it to create better products for our clients. BIM is leading the way, and we’re on board. Are you?

The statistics in this blog originated from BuildingSMART’s Introduction to

National BIM Standard & NBIMS-US report and the NBS National BIM Report 2015.

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