Thursday 29 September 2011

Collaborative BIM Series - What is BIM, The Business Imperatives

Along with 1,300+ others I watched the free webinar from Building and ASITE yesterday.

For full details see

First up were Mervyn Richards and Robert Klaschka. Interesting points include:
  • BIM being about infrastructure and not just buildings - this is especially relevant for the UK government construction strategy. In this sense - the "B" in BIM is a verb "to build" and not a noun "a building".
  • Discussion around whether fully integrated "level-3" BIM adoption being possible today and whether technology allows this - the general feeling was "no".
  • The importance of all of the information that goes into building and not just the CAD model.
  • Figures of £60bn worth of annual waste in the UK construction industry. Lack of coordination accounting for maybe 20% waste (BRE report) and as high as 40% waste overall (BSRIA report).
  • Information being more important than beauty when it comes to BIM objects.
  • And the information feed starting with the client and then being reused and built on throughout the assets life.
  • A screen grab (credit Mervyn Richards) from the presentation below...

Next up where Kamran Moazami (WSP) and Nathan Dought (ASITE):
  • The need for the flow of information through every stage was again stressed. BIM only has so much value when it is not shared across the project team and through the timeline.
  • Some great visualisations and clash detection screens again (see below - credit Kamran Moazami)
  • The value of BIM being all about the successful transfer of the information through the timeline. 

Best quotes:
  • "If we want something different, we have to do something different" (credit?)
  • "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" (Einstein)

The question time at the end also made me thing about two or three items:

1. The main benefit of BIM is unquestionably the efficiency savings by the construction team when constructing the building and the owner when operating the building. Estimates at the buildingSMART conference were that $1 spent on good BIM design saves $20 in construction and $60 through the costs. So does this mean that the design team are within their rights to raise their fees for BIM projects?
My initial thoughts on this are "yes", but maybe "no - reduce fees" for repeat work for the same client on similar projects.

2. Can we have a really strong case study on BIM for small works please?
BIM presentations quite often focus on amazing skyscrapers. Which is great. But not all construction projects are amazing skyscrapers.
One of the best small works BIM presentations I have seen was from Jonathan Reeves at the ecobuild Vectorworks stand last year.

3. What was the official hashtag of the conference yesterday?
Many people follow webinars on twitter at the same time. Can this be made clear at the start of the webinar yesterday - was it #openbim #bimseries #bim #bim_ubm

Monday 26 September 2011

National BIM Survey

At the start of 2011 we published the findings from the NBS National BIM Survey.
  • Nearly half of the UK Construction industry were not aware of BIM - this was at a time when the government were about to publish their BIM Strategy.
  • However, many of those aware of BIM were gearing up to adopt it - suggesting that in terms of BIM in the UK that usage patterns would be split right down the middle.
We are now surveying the UK Construction industry again to see how things have changed one year on.

Please send around the following link to those you know working in the industry and encourage people to take part:

Saturday 24 September 2011

Marina Bay Sands - SkyPark - Singapore

Some better photos below from my trip to the amazing the Marina Bay Sands building in Singapore

$8billion dollars, 200,000 m2, 2,500 room hotel, 57 stories, 207 meters high, complete with 150m long swimming pool on the roof.

...and yes BIM was used in the construction - Google BIM Arup Marina Bay Sands - but enough BIM for one week - here are some pictures...

 The physical model of the building - amazing in its own right

Full size trees in giant size pots for internal soft landscaping

The famous swimming pool - how close to the edge would you swim?

Of course, only hotel guests could swim, my $20 ticket allowed me to watch

The sunken walkway around the lip of the swimming pool and the huge dock in the background

This is the top floor that Sebastian Vettel has booked out to celebrate after the Grand Prix tomorrow

Looking down onto the grand stand for the Grand Prix

And passing trade can purchase a Porche or two

This diamond necklace was a bargain at $4.3m Singapore dollars (over £2million)

Goodbye from Singapore

Thursday 22 September 2011

buildingSMART Singapore - Day Four

Today’s topic was one of the most fascinating challenges in BIM - to automatically check BIM models against the initial requirements for compliance.

To produce such a system to do this is one of the holy grails of BIM.

Imagine the start of a project, there are many requirements: from the client, in the building regulations and in the environmental point schemes. As the design progresses, in this vision, the BIM would be used for fully automated checking against these requirements. Imagine the design team being able to check a BIM for compliance prior to an official building regulations submission… and getting the results back in a few minutes. The inspectors for the local authority could then officially do the same check prior to issuing the approval. Equally a report on any additional client requirements from the BIM could be generated following design to ensure all requirements are met prior to construction starting.

Many countries around the world are trying to achieve this and have made progress in this journey.
  • In Singapore, they have the ePlanCheck’s system. IFC files are submitted to a central repository where the authority can go through the regulations and then mark up the elements that have queries against them and submit this back in a final report.
  • In Korea a similar project has IFC files being uploaded to set IDM schemas
  • Two projects in the US were described, the first from FIATECH where trials are underway to move to automated checking.
  • The second was work AEC3 are doing in the US on turning paper documents specifying requirements into structured rules through an innovative digital mark up system.
  • Finally, the Norwegians have been working on this since 2003 - progress is being made and they have a road map through to 2015.
It seemed to be accepted that digitalising 100% of compliance checking may be a huge challenge, but it seems clear that BIM will allow at least a portion of this activity to be digitalised.

The final session of the day was Cheng Tai Fatt, Director of Development for the Singapore Building and Construction Authority, outlining the road map for BIM in Singapore.

There has been a $150m budget to provide 2/3% year-on-year savings on construction in Singapore. One key thread is “technology adoption”.

As in many countries around the world (including the UK), BIM is being seen as the main technology driver here and the government are taking the lead through promotion of BIM, investment in education and insistence on BIM adoption on public projects.
  • A full BIM will have to submitted digitally for code checking starting from 2013 for 20,000 m2 buildings and then 5,000m2 buildings from 2015
  • There will be an investment in the training for university students in BIM and also material available for construction professionals
  • Government subsidies will be available to cut the cost of BIM technologies to construction professionals to cut costs by 50%.
And now it’s a few hours until it is time to go back to the airport and then the flight to Heathrow. Looking forward to six back-to-back movies on the plane :)

Update - there was a time for a quick trip up the Sky Park at Marina Bay Sands. Check it out on Wikipedia -a truly amazing building. When I get home I'll upload a set of nice pics from my proper camera (not iPhone camera):
Don't swim too close the edge mind!

Wednesday 21 September 2011

buildingSMART Singapore - Day Three

Today was the “BIM-finitive Way to SMART Construction” international conference. Full presentations will soon be available at

Amongst the 300 delegates, I’d say 75% were local to Singapore wanting to know something about BIM whereas 25% were some of the finest BIM minds in the world from buildingSMART International. So where do you pitch a presentation so there is something for everyone was the thought that had been going around my mind. But before my presentation, as I sat nervously, I had the pleasure of listening to Francois Grobler (US), Joost Wijnen (Netherlands) and Tahir Sharif (buildingSMART ME).

Francois Grobler discussed BIM and buildingSMART from a US point of view. openBIM is now mandated on many government departments, states and private companies. Many of the classic buildingSMART slides demonstrating the benefits of BIM were shown. Two to mention:
  • How the design changes become more and more expensive the further a project develops – BIM allows you to make design changes earlier in the timeline.
  • Adopting BIM, for every $1 saved in design, $20 will be saved in construction and $60 in operation. These are the famous Patrick Macleamy (HOK USA/buildingSMART) slides Information model (BIM), Assembly model (BAM), Own and Operate model (BOOM).

Joost Wijnen from in the Netherlands then spoke about how the Dutch Government is now pushing for BIM to try and improve efficiencies in the construction industry. One nice example was how people’s attitude to BIM has changed from “I don’t want a nice model, I want a nice house and better value for money” to “I want a nice model so I can have a nice house and better value for money”. is a business that acts as consultancy for construction professionals or clients who want to adopt interoperable BIM.

An interesting development in the Netherlands is the announcement by telecoms company BouwConnect who have indicated they intend to invest €50m in an openBIM exchange server project.

Tahir Sharif spoke about how buildingSMART ME is working with the construction industry in the Middle East to improve the adoption of BIM on projects. It was interesting to see how they are working with education establishments to provide BIM certification. All BIM presentations (with the exception of mine) have jaw-dropping visualisations. And as you’d imagine, the Middle East has its fair share of amazing buildings. Some screenshots from these and a few inspirational cartoons below:

Although a little nervous at first, my presentation fortunately went pretty smoothly, it was basically a combination of the one I delivered at the NLA conference with the IFC export slides and a little on the National BIM Library developments. The inter-operable nature of BIM was one aspect that I pushed:
  • Information will be in CAD systems and specification systems during design and construction – this must come together in one inter-operable format.
  • The UK government is mandating BIM. They have selected COBie as the interoperable file format. This is buildingSMART’s reduced, non-geometric, more pragmatic subset of IFC. But it is openBIM – non-proprietary – handing over a Revit model and saying you are doing BIM will not be acceptable.
  • IFC will be the key format in our National BIM Library developments. This will allow Revit models that are authored to be transferred to other CAD formats such as ArchiCAD, Bentley, Tekla and Vectorworks. 
  • Users can view these in free IFC viewers and be confident they have been authored to international standards and made to work efficiently without bloating a CAD model. We know from our NBS BIM survey that the BIM community is split between what CAD software they use, so providing objects in many formats is key the success of this project.
During lunch I had a good chance to discuss the NBS projects with members of the other buildingSMART chapters. It was great to share ideas with the Australians and the Norwegians in particular.

Following lunch there were a number of demonstrations from firstly solution providers Autodesk, Newforma, Arup and Davis Langdon. Phil Lazarus from Arup and Jim Forrester from Newforma in particular were very entertaining and great speaker. Jim in particular was right to apologies for the worst pun of the day in “To BIMfinity and beyond” as a presentation title.

The day finished with a number of 20 minute case studies from different construction professionals giving their experience of working with BIM in Singapore.

At the end of the day I had the pleasure of chatting with Cheng Tai Fatt who is the Director of Development for the Singapore Building and Construction Authority. He is one of the biggest advocates of open BIM and many countries are now looking at Singapore as an example of how to develop their cities.

Finally congratulations to Joost Wijnen, whose students won the BIMBuzz top prize. 48 hours to design a building on a prime plot of land in Singapore using openBIM. Watch the youtube clip below to see them in action:

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Exporting from a specification via IFC to CAD

Tomorrow at the buildingSMART conference I'll be doing an slightly lengthier version of last week's presentation from the NBS-NLA BIM Conference. The added slides come from some experimental work that we are currently doing in the NBS Labs. As this will be public tomorrow, I thought I'd do a little blog post.

The process described below is using the BIM Academy (Prof Steve Lockley's) xbim component in parallel with the well structured NBS Create specification data to export from a spec to IFC and then import into a CAD model.

I always find pictures are better than words, so...
A wall "type" is configured in NBS Create - in this example, a simple clay, insulation, block cavity wall 

In NBS Create this creates a rich model of objects behind the scenes
(BIM without the user knowing they are doing BIM!)

In the NBS Labs the secret button is clicked and the type object is exported in IFC format 

 Within the CAD program it is now possible to swap a generic wall for the wall that has been carefully pre-configured in NBS Create. 

The new wall type within the CAD model is the same as that specified in the specification. Note that the materials and the thickness are the same.

buildingSMART Singapore - Day Two

Day 2 in Singapore was a series of buildingSMART group sessions. I attended the International User Group (IUG) sessions. It is the aim of the IUG to promote and stimulate the use of buildingSMART deliverables in order to improve interoperability in the construction industry, and to share experiences among its members so as to achieve a balance between giving and taking. The IUG activities are documented on a public URL and those from Singapore are at the website below:

The 2020 roadmap was discussed. It is interesting to look at vision, mission, goals and values. Extracts as follows…
  • buildingSMART is the world authority on open BIM, plays a major part in standards-setting and its ISO standards are embedded in vendor software.
  • It is an organisation that is neutral and independent, open and transparent and not-for-profit.
  • Its products and services add value to, compliment or enhance but do not compete head-on with products and services provided by its members.
One topic discussed at length was the increase in activity around the support of users who want to adopt BIM around the world. Many of the chapters of buildingSMART are developing guidelines on how users should use BIM. For example, National BIM Standards USA - and NATSPEC National BIM guide Equally, many of the chapters are developing consultancy services. The aim is for these activities should be coordinated under buildingSMART international so that each chapter can be strengthened by the work of all.
IDM is the buildingSMART “product” that defines what information from BIM is issued at defined times of a project. A good example of this would be with the IDM COBie definitions that define that different parts of the spreadsheet are required at defined stages. These can be seen at
Example defined stages of completion include “Project Wrapper, ”Space layout”, “Asset Location”, “Asset Installation”, “Job Plans”.
Interestingly IDM is mentioned in the UK Government BIM Strategy. It is a potential method of defining the data that is required to be issued at the four defined data drops (green circles) in the diagram below:
In terms of buildingSMART opportunities there appear to be two clear avenues that need to be defined at further working group sessions. The first of these is the opportunity for each chapter to develop guides, training and consultancy services that could help fund activities. The second was to put more focus on marketing and share success stories across the chapters. The clear benefits of open BIM that were considered are (a) reducing costs, (b) improving efficiency, (3) achieving sustainability and (4) increasing profits.
The final session of the day was when the IUG and the technical group (ITM) come together and agree the conclusions of the meetings. The good news from the technical group is that it appears that the majority of the snags in IFC2x4 are almost sorted. So the newest version of IFC is not too far away.
What is IFC2x4?

Finally, why are NBS members of buildingSMART and IFD? It's because the project specification that you generate is not a standalone document. It's a document that describes the same real-world objects that the CAD model describes. In addition, not every member of a project team may be using NBS to write their specifications and this information must all come together to form part of a tender package or an as-built record.

buildingSMART and IFC are pretty much the only show in town when it comes to inter-operable data for the construction industry.
It rains all of the time - just like Durham

Some car race this weekend?

Monday 19 September 2011

buildingSMART Singapore - Day One

Arrived at hotel around 9pm local time, so just time for a quick meal and a couple of beers. A few pictures below. A proper blog post tomorrow night.

Sunday 18 September 2011

Off to buildingSMART Singapore

RIBA Enterprises/NBS are members of buildingSMART. buildingSMART is a neutral, international and unique non for profit organisation supporting open BIM through the life cycle. It is the organisation behind the non-proprietary IFC data format.

This time last year I attended the buildingSMART week in Copenhagen.

This week, I'll be attending the buildingSMART week in Singapore. The schedule is:

  • Monday/Tuesday - ISO/buildingSMART meetings
  • Wednesday - Industry Day Conference
  • Thursday - Workshops on automatically checking BIM models for compliance against building regulations
I'll blog about this each day and as I've just joined twitter I'll do the occasional tweet

COBie and cost

For the last few minutes of my presentation at the NBS-NLA BIM Conference I looked briefly at the COBie data format that may be produced by exporting structured information from the CAD and specification models.

In the delegate Q+A session that followed there was a question asking where costs fit into COBie?

This is a very good question as it raises thoughts about how costs fit into inter-operable BIM. I'd be interested in others thoughts on this, please feel free to comment below. My thoughts are as follows...

Consider a designer specifying the "Type A Bath", there may be 150 instances of this bath in the building. The designer may look at the manufacturer list price and estimate that this will cost £100 x 150 = £15K. However, the contractor may have an agreed discount with the manufacturer and pay 30% off list price - £70 x 150 = £10.5K. And finally, to replace a single bath that is broken outside of warranty, the owner/operator may have to pay £149.

So COBie has a single column against each "type" item. This is for replacement cost.

Clearly the designer would not make their estimated cost available to tenderers. Equally, the contractor would not share their actual costs with the client.

One further thought, "cost" is not only measured in pounds, shilling and pence. Carbon costs are also high on the agenda now, and the Government BIM strategy paper made it clear that they will be looking to include metrics such as embodied carbon and carbon in use within their final COBie spreadsheet.

Friday 16 September 2011

NBS-NLA BIM Conference - A quick summary

My after-the-event thoughts on our NBS-NLA BIM Conference. The presentations will be available soon on and available to watch at NBS TV.

James Brown from Asda gave a presentation from the viewpoint of a large private client. The opinion that consultants will become more efficient and be able to reduce their fees led to some interesting questions from the largely architectural audience.
The counter viewpoint raised from the floor was that clients should pay more for the delivery of quality information that the construction and operating team can reuse to enable greater efficiencies. James also called for the whole supply chain to engage in BIM and not just the design and construction teams. In particular, Manufacturers need to start supplying their products as BIM objects. This was the challenge laid down to them.

The best case study of the day was the from Turner and Townsend's London Bridge Place. Truly amazing animated visuals presented by John Stretch. The ability to schedule the programme from the model and view how the construction develop was beautifully demonstrated.

Michael Beaven from Arup gave an interesting view from an engineer's perspective. His slide eluding to the fact that adopting BIM, although very rewarding, would be hard work was a good one...

David Philp who is the chosen "Head of BIM implementation" for the Cabinet Office delivered a "Paul-Morrell-style" rapid fire presentation of many inspirational slides. How can we reduce capital costs by 20% and bring carbon down to zero? David compared the current economic situation to the bibical Joseph story with 7 years of feasting being followed by 7 years of famine.

RIBA BIM thought leader Paul Fletcher delivered an energetic and inspirational presentation that produced "Tweet-of-the-day", "Paul Fletcher on fire! Very cool presentation at #nbsbim conference" from @davewlight. Paul shook things up a little by questioning (a) if the right sort of information was getting put into BIM (40% of your efforts are wasted!) and (b) whether people were too focused on "output" and whether it was time to focus on the "outcome".

David Light (aka @davewlight) gave a view from a world-wide architectural practice who have been using BIM for years (HOK). David's past experience working on small projects and also as a re-seller of a major BIM software package (beginning with "R") also made for a well rounded presentation. However, the slide below makes it clear that you cannot just buy a certain software package and find "BIM in a box".

My presentation may be downloaded from
In short, the message from NBS, is that to adopt BIM all of the dumb information on paper that currently describes buildings needs to be converted into rich digital objects.

The final presentation of the day was from BIM Academy and the need for a BIM Revolution in the universities, but an BIM Evolution in the industry. Prof Steve Lockley called universities to stop teaching 2D CAD - this was compared to how schools stopped teaching slide rules and log tables in favour of calculators. Peter Barker called for greater collaboration and left the delegates with a picture from Ryders in the 1960s and the professionals from different disciplines that formed the practice.

Thursday 15 September 2011

A week promoting NBS Create and the National BIM Library

Tomorrow is our joint NBS-NLA BIM Conference. I've had a week in London leading up to this speaking with some of visiting key customers and some CAD vendors.
At the start of the week we had a special customer focus group session to look into our detailed designs for how office master and validate functionality will work in NBS Create. 9 or 10 NBS specialist users from some of the bigger practices shared their thoughts on how the new system will work best for them. Our developers will now spend time developing this functionality. The feedback was excellent and it was fantastic that so many key customers are willing to give up their time for free to help us develop our new product.

I also had a couple of hours with the well respected Revit blogger David Light from HOK. David, thanks for the tweet "Good to see #nbs create tool today, really liking the export to Cobie feature, specifications for the #bim generation!". David is also speaking at our conference tomorrow.
Finally, alongside members of the BIM Academy we have been speaking face to face with some of the main CAD Vendors to ensure that the has fantastic generic content across a number of different formats and not simply Revit Architecture and IFC. The pictures to the right were taken from the fantastic Bentley Systems headquarters in London - amazing offices.

So busy, busy, busy - exciting times. If you are attending the conference tomorrow, please say hello! It sold out 300 places in four hours, so BIM is deifinitely a topic of interest.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Peter Millican Inaugural Lecture - Kings Place, Kings Cross

This evening I attended Professor Peter Millican's (Northumbria University) inaugural lecture.

The venue was the magnificent Kings Place building Kings Cross. And the subject of the lecture was the multi-award winning Kings Place building Kings Cross that he developed.

The title of the lecture was "Why a successful office development doesn’t have to exclude the community". It was inspirational and points of note I took from this were:
  • With a building development you have to make the finance work. But before you go into detail, it must work on "the back of envelope first". I took from this that sometimes you know something will work. You know it's right and you must follow your instincts and then get into the detail.
  • The project was a design-build project, but with a tight specification as part of the employers requirements. This ensured certainty of cost without compromise on quality.
  • Many times Peter stressed that creating a good team was the most important thing on a project. I think this is true regardless of the project or the industry.
  • Finally, the main thread running through the lecture was the value of both quality design and the creation of public space within a commercial development. This has so clearly been achieved and the pictures showing local school children attending music concerts under the offices of the staff of The Guardian demonstrated this nicely.
A really nice evening.

Saturday 10 September 2011

The COBie data format and the UK government's BIM strategy

A recent article I have written about the COBie data format is now up on
In June 2011 the UK government published its Building Information Modelling (BIM) Working Party Strategy. This report announced the Government's intention to require collaborative 3D BIM (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) on its projects by 2016. The software and data requirements for this detailed in the report are Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie).

The article examines COBie and discusses the role of CAD and master specification systems in creating this data model. It is aimed at construction professionals who work on government projects and clients in the private sector interested in this approach.

In the article, I also have the thoughts of a number of those behind this strategy:
  • Paul Morrell - Chief Government Construction Advisor
    "For the first year, the total software requirement is Excel"
  • Mark Bew - Co-chair of the government strategy team
    "The reasons for selection [of the COBie data format] were pragmatics around cost, availability and forward compatibility with IFC to start the process of building a useful built asset legacy dataset"
  • Nick Nisbett - Co-author of the COBie data format
    "The argument that drives the demand for COBIe is the management of 'space usage', 'operations', 'cost and environmental impacts', 'repair' and 'replacement' . In short, better value, cost and carbon"
So, hopefully the article is a decent read - please feel free to add comments below here about it - - What is COBie?

(And at the last minute I managed to resist the terrible pub "COBie or not COBie?, that is the question!" as a title for it)

Wednesday 7 September 2011

buildingSMART International Conference in Singapore

I'll be speaking at the buildingSMART International Conference in Singapore in a couple of weeks time. I'll also be doing a blog post a day to give my thoughts on the conference.
I'll be one of the international speakers at the "BIM-finite way to SMART Construction"* day.

SMART Construction overseas

  • BIM Implementations – buildingSMART International & US Experiences, Mr Francois Grobler, Chairman, International Technical Management Committee, buildingSMART International
  • OpenBIM and BIM in the Netherlands – Mr Joost Wijnen, Chairman, OpenBIM.Info
  • BIM Projects in the Middle East – Mr Tahir Sharif, President, buildingSMART ME
  • BIM Implementations & Standardisations in South Korea – Dr Inhan Kim, Chief Vice-Chair, buildingSMART Korea
  • The New NBS Object-Based Specification and Its Use of Standards – Dr Stephen Hamil, Director of Design and Innovation, RIBA Enterprises, UK
Last year I blogged from the Copenhagen buildingSMART Summit Week. For those blogposts click here.
* not 100% sure about the quality of this pun mind?

Monday 5 September 2011

National BIM Library

On Friday we announced the launch of The National BIM Library. This will be a collection of free-to-use generic BIM objects. It will also be followed by proprietary manufacturer BIM objects. It seems to have caused a little bit of interest so far on the web. The full press release is below - keep looking back to this blog for further updates...

NBS to launch National BIM Library
NBS is pleased to announce the development of a National BIM (Building Information Modelling) Library for the UK construction industry.

The National BIM Library, which will be accessible online and free of charge, will enable architects, contractors, interior designers and other construction professionals to locate and download generic and proprietary BIM objects for a comprehensive range of systems and products such as walls, windows, doors, foundations, cladding and roofs.

The service, which will go live in November with the first set of objects, will be built up to become the primary source of standard and proprietary BIM objects.

By also publishing property definitions for all systems and products, NBS will establish a common approach to quality standards across the construction industry, with a view to encouraging consistency and collaboration.

The development of the National BIM Library is the latest step in NBS’s efforts to provide, share and maintain quality information for the built environment and by extension, support the growth of BIM as an information-rich database and highly effective business process. It also supports the launch of their new NBS Create specification tool, which truly brings specification into the BIM arena.

Stephen Hamil, Director of Design and Innovation and Head of BIM at NBS commented,
For the last 40 years NBS has been developing and maintaining a national master specification for UK construction best practice. We are perfectly placed to make the next step and extend our building information to include geometry and create a fantastically rich resource for the industry.
Crucially, we will maintain the National BIM Library in line with changes to standards and best practice and ensure that the library truly represents UK industry best practice. We know that our industry is crying out for high-quality, maintained BIM resources and we are the right organisation to deliver this.”

Richard Waterhouse, Chief Executive of RIBA Enterprises Ltd, said:
The effective use and exchange of information is at the heart of BIM and will dictate the overall impact it will have on the construction industry. By establishing a National BIM Library, NBS will increase access to the information construction professionals need to make the right decisions at the right stage of the building process.
By providing free access to NBS’s high quality BIM information, we can also play our part in ensuring all organisations can take advantage of the latest intelligence and huge benefits of BIM.”

To develop the generic BIM objects, NBS has engaged the BIM Academy, which was launched in June 2011 by Northumbria University and Ryder Architecture, to support the industry‘s take up of BIM by establishing a centre of excellence for related research and education.

The generic models will initially be delivered in IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) and Autodesk Revit formats with the intention of making content available through a variety of alternative formats as soon as possible.

Peter Barker, Operations Director at BIM Academy, said:
"BIM Academy are delighted to be working with NBS on this exciting initiative. With the rapid escalation in BIM adoption over the last few years, there is now a compelling need for consistency in library content and quality. Equally important is the need for these libraries to be available in all common software formats, structured to suit UK construction practice and linked more closely to specification data. We look forward to applying our industry experience and expertise in IFC classification and BIM technologies to help NBS realise this ambition and deliver real efficiencies to the industry through the National BIM Library."

Information and the opportunity to register for updates about the National BIM Library can be found by visiting