Tuesday, February 15, 2011

National BIM Standard Needs Help

The building SMART  alliance is asking for help from its members to form what I hope will be the meat of the National BIM Standard.
Check out the call for help on their website here. Anyone can participate, that is if you belong to the building SMART alliance or the National Institute of Building Sciences. Well, I guess you could join if it were real important to you, but it feels more like a membership drive than a true call for help.


Darren Young said...

Speaking on behalf of only myself, while it’s disappointing everything in life isn't free, there's a significant effort and commitment in time and resources behind the National BIM Standard, including collaboration with other efforts national and globally. The costs and time commitment by the individuals participating in the NBIMS effort dwarf any collection of membership fees paid to Nibs or building SMART alliance. These efforts do not come without great costs so let’s try to put this in perspective.

Key to developing a comprehensive standard is a commitment by those participating. By requiring membership, it raises the bar and signals a level of commitment to those who choose to participate. In addition to the membership fees, participation in the NBIMS project has additional responsibilities to ensure a committed and active group, in particular the requirement to vote on all NBIMS ballot initiatives.
This effort is no different than any internal corporate standards committee where the group consists of dedicated and knowledgeable people. It’s not open to everyone to participate when ever or however they choose. Doing so would significantly diminish the overall quality of the end product.

If you take the time to look at the fee structure, I think you’ll find membership in Nibs or the building SMART alliance is very reasonable with most in our industry able to join for a $75 or $150 annual membership. Compared to other industry organizations like the Design-Build Institute of America ($349), US Green Building Council ($300), Lean Construction Institute ($5000) or Fiatech ($10,000), costs to be part of this effort, which can be of meaningful impact on our industry, is less than your typical car rental, air fare or hotel costs associated with any out of town conference you attend.

If anyone has ever referenced or used the National CAD Standard, created/consumed an IFC file, or participated in any project making use of the Consensus Docs forms, you’ve benefited from the work of these groups. Are any of these offerings as robust or comprehensive as we’d like? What have we personally done to contribute and make them better? If one doesn’t feel that a well defined comprehensive National BIM Standard that we all have the opportunity to be part of doesn’t have a return on that investment, I’d certainly recommend and support the decision to join. On the other hand, if like myself, you feel this is an significant and important opportunity with a future huge return, then I’d highly recommend joining. I suspect we’ve all incurred much more significant costs doing nothing more than sitting in meetings in our own organizations for efforts of much less importance.

Todd M Shackelford said...


Well said. I have to admit it. I seriously don't mean to dig here because I believe in BIM standards, but it would be cool if we could just get it done. We have been at it for years with not a hell of a lot to show for it. It just seems like every little bit of help should be welcome.