Institute Releases First-ever Consensus-based BIM Standard for the United States

The National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART alliance® has released the first-ever consensus-based standard governing building information modeling (BIM) for use in the United States.

The National BIM Standard-United States® (NBIMS-US™) Version 2 (V2) covers the full life cycle of buildings—from planning, design and construction to operations and sustainment. Part of an international effort, the NBIMS-US™ V2 will serve as the kick-off point for a number of other countries around the world to adopt as their own BIM standard.

"This is a major step forward in the industry," said buildingSMART alliance Executive Director Dana K. "Deke" Smith, FAIA. "The involvement of all sectors of the facilities industry will play an important role in how effective NBIMS will be in the long term, both in the United States and abroad. We look forward to everyone providing content for future versions."

The previous edition—United States National Building Information Modeling Standard™ (NBIMS) Version 1 - Part 1 (V1P1): Overview, Principles and Methodologies—came out in December 2007. NBIMS V1P1 primarily established the approach for developing open BIM standards. Written by a team of 30 subject matter experts, the NBIMS V1P1 followed an open process but it was not a consensus standard.

Alternatively, the newly released NBIMS-US™ V2 follows an open consensus process set by rules of governance established by the Institute. During the development process, anyone was able to submit ballots to the standard and all members of the NBIMS-US™ Project Committee (which is open to any member of the National Institute of Building Sciences in good standing) were able to provide comments and vote on ballots.

The approved ballots fell into three main categories: reference standards, information exchange standards (which are built upon the reference standards) and best practice guidelines that support users in their implementation of open BIM standards-based deliverables.

The Alliance, which is both a council of the Institute and the North American chapter of buildingSMART® International, is working with several other nations on BIM standard development. The United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Korea, Australia and New Zealand are all planning to take the NBIMS-US™ V2 as the basis for their own standards. Each nation will add more content as needed and then share their updates back with the United States. International discussions include translating the NBIMS-US™ V2 into French, converting the U.S. measurements into metric and adding a template to contain BIMs in boiler plate contract language.

The Alliance rolled out the National BIM Standard-United States® Version 2 on May 17 during the 2012 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C.