buildingSMART alliance® to Collaborate with UK, Ireland on BIM Standards

The National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART alliance® and buildingSMART United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland have agreed to collaborate on the development of building information modeling (BIM) standards. The two organizations signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in April setting the parameters of the relationship.

The Alliance, developer of the National BIM Standard-United States® (NBIMS-US™), is in the process of rolling out NBIMS-US™ Version 2 (V2), the first-ever consensus-based standard governing BIM for use in the United States. Both a council of the National Institute of Building Sciences and the North American chapter of buildingSMART International, the Alliance is working with a number of buildingSMART member nations on BIM standard development.

buildingSMART UK and Ireland, as well as a number of other member countries, are planning to adopt 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 Alliance to be considered for adoption in the United States edition.

"Development of the National BIM Standard-United States® is an enormous effort, but it doesn’t have to be a slow one," said Dana K. "Deke" Smith, FAIA, Executive Director of the buildingSMART alliance. "Through this agreement, our friends in the UK and Ireland will be helping to provide content for NBIMS-US™ as they develop a national standard governing BIM for the UK and Ireland. This contribution, combined with the efforts of other buildingSMART member nations, will help us to grow the content of NIBMS-US™ exponentially in a much shorter period of time than we could do ourselves."

The NBIMS-US™ V2 contains 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 buildingSMART alliance and the buildingSMART United Kingdom and Ireland also will be working together to promote acceptance of all information exchanges defined by the Life Cycle information exchange (LCie), including the Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) standard, the Specifiers Property information exchange (SPie) and the Equipment Layout information exchange (ELie). The United Kingdom’s government has already begun requiring the use of COBie in all of its larger building projects.

The Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), a laboratory of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), has led the COBie project. COBie specifications are now being implemented by the USACE, U.S. Department of State Overseas Buildings Operations and U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and can be found in the agencies’ contracts and proposals. However, the UK is the first government to mandate the use of the COBie across the board in all building projects above a certain size.