National BIM Program Is Topic of Building Industry Executive Roundtable

Industry leaders convened to discuss the need for a National Building Information Management Program to advance collaboration and innovation in the building industry.

National Institute of Building Sciences
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The National Institute of Building Sciences brought together nearly 40 leaders from public and private organizations to discuss the need for a coordinated program to advance collaboration and innovation in the building industry.

The Building Information Management (BIM) Executive Roundtable included partners from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. General Services Administration and U.S. Federal Highway Administration, along with private sector partners from Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, Bentley, Epic, ESRI, HDR, Kieran-Timberlake and WSP. The objective was to start working on the common challenges and opportunities the various segments of the architecture, engineering, construction and owner (AECO) industry face.

“We seek your time and your talent to help us develop shared standards and processes to improve the built environment and help Build Back Better,” said Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, President and CEO of NIBS.

According to Phillip Bernstein, Associate Dean and Professor Adjunct with Yale School of Architecture, there have been varied levels of adoption across delivery and management processes, as well as education and training. But the U.S. faces continued challenges with data interoperability.

The NIBS has created a U.S. National BIM Standard. However, it has been primarily developed through volunteer efforts, with valuable content but little coordination toward a comprehensive standard.

To address this, NIBS is leading the creation of a National BIM Program. The goal is development of a solution at a national scale to enable digital process standards that will:

  • streamline business
  • accelerate the effectiveness of the supply chains
  • provide predictable processes
  • improve project outcomes
  • drive efficiency
  • and foster innovation

Adam Matthews, head of the International Stream of the Centre for Digital Built Britain, spoke to the UK’s innovation-focused BIM program that is seen as a model for what can be done in the U.S. The program, which cost roughly $5 million pounds, has led to 33% lower costs through a reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of built assets and 50% faster delivery.

“We started off looking at how we can drive savings,” Matthews said, noting that part of the goal was to drive better procurement practices and construction. “This was not a program just for the sake of technology.”

Construction comprises 13% of the global economy. While the U.S. already plays a tremendous leadership role in delivering innovative technology and design and construction services to a global marketplace, NIBS believes it lacks the same leadership to tackle industry productivity and efficiency problems to benefit asset owners.

“The first step is getting the right people to the table,” said Van Woods, BIM Program Manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Chair of the NIBS BIM Council. “We already have an all-star team. I think we need to expand that. We must convene the stakeholders who will benefit from digital transformation.”

For more information about the NIBS Building Information Management Council, visit nibs.org/bimc.

Information provided by the National Institute of Building Sciences and edited by Becky Schultz.

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