At the American Institute of Architect's 2011 convention in New Orleans multiple government building leaders and other owners released short videos describing a unified approach to information sharing between building owners, architects and construction contractors that can save billions of dollars each year. Industry leaders have long understood that modeling building construction and operation using uniform information (BIM) improves construction quality while reducing costs, but last week's AIA Convention offered the first unequivocal, concise direction on future building industry data sharing.
Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, General Services Administration, California Community Colleges and other facility owners spending billions of dollars in building funds every year clearly told architects and contractors: building professionals must be able to share data in a form that complies with open standards.
These agencies will no longer do business with contractors and suppliers who can't or won't provide information in formats that can easily be plugged into BIM systems. Building information, available in a universally accessible form from a construction project's inception through the facility's use and during its replacement, has proven to deliver significant and measurable energy and water savings.
Measuring building-industry performance improvements has been mandated by the past two presidential administrations. Performance goals are clearly outlined in Executive Order 13412 from President George W. Bush and Executive Order 13514 from President Barack Obama. As of this year, government building owners must begin to work with architects and contractors who can share information in a way that improves performance to satisfy executive orders.
Several short videos issued at the AIA convention by the agencies' facilities managers, describe the importance of modeling the entire life of a project in order to build more cost effective, energy saving buildings.
ONUMA Inc. provided volunteer services to AIA and all the videos can be found on www.vimeo.com by searching "ONUMA" or at these links:
- Texas A&M University Health Services and US Army Corps of Engineers - http://vimeo.com/23396619
- Department of Veterans Affairs - http://vimeo.com/22953498
- United States Coast Guard - http://vimeo.com/23065693
- Department of Defense - http://vimeo.com/23290846
- General Services Administration - http://vimeo.com/23290883
- California Community Colleges - http://vimeo.com/23288637
- Los Angeles Community College District - http://vimeo.com/23346339
American Institute of Architects Building Information Model Awards given at the convention indicate the future has arrived for many building industry leaders. Among the winners in this year's competition were the U.S. General Services Administration, Leo A. Daly/RLF joint venture, HOK, David Hovey & Associates and others. BlakeDrucker Architects won the award for use of BIM by a small firm.