The ACI Foundation’s Strategic Development Council (SDC) has announced a donation matching campaign to support funding for the next phase of developing industry standards for Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems. SDC will commit up to $100,000 for this project by matching dollar-for-dollar commitments in support of Phase 3 of ongoing research to develop industry standards for exchanging digital information for cast-in-place concrete. These standards, known as Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), are open, international standard data models for exchange of data in BIM and will permit interoperability among current and future software platforms and programs.
Since 2008, the SDC has been working with other industry partners to accelerate the acceptance of BIM in the concrete industry. Through SDC’s efforts, the American Concrete Institute (ACI) recognized the need for a technical committee and created ACI 131, Building Information Modeling of Concrete Structures. A primary goal of this committee is to create a global data exchange for BIM in cast-in-place concrete construction.
“The effort behind creating industry standards for BIM began eight years ago, and the help of the Strategic Development Council, has been monumental in moving this technology forward,” says Peter Carrato, Principal Civil Engineer and Fellow at Bechtel; Founding Chair for ACI 131. “The work of ACI Committee 131 has continued to make an impact; while much work still remains, I’m pleased to see the dedication of committee members and industry supporters alike in achieving our shared vision.”
With technical assistance from Charles Eastman, Georgia Technological Institute (Georgia Tech), ACI Committee 131 has completed the first two phases of the project to develop IFCs.
Phases 1 and 2, producing ACI’s 131.1R-14 Information Delivery Manual for Cast-in-Place Concrete and report on Model View Definitions, respectively, have been funded principally through the Charles Pankow Foundation with support from the ACI Foundation and its partners. Now, the project needs additional funding for the next phase of development.
“In August of 2015, members of ACI 131, software vendors, concrete-related associations, and contractors met to discuss the benefits and needs for developing interoperability standards. The group overwhelmingly believed these standards are needed, and that ACI 131 work will be welcomed by BIM software vendors,” says David McDonald, President and CEO of Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute and current champion of the Strategic Development Council’s BIM efforts. “I’m excited to work with so many passionate stakeholders as we continue this initiative to demonstrate how the implementation of BIM standards positively impact the concrete industry.”
The SDC is committed to the continuation of the work of ACI Committee 131 and the completion of the on-going project for BIM at Georgia Tech under the direction of Eastman. It is estimated that Phase 3 – which involves the translation of the three most beneficial engineering models, Reinforcement Placement Sequence, Structural Design, and Construction Reference Schedule, into exchange software – would require $200,000 to complete, and the SDC’s fundraising campaign seeks to greatly complement industry support.
To contribute to this important initiative, contact Doug Sordyl (firstname.lastname@example.org), SDC Managing Director, or Ann Daugherty, (email@example.com) ACI Foundation Director. For additional information on SDC, visit www.concretesdc.org.