The idea of BIM and IPD is a fantastic one but the biggest goal that remains is getting all disciplines working within the same BIM. Today there are multiple products that perform a wide variety of tasks from BIM authoring tools, like Revit, to energy analysis packages like Ecotect and IES, and integration tools like Navisworks. To facilitate cross communication file formats and schemas have been introduced like IFCxml, GBxml, AGCxml, etc. How is one to understand let alone implement best practices? While the options makes ones head spin there are corollaries in the software world and well established ones at that can help guide us. For simplicity sake I will use the one I am using today to publish this blog. The software or authoring tool I am using resides on the internet, or in the ‘cloud.’ It is saved in bytes and I continuously misspell words it helps me correct them. This blog also automatically publishes to twitter because of a plug-in I installed and if you are reading this it is because it was picked up by an RSS feed, or keyword alert, or through a google search, etc. The data can then be diced up and delivered in a variety of ways that serves the most value to you. This example holds true across all data. Facebook, Salesforce, etc. are all platforms that allow you to distribute and interact with data that resides in the cloud because people smarter than me have written programs designed specifically to do a particular task. Imagine interacting with a BIM in the same way. Imagine ripping of data that is important to you without having 5 different programs installed and each needs to be translated into the next. This is why the idea of cloud computing and SaaS are so powerful and prevalent in the marketplace today. There are firms working on this today and when they become widespread and put into use we will see the promise of BIM become a reality.
A couple of examples are linked below.
A model server example and open architecture
Don’t we want to see as many programmers as we can working on the problems effecting us as possible? The more plug ins and apps we have working in an open environment, the better.