Even though the initial embrace with BIM was to visually communicate with clients and initially for me was coordinated and updated documentation the real carrot is the 4D and 5D aspects of the software, and real cost estimation demands components and products that are their real world digital equivalents, not generic components. This calls for an open standard that manufactures can write and specifiers can utilize. Thankfully there are people who know this and working to make it a reality. A recent meeting sponsored by NIBS / Building Smart Alliance was held this past December to discuss and come up with a road map to reality. The Specifiers Properties Information Exchange (SPie) Meeting came up with a cookbook to address it. The fact they hope to have standards in place for all major building products by December 2010 is a great and ambitious goal. The home page to the session is available here and has other links to good information.
What is driving this project?
Many project stakeholders have been asking (some demanding) that building designs contain explicit properties about the objects in the building. To ensure that individual software vendors, large owners, or large manufactures do not begin to include proprietary requirements in open standard information exchanges, the SPie project was formed.
What are the next steps?
Now that the recipe for SPie has been created, NIBS is conducting an outreach effort that will result in a spring 2010 meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to allow a wide range of trade associations to engage with the project as quickly as possible. Our goal will be to have complete templates and product property data sets be available across the majority of building products by Dec 2010.