what is openbim?
BIM methodology emphasizes the availability and exchange of information between participants in the construction process. The information exchange is to take place throughout the life cycle of the project, from the concept and planning stage to the maintenance and even building demolition. With such assumptions, the technical aspects of data exchange have become crucial – how to transmit information over a long period of time to different stakeholders so that it can be read, understood and, if possible- standardized.
This problem was already identified during one of the first stages in the project life cycle – the design stage. The designers used different software and needed to exchange design information. Proposal of problem-solving solutions came from the buildingSMART association. In consultations with key software providers, the association proposed a universal approach to OpenBIM collaboration, based on open data exchange standard. Foundation of OpenBIM solution was based on the data exchange through the open IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) file format. Currently, on the market, most BIM software supporting construction industry can both export and import IFC format files, while maintaining the required information and objects data in the model.
What are the benefits of OpenBIM?
As the name OpenBIM suggests, all parties involved in a given project can benefit when using this approach. The key advantages are the versatility and the fact that it maintains the possibility of using the available information for a long time. In traditionally implemented projects, information is often lost over time and repeatedly reproduced by various stakeholders. An example of this is preparing bills of quantities, where surveyors estimate site works based on building layout and cross-sections. Thus, they reproduce information that is available in design offices in 3D models. Another example can be facility managers who, after building handover must reproduce the information included in the documentation (as long as the as-built documentation is complete) instead of using the information based on a three-dimensional model to manage the property. These are just a few examples of the value that OpenBIM represents in the processes taking place in construction projects. There are several benefits of using OpenBIM solutions, one of them is the financial aspect. Use of open IFC files is free of charge. Another one is the fact that IFC file browsers are easy to use, which makes the data in the model accessible to parties not necessarily familiar with the subject of BIM.
BIMup Approach to OpenBIM
Since BIMup comes from a consulting and engineering company that provides consultancy services during all investment stages, the OpenBIM philosophy is a natural choice for us. We use information about buildings to a much greater extent than only exchanging data between designers of various trades. Based on our experience, we publish the data we need at various stages of the investment process and export them to an open IFC format.
How we use the IFC format:
At BIMUP, we value the lossless flow of geometric and textual data between the various participants of the investment process – we see value in OpenBIM’s approach to project implementation. Our experience shows that using an OpenBIM approach improves investment process efficiency, making process faster and more wise. Therefore, we advise our Investors to design construction processes to ensure a balance between the costs and benefits of conducting projects based on BIM. BIMUP offers tailor-made solutions.
OpenBIM multifaceted communication
OpenBIM is not only a popular IFC file format used for information exchange, other popular file formats which support cooperation according to OpenBIM methodology is the BCF standard (BIM Collaboration Format). This format slightly differs from the IFC format, it is dedicated to commenting, reviewing and adding annotations to specific model elements. The BCF format is designed for quick and simple exchange of information and is generally used during the design phase. BCF transfers, among others, comments, a view of the discussed element and annotations. Additionally, information can be included on who is assigned to a particular issue or when to resolve an issue. For more information on BCF, IFC and OpenBIM, please visit the BuildingSMART web page.