September 12, 2018

Dan Rossiter, senior BIM communicator at BRE, outlines his top three international standards to get familiar with when using BIM internationally

Following the public consultation and recent press releases about ISO 19650, the upcoming international standard on information management using building information modelling (BIM), many organisations have the internationalisation of their processes in mind. 

As the author of There’s No BIM Like Home, I realised early on that the blog was going to attract international attention and wanted to ensure that my information was as internationally friendly as possible. To do so, I turned to ISO standards.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), from the Greek Isos (not an abbreviation), has published more than 22,000 standards. These standards act as a passport for trade, allowing organisations in different countries to align their information using neutral documentation, agreed by consensus. 

When ISO 19650 is published, it will give organisations a golden opportunity to update their processes around information management. When doing so, why not aim for better internationalisation by following my top three ISO standards to use which support BIM?

ISO 80000 – Quantities and units

September 10, 2018
5 Things You Need to Know About BIM Content

Many manufacturers ask themselves the question: why is it so time-consuming and complicated to create high-quality BIM content? And once created, why does the content seem to become instantly outdated or obsolete? Wouldn’t it be easiest if everyone just creates content and stores it in one single place? A place in the cloud for example?



September 6, 2018
Mind the Gap: Minimizing Data Loss Between GIS and BIM

An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.

The reality is, when you move data between phases of, say, the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework. 



The good news is that a disruption is brewing in the GIS (geographic information science) industry as it rapidly moves toward 3D modeling. This evolution mirrors the transformation that the design and construction industry is experiencing as it moves from 2D to 3D BIM (Building Information Modeling), and it signals the emergence of GIS and BIM integration into one holistic environment.

While GIS information is necessary for planning and operating roads, bridges, airports, rail networks, and other infrastructure in the context of their surroundings, BIM information is key for the design and construction of those structures.

August 14, 2018
When Trees Meet Buildings

In an effort to create a more pleasant, healthier and sustainable built environment, architects, engineers and developers are creating increasingly greener buildings - and doing it in a more literal way than ever before.

Buildings with trees are actually nothing new. The mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon are often imagined as a stepped palace of terraces containing numerous trees, shrubs and exotic flowers.

Although no such building was found during excavations in Mesopotamia and its existence has been subject to much debate, artists have kept this imagery alive in their paintings throughout the centuries.

Above: A trace of an ancient carving showing the mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The current revival of green architecture began in the 1970s, when the energy crisis, coupled with growing awareness of humankind’s impact on the environment, propelled architects and engineers to think more carefully about sustainable development.

Although there are many different ways to approach sustainable building design, an increasing number of architects and engineers began to incorporate green roofs and other energy saving measures into their projects.

A prominent example of this is the Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters (now called the Willis Building) in Ipswich in the United Kingdom (UK), designed by Sir Norman Foster and completed in 1975.

July 27, 2018
Get ready for human-eye resolution VR

Varjo has lifted the lid on its forthcoming professional focused ‘human eye’ resolution VR/MR headset which boasts much higher resolution than other headsets.

Varjo achieves its ‘human eye’ resolution by mimicking how the eye works in real life by only making the centre of the wearer’s gaze super sharp in focus, while everything in the periphery is out of focus.

The headset does this by using two different displays within the headset. The high pixel density ‘focus display’ uses eye tracking and a ‘bionic display’ to physically follow the wearer’s gaze in real time and a ‘context display’ for the peripheral vision. The images from both displays are blended together.

The headset will also offer ‘true cinematic quality in Mixed Reality’ via video see-through using two cameras with ultra-wide-angle lenses combined with over 4K stereo video stream running at 90 frames per second. According to Varjo, two image signal processors enable the simultaneous capturing and streaming of high-quality Mixed Reality with minimum latency.

Varjo’s first human-eye resolution VR headset is due to launch at the end of 2018, and the Mixed Reality add-on in 2019.

July 25, 2018
5 technologies that are about to change the construction industry forever

Technology has impacted every corner of our lives at a pace so rapid it’s sometimes hard to keep up. The construction industry is no exception to that, and the sheer number of tech solutions on offer to companies can be daunting

It’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to figure out what’s just a flash in the pan and what’s worth investing your money in. In this blog, Advantage AHCI aims to help you do exactly that – as they tell you about the five technologies which will change the construction sector forever.

When a camera is attached to one of these aerial vehicles, it allows for site managers and teams to not only receive real-time progress updates but also to check for and monitor health and safety hazards they may not have otherwise been able to spot. So significant is their anticipated impact that US start-up company, Skycatch, have made supplying drones to construction projects their primary focus. Furthermore, from a marketing perspective, being able to use drones to capture time-lapse footage of schemes being constructed is a brilliant calling card for surveyors and agents.

3D printing has already made a big splash, but many people believe that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of its capabilities. One Chinese construction company has started building houses using a giant version of the technology, spraying layers of cement and construction waste to create them. Many in the industry are convinced that this could, eventually, help to solve the global housing crisis – reducing the time and costs involved with building new homes.

July 24, 2018
Five tips for manufacturers engaging with BIM

Gavin Summerson, senior certification manager at BSI, uses his experience of assessing organisations to explore some of the common questions manufacturers ask when engaging with BIM.

Manufacturers face a significant challenge in this new era of construction, specifically around the digitisation of their products and understanding what information should be provided about their products.

However, taking the first step toward modelling products for BIM can be daunting. Here are a few tips to help manufacturers through that process.

If design teams understand the data associated with a manufacturer’s products, they are more likely to select these products and use them within buildings. 

For procurement teams, if the data is easy to find, at the point of selecting actual products, they are more likely to choose a manufacturer’s objects as they’re “ready to go”, with the right level of technical information available that matches the specification. 

For manufacturers, return on investment is about making sure you are one of the early adopters before your competitors steal that march.

It’s a common misconception that if you’re a manufacturer, you must provide 3D objects for BIM. In fact, that might not be the case. For component items such as pipes and air conditioning systems, there is value in providing BIM objects, to allow coordination. However, other products such as walls and floor finishes often just need the data related to them, particularly where they have ongoing maintenance requirements. 

July 18, 2018
From BIM to CIM: why building and city information modelling are essential to the development of Smart Cities

BIM can be seen as one smart city ‘tool’, offering huge potential to help cities deal with the new challenges.


Cities are both a key enabler of productivity and economic development, and essential to the social and political wellbeing of individuals and society, as the place that most people now call ‘home’. However, there are many problems in cities that are inhibiting economic growth and social and environmental justice and equality. Traffic congestion is a huge problem worldwide and costs national economies billions of pounds each year. In the UK alone, traffic cost the economy £31bn in 2016. Poor housing conditions, leading to greater need for healthcare services, also put a huge strain not only on people’s lives but also on local and national healthcare systems. 

Growing populations and changing demographics - for example, an increasingly youthful population in many African cities, and an increasingly ageing population in much of Europe - is already beginning to put a lot of strain on public services and the built environment. The global housing crisis is just one expression of this. The smart city concept is one reaction to the growing challenges that urban centers face - from environmental degradation, to increasing economic inequalities, to growing populations that overstrain and exhaust social and physical infrastructure - as it aims to improve the operational, service and energy efficiency of cities and render them better places to live for all.  

July 16, 2018
Download the Manual and get to know the best tools for handling IFC files

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. At the heart of BIM is a smart building data model that incorporates not only 3D geometry but also all the relevant data relating to the building and its components. This kind of building data model can only be created using complex, BIM-enabled software.

Provided that all of those involved in the planning are working with the same software, data exchange is loss-free. The native BIM format also facilitates the coordination of all planning stages and stakeholders. In building projects, it can happen that those involved in the planning process are using different BIM software from different providers. The buildingSMART initiative (www. has developed the IFC format to support such openBIM workflows.

IFC allows the exchange of a specific subset of the native model. Since the IFC4 release, the IFC format has met a recognized ISO standard (ISO 16739:2013). In its current version, buildingSMART maintains a list of all applications with certified IFC support: IFC as the standard for exchanging BIM information The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) are an open standard for the exchange of building data models used in building design and construction across different software. They are used to exchange information within a project team and between software applications used in design, construction, procurement, maintenance, and operation. Current IFC Model View Definitions primarily support 3D geometry and property data. 

July 16, 2018
New digital simulation optimise people flow and building occupancy

Virtual Building Service is a new digital simulation package from EIT Digital, the open innovation organisation, which aims to optimise people flow and building occupancy.

Developed by the company as part of its Digital Industry Action Line, the programme is designed to help developers, owners and architects strike the right balance between higher occupancy rates and better user experiences.

KONE and IBM are partners in the initiative, with the former acting both as business owner and activity leader.

The simulator is a new feature that enhances KONE’s People Flowconsultancy and planning service. Simulation data will be collected in real time by sensors or, in the case of a new facility, from previous studies and knowledge gathering.  

Outlining the scope of Virtual Building Service, KONE’s head of people flow optimisation, Juha-Matti Kuusinen, said: “Our simulation capability is now much improved. We can, for example, simulate people flow in the lobby of an office building and understand how that might look along with the waiting times for the elevators. And we can judge if the building is performing very well or if there’s room for improvement.”

Traditionally KONE, one of the largest elevator and escalator manufacturers in the world, has focused on vertical efficiency, or people moving from floor to floor.