I’m excited to share two recent articles with you that signal the beginning of a real shift in the utilization of BIM in the facility industry. First is an article summarizing the joint effort of Fiatech, the International Code Council, Target, Solibri and Avolve Software.
Making the Case for Automated BIM Review
ENR.com article by Tom Sawyer
The proof of concept phase of this project, known as AutoCodes, was completed with code authorities from 13 jurisdictions in the United States reviewing identical sets of 2D building plans. The first manual review pass took several hours on average and yielded an astonishing discrepancy in results. The second pass utilized an open standard (IFC) BIM file passed through model checking software. In addition to only taking a few minutes to run, the results were perfectly consistent in all jurisdictions. Even if there are discrepancies in the model – such as spaces being classified incorrectly – such discrepancies are immediately brought to the attention of the code reviewer and become part of the audit trail during the review. You can download the proof of concept report here.
The second article is essentially just an announcement that the first BIM-based site safety plans have been approved by the New York City Department of Buildings:
NYC DOB has created a program to review 3D models representing site safety plans. From their website:
“The program enables the Department to virtually tour sites and see step-by-step how a building will be built and visualize its complexities and challenges. Under the program, site safety plans are digitally submitted, amended and reviewed, improving the compliance review process and accelerating the approval process like never before.”
What’s the difference between NYC’s approach and the AutoCodes project? NYC DOB is primarily using BIM data as a different means of visualizing the required information. As of now, they are not using any automated means to validate the plans and they are not using any open model standards (IFC). On the other hand, AutoCodes will utilize open standards and has the added benefit of turning the International Building Code into a series of computable rule sets that can be implemented in other model checking platforms.