Open BIM

GRAPHISOFT® has joined forces with buildingSMART® International, Tekla® and several leading software vendors to launch a global program in order to promote Open BIM collaboration workflows throughout the AEC industry. The announcement represents GRAPHISOFT’s continued commitment to Open BIM collaboration. Collaboration is increasingly a driver of BIM adoption throughout the industry. With this in mind, GRAPHISOFT sees Open BIM as a strategic road map for successful interdisciplinary collaboration.

Open BIM“We see Open BIM as the solution to a long-standing issue in the AEC industry,” explained Steve Benford, Managing Director of GRAPHISOFT, North America. “On projects of any size, true collaboration has been out of reach – that is to say, a collaboration that recognizes and transcends the presence of divergent “trade” priorities that exists among independent organizations.”

The long evolution of technical level coordination between trades began with submitting full printed documentation throughout the design process. The use of light-tables to piece together the different building structures and building systems remains popular today even through paper’s digital equivalents (2D DWG and PDF based collaboration workflows). With the advent of BIM – a data rich model – platform data collaboration became more commonplace. The improvements were there, but gaps in data sharing were still possible and often problem-causing.

The time for Open BIM collaboration is now.

What is Open BIM?

Open BIM is a universal approach to the collaborative design, realization and operation of buildings based on open standards and workflows. Open BIM is an initiative of buildingSMART and several leading software vendors using the open buildingSMART Data Model.

Through the establishment of an Open BIM program; GRAPHISOFT will be part of efforts to coordinate promotion and implementation of Open BIM collaboration workflows. By providing common definitions, requirements and branding – Open BIM elevates the conversation about specific projects and models from the data level to the workflow level. At this level of collaboration, the data serves as a vehicle of high-level information. Open BIM allows for the selection of project participants based upon expertise and not the particular software being used.

Why is Open BIM needed?

ArchiCAD Open BIM

Bond Bryan Architects, UK

Most AEC projects have come across collaboration issues in the past. They can include instances where parties can’t effectively coordinate their work – rather only share documentation in progress to show design intent. Many times parties can even experience loss of information during data conversion. When data from another party is needed, interpretation issues spring up – which can limit how well that building data can even be considered useful. Design information created by one trade cannot necessarily be integrated into other trades’ environment without true Open BIM. Design changes can be missed between the trades if coordination is treated as a one-time data exchange instead of a continuous bidirectional process. Without Open BIM, projects are vulnerable problems arising from a lack of overall coordination; such as collision detection, quantity takeoffs and constructability issues. Finally, without true collaboration – the need for a detailed model for construction can be met with late coordination requiring additional time to produce 2D drawings or even forcing construction to be done on sketches or out-of-date plans.

Participating in Open BIM provides the ability to offer guaranteed solutions for open collaboration workflows. Doing so provides competitive advantage on local AEC markets. It opens the door to new projects by eliminating unnecessary limitations to AEC practices choosing their software to collaborate with any other practices.

Who is part of Open BIM?

GRAPHISOFT and Tekla began the Open BIM movement, with the support of various organizations such as buildingSMART. Far from an exclusive club, the movement encourages and welcomes any organization in the AEC industry to join that is ready to support the overall goals and fulfill the agreed set of requirements.

How can I learn more about Open BIM?

ArchiCAD BIM Case StudyAt this time, nine companies are participating to provide the framework to Open BIM through ongoing global and local Open BIM activities. The first of these activities begins with the Open BIM Live Online Seminar on March 27th, featuring Rift Architects, a firm that has applied the Open BIM collaboration workflow to design and build a high-end residential complex in the heart of the Oslo fjord in Norway.

Companies participating in the Open BIM program from day #1 include buildingSMART International, GRAPHISOFT, Tekla, Nemetschek AG, Trimble, Nemetschek Allplan, Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc., Nemetschek SCIA and Data Design System. For more information, please visit:

The Open BIM movement provides guidelines and best practices as well as common branding and international visibility to leverage upon these values and maximize the value of your projects.




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