BCS: Who Really Owns the Definitions of BIM Content?

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How many times have you ever downloaded manufacturer content only to find out it was old, inaccurate, too heavy to work with or doesn’t react within the model as you expected?

Is this due to the manufacturers being new to the requirements for BIM content creation? Is it due to a third party partner not having a full understanding of the manufacturer’s product lines and how they should react inside model?  Or is it due to the software companies not defining how to generate content for their software?

As a manufacturer of building products, Victualic develops their own BIM content and time saving add-ins. Victualic also USES these same tools for a variety of customer services. This allows us to test and fix any issues with the content prior to us posting it on our website for our customers. We’ve learned a lot through this process.

One of the issues we have come across with using other content is that it is normally not created to any type of “content” standard.  If two different manufacturers create BIM content for the same type of product, the end result should be very similar. This rarely occurs however.

Some manufacturers claim to not have the manpower to create and validate content. Having something to help them define their content would definitely help. For most manufacturers, the creation of CAD details falls to their engineering department by default.   BIM content is totally different. Engineering could still supply the product data but the modeling itself requires a specific skill set.

Some software vendors have attempted to create documentation and templates to help with content creation for their particular software.  These templates do not always allow the manufacturer to create their content.  In some instances particular software might not have the ability to generate the products due to programming limitations with the application.

As mentioned in previous blog posting the BCS is not another summit to define standards.  It was conceived to start an open dialog and relationships with designers, manufacturers, third party solution providers as well as the software companies to discuss as a group the issues they have encountered with creating or using BIM content.

I personally am hoping that this summit is  the start of an ongoing open dialog on how we can improve the content that we all need to design with and leverage the Information portion of BIM.

-Ken Nasatka

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