Article #2 of 8 from AEC Magazine’s IFC Special Report

What is buildingSMART and what can it offer industry practitioners? Casey Rutland, Chair of buildingSMART UK&I and founding director of Digital Green, explains the set-up

Information about our environment is key to unlocking the many challenges that we encounter as an industry. At buildingSMART, we help asset owners and the extended supply chain to work more efficiently and collaboratively throughout the entire project and asset lifecycle.

buildingSMART is a neutral, international forum for initiating, developing, creating and promoting adoption of open digital standards for BIM processes.

We lead a global community of chapters, members, partners and sponsors. That global community is committed to creating and developing open digital ways of working for the built asset industry. Since incorporation in 1995, buildingSMART has focused on solving industry interoperability challenges.

In the UK and Ireland, buildingSMART International is represented by its own local chapter, buildingSMART UK & Ireland – or more succinctly, bSUKI. This chapter is responsible for gathering industry requirements and representing the region’s needs at an international level. In this way, we ensure that the UK and Ireland are catered for when standards are being developed.

Delivering value

As a chapter, bSUKI is dedicated to providing value to our industry. We do this by adhering to what we call ‘our four Vs’. In this way, we ensure our activities are vast, vibrant, vital and valuable (see figure 1).

On a global level, buildingSMART International divides its work into ‘rooms’, a practice that bSUKI mirrors. Wherever possible, our chapter has two co-leads for each room, who are practitioners in our sector. There are also ‘projects’ within these rooms. The purpose of these projects is to deal with specific topics, such as OpenCDE, decarbonisation and safety.

As an organisation, our role is to reach out to industry groups, organisations and individuals, in order to gather industry needs and coordinate responses at an international level. So please get in touch if you would like to contribute to any of the rooms or projects, or if you have experienced any specific interoperability challenges.

buildingSMART UK&I

Extensive resources

BSUKI also delivers a wide range of resources to support the implementation of buildingSMART and COBie standards in the UK and Ireland. In our most recent publication, Vice Chair of bSUKI Nick Nisbet and Technical Director at OSCRE International Chris Lees have together created a technical report that addresses the integration of risk, information management and asset management based on existing standards. Your feedback and comments are welcomed.

We also host an extensive library of resources developed between 2021 and 2017. These remain valuable for ongoing projects, although terminology may have shifted or been superseded by more recent developments. These include:

COBie For All. This includes a review of the challenges raised relating to the use of COBie in infrastructure and worked examples of five specific cases. It was produced as a collaborative project by a number of infrastructure partners, including Transport for London (TfL) and Highways England (HE).

COBie for all Download. COBie templates. These illustrate the information required for specific component and product types as web pages, COBie spreadsheets and IFC files. They were prepared to support the COBie pilot implementations in 2012.

COBie templates for Download. COBie property sets. These summarise the additional property sets recommended in BS1192-4:2014 clause 7 for use with COBie in the UK. The property sets are presented as web pages and as buildingSMART PSet definitions in XML.

We hope you find these resources helpful and we’ll be announcing new publications and resources as they become available. In the meantime, if you have any particular requirements or ideas for projects or resources, please do let us know.

As with the UK BIM Alliance (our parent organisation), the work we do is by the community for the community, and the strength of our chapter relies on successful engagement with the industry. So if you’d like to chat about your project delivery challenges or join more detailed discussions about developing standards and solutions, we’re here for you.

Get in touch

Email us at:
Join the conversation on Twitter: @buildingSMARTUK
Find us on LinkedIn: buildingSMART UK & Ireland

Click here for more information about buildingSmart UK & Ireland.

This article is part of the
IFC Special Report – Enabling interoperability in the AECO industry.

To read the other articles and reviews in this report click on the links below.

Industry convergence
From sustainability to new business models, and from wellness to emerging technologies, IFC can be a force for good, driving the AEC industry to new levels of achievement

IFC: what is it and why is it needed
Emma Hooper, Associate Director and Head of R&D at Bond Bryan Digital, provides a useful overview of the IFC data model specification

IFC for Infrastructure
Perhaps the most significant update to the IFC standard is the inclusion of extensions for infrastructure entities in IFC 4.3

Native OpenBIM, and the rise of open source in AEC
OpenBIM can deliver on the promise of a digital world for the built environment where information and data are truly valued

IFC at Hinkley Point C
By Tim Davies, digital engineering manager, BYLOR JV – Hinkley Point C

Tackling the Gen Zero Project
The UK Department for Education’s Gen Zero project showcases how IFC can be used as the underlying data standard for a large, complex project, from start to finish

buildingSMART certification
By Phil Read, program lead at bSUKI and managing director, Man and Machine

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Source: AEC