The transformation in the building industry fostered by the evolution from use of analog drawings and text to the use of digital electronic Building Information Modeling (BIM) is comparable to the transformation that has already occurred in the aircraft, microprocessor, and automotive industries. Early definitions which assert that BIM is simply a 3D model of a facility are far from the truth and do not adequately communicate the potential of digital, object-based, interoperable building information modeling processes and tools and modern communications methods.

As defined in the original NBIMS document "A BIM is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. As such it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle from inception onward." If implemented, nearly every piece of information that an owner needs about a facility throughout its life can be made available electronically. The industry, however, does not yet have the open standards and infrastructure in place to capture, organize, distribute, and mine that information. Our goal at the National Institute of Building SciencesbuildingSMART alliance is to establish, through the NBIMS-US Project, the standards needed to foster innovation in processes and infrastructure so that end-users throughout all facets of the industry can efficiently access the information needed to create and operate optimized facilities. Read More