Version 2 National Building Information Modeling Standard – United States – NIBS National BIM Standard – News – November 2011

The National Building Information Modeling Standard-United States™ (NBIMS-US™) Project Committee has approved 18 submissions to be included in Version 2 of the standard.  Areas addressed include –  reference standards, information exchange standards,  and best practices.

Approved reference standards:

  • Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) 2×3
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XML
  • OmniClass Tables 13, 21, 22, 23, 32 and 36
  • International Framework Dictionary (IFD) Library Update

Approved information exchange standards:

  • Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie)
  • Information Delivery Manual/Model View Definition (IDM/MVD) Design to Spatial Program Validation
  • IDM MVD Design to Building Energy Analysis
  • IDM MVD Design to Quantity Takeoff

Approved best practices, guidelines and applications:

  • BIM Project Execution Planning Guide – V2.1
  • BIM Project Execution Plan Content – V2.1
  • Minimum BIM
  • Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Coordination Requirements
  • Planning, Executing and Managing Information Handovers

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2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey – CBECS – Data Issues!


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Lack of Updated Commercial Building Energy Data Troubles Institute

May 03 2011
The National Institute of Building Sciences is alarmed that efforts to produce high-performance buildings may stall without up-to-date data following the news that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will not be releasing results of its 2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) due to statistical issues.
The Institute is also troubled because EIA is suspending work on its 2011 survey due to budget constraints, which means the last reliable data, from the 2003 survey, is nearly a decade old.

“The building industry relies on the availability of benchmark data and metrics from the CBECS to set goals and evaluate progress,” said Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA. “The nation is in the midst of a fundamental shift toward high-performance buildings. The significant gap of reliable data from the EIA is extremely troubling at a time when the building community is thirsting for quantifiable statistics to show their actions to save energy are working.”

Many efforts within the building community rely on the CBECS statistics, in particular the EnergyStar program. EnergyStar, which is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, uses CBECS data to establish its energy use benchmarks for buildings. Both the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) and the Green Building Initiative’s GreenGlobes tools reference EnergyStar as a baseline and some jurisdictions, such as Washington, D.C. and New York City, require disclosure of a building’s EnergyStar score. Because the EnergyStar program compares a building to its peers, the value of making comparisons will diminish as the underlying CBECS data becomes older.

In the wake of the troubling news from EIA, the Institute is establishing a High-Performance Building Data Collection Initiative to identify a path forward for collecting and disseminating data on all high-performance building attributes, not just energy use. This Initiative will allow the building community to still obtain the building energy data necessary to achieve national objectives for high-performance buildings.

The Current Status of BIM – March 2011

1.  BIM still seen by many as a technological solution to CAD, vs. an enabling technology that deploys a robust process for creating and managing life-cycle information relative to the built environment.   At a “minimum” BIM should include contract and project information, materials, spaces, geometry, specifications, costs, quantities, labor… as well as “functional” information… conditions (physical and programatic), utilization, life/safety, security, ….


2. BIM will fundamentally alter the AEC industry and the way stakeholders interact, and some Owners, AEs, Constractors and Oversight Groups are preparing for the change. 

3.  Construction contracts and project delivery are already shifting toward collaborative modes… Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), and Job Order Contracting (JOC), the later and IPD method for facility renovation, repair, and minor new construction.

4.  The “investment cost” is not in the technology, but in the requisite organizational process changes.

5.  Owner requirements for BIM use are accelerating, especially in the government and education sectors.

6.  BIM usage data is suspect.  It’s more likely that 10% to 20% of AEC professionals are truely ” using BIM.”

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Obama Missing the Point on Sustainability?

President Obama’s  State of the Union Address calls for 80% clean power by 2035, but…  WHAT ABOUT ENERGY CONSERVATION!!!!

Clean energy is great, but likely a pipe dream.  Furthermore, none of the “renewable” energy sources will meet current demands and/or be deployable by 2035.

We need to get serious about implementing energy conservation measures and associated facility system upgrades.   It is no secret that existing building energy use can be reduced 30% to 50% by upgrading systems and adopting better utilization practices.

The real issues is that appropriate incentives and efficient  transparent project delivery methods are not being used.

The combination of objective facility assessments with efficient project delivery methods such as JOC – Job Order Contracting, and IPD – Integrated Project Design, associated mandates and financial incentives is sorely needed!

Time to stop talking and start acting?



Federal Government to Spend $4.5B on Sustainability

$4.5 billion allocated for spending in 2011 for federal green building and renovation projects.  The  goal of the federal government is a 28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions  2020.


“We have an opportunity to be an example for American building, a proving ground for what works,”  – Bob Peck, Commissioner of public buildings, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)