Green-Washing and Cloud-Washing – Terms you must know relative to BIM – Not to mention BIM-Washing

BIM is the life-cycle management of facilities supported by digital technology – NIBS.   That said, BIM is critical to sustainability/green as is collaboration and cloud computing.

As BIM, Green/Sustainability, and Cloud Computing are considered “new” and not necessarily  “mainstream”.. and all three are “hot topics”, it’s not surprising that some organizations are engaging in BIM-washing, Green-washing, and Cloud Computing-washing.

These issues are extremely important, thus worthy of discourse.


Here’s an informal poll relative to Green-washing.   The question, asked on Linked-In was “Labels + Certificates = Sustainability. Yes. No. Or?”   The question and responses bring to mind “LEED”… a great marketing tool perhaps, but it’s value remains uncertain, especially when considering long-term/life-cycle aspects.  Also what due labels really mean… who polices product labels?  Is bamboo really green if you consider it is transported halfway around the world.  Is mercury-based lighting sustainable?  Oh and yes…. the Prius and other vehicles have the nasty little batter disposal problem to deals with…



Cloud computing is NOT taking legacy applications and moving them to the cloud via a virtual server.  Cloud computing consists of three tier technology.

Cloud Layers

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Cloud computing is viewed as a means to break down traditional data and process stovepipes.  Cloud computing encompasses four different deployment models, and in these preliminary stages of cloud development, organizations are free to determine which model best serves their needs.  The four models, as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), include: (1) private clouds, for the use of a single agency; (2) community clouds, shared by multiple agencies; (3) public clouds, largely for the public’s use and benefit; and (4) hybrid clouds, facilitating the sharing of data and utilities across two or more unique clouds of any type.

(Peter Mell and Tim Grance, Nat’l Inst. of Standards and Tech., The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing – 2009)

Cloud computing will enable collaborative, secure, and transparent applications and the rapid deployment of robust business process.. both so sorely needed in the AECOO sector (architecture, engineering, construction, owner, operator).

Major Shifts in Information Technology



Ok folks.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again.  3D visualization is NOT BIM !!!   The integration all aspects and processes of facility life-cycle management is BIM.   Will all this occur in Revt, Archcad, or some IWMS system… absolutely NOT!    Cloud computing, however, integrated with existng knowledge-domains such as CPMS, Construction Project Delivery (IPD, JOC), CMMS, CAFM, GIS, BAS, ….   now that’s BIM!

BIM Strategy and Framework

Defining the Levels of BIM

Below is a representation of the various “levels of BIM”.  That said, I don’t consider BIM to be anything but ” the life-cycle management of buildings supported by technology”.

The Levels of BIM - BIM Definition
BIM Framework - BIM for FM


via – premier cost estimating and project management software for efficient construction delivery – JOC, IPD, SATOC, SABER, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA …

BIM for FM – Life-cycle Facility Management

Building information modeling (BIM) is a disruptive new technology in the construction industry and altering way structures are managed from concept thru deconstruction.  The processes in which Owners, Contractors, Architects, Engineers, Engineers, Overight Groups, Users Business Product Manufacturers, manage the built environment will dramatically change.

Collaboration, communication, and transparency will drive improved productivity and decision support.  Utilization, sustainability, security and life-safety, as well as long term economics will all be improved.

BIM models, communicating with multiple other knowledge domains, such as CPMS, CMMS, CAFM, BAS, GIS, and efficient contruction delivery methods such as JOC – Job Order Contracting, and IPD – Integrated Project Delivery will enable the improved, standardized information usage.

Life-cycle management supported by digital technology and robust, domain specfic, supportive knowledge area is the hallmark of BIM.

Life-cycle BIM - Bulding Information Modeling Framework


Collaboration Levels - Contruction Delivery Methods are Integral to BIM

What is BIM?

BIM is best thought of as “a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility…and a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.”
(Source-NIBS-National Institute of Building Sciences 2009 –