BuildQatarLive, OpenBIM and interoperability

Having run three previous editions of Build London Live (in 2008, 2009 and 2012), organisers AsiteAEC3 and buildingSMART are now planning another two-day virtual design competition, this time in Qatar, running from Tuesday 27 November 27th 2012 to finish at noon on Thursday 29 November. Once again, building information modelling practitioners from around the world are invited to demonstrate their BIM expertise and collaborate in OpenBIM in the design and engineering of a project.

Build Qatar LiveWith the World Cup scheduled for Qatar in 2022, interest in BIM deployment is growing says Asite COO Nathan Doughty, so the BuildQatarLive event could be a catalyst for BIM adoption in the region.

Incidentally, OpenBIM appears to be something of a unifying force among the UK construction collaboration vendors. Asite have long been supporters of the BuildingSMART-backed initiative; 4Projects is also talking about its OpenBIM credentials, issuing a news release last week about COBie support for BIM; and I see a conject logo is on the back of October 2012 Open BIM Focus newsletter (issue 4, focused on COBie) from the OpenBIM Network.

The interoperability opportunity

Clearly, as I wrote in June 2011, BIM has become the new interoperability opportunity for many technology providers, and with industry take-up of BIM growing, is more likely to succeed than previous, often silo-based, efforts to agree common data exchange standards.

I learned recently, for instance, that Constructing Excellence hosted a meeting not long ago to officially terminate the Network for Construction Collaboration Technology Providers (NCCTP), which was originally established to help develop data export and import capabilities between the various AEC SaaS vendors’ platforms (to be fair, it had been largely moribund since July 2009, after key members left the group the previous year, effectively ending the exchange standard project; post).

BIM interest extends across a much wider range of technology vendors – from the design software vendors such as Autodesk, Bentley and Graphisoft, through the SaaS project collaboration vendors, and across the various developers of asset management platforms, mobile tools, and, ultimately, just about every other software tool used in construction. As a result, there is greater collective will to move the industry forward and tackle the interoperability and associated ‘big data’ management issues, with – in the UK – the looming 2016 deadline for Level 2 BIM implementation concentrating the technologists’ minds wonderfully, just as it should also be concentrating the minds of other industry professionals who will need to tackle the parallel people and process issues (procurement, contracts, IP, insurance, training, etc) that BIM adoption is also fostering.

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  1. […] a week to go until Build Qatar Live 2012 (see post), the latest collaborative openBIM event promoted by London, UK-based construction collaboration […]

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