Creating a Better Built Environment

buildingSMART International seeks to Broaden Engagement

Strategic changes to invite participation and enhance buildingSMART programmes

A strategy to open BuildingSMART International (bSI) – the parent organisation of the buildingSMART network – to wider direct participation and encourage the industry to engage with its programmes is being implemented.

Under the new strategy, bSI will become a broad-based membership organisation, allowing new international members to participate directly at the centre, while benefiting from bSI’s global network. This extends the existing system whereby members have participated only at chapter level. Now asset owners, regulators, operators and AEC companies – together with building information modelling (BIM) software vendors and product manufacturers – can join buildingSMART activities at international (bSI) level as well.

Key to strengthening the buildingSMART standards is a wider membership base and full participation in the development of our standards through a new Standards Committee. The number of firms which serve international markets is increasing and they can now have a direct role in the standards development process.

Compliance, bSI certification and validation are given a higher profile under the changes. Once a relatively low-key activity, they will now become a primary activity, and efforts are underway to expand the coverage of certification beyond BIM software to include the accreditation of people and organisations implementing BIM, and to increase the number of centres offering buildingSMART certification.

A new chapter strategy has also been launched, defining a clearer, stronger role for chapters, which are located all around the world. The new strategy will enable chapters to co-ordinate work on projects and bring their expertise to central bSI programmes. In future, chapters are also expected to play a more prominent role in software certification, and in education and training.

Strong user engagement and collaboration with other BIM proponents will drive development of appropriate and relevant standards. A new simplified structure is being introduced to facilitate easier access to our programmes and expand our capacity to deliver standards. A range of new membership categories have been introduced to encourage participation and provide strong user input. This strong user engagement is underwritten by the creation of a Strategic Advisory Council for major international players and will mean that bSI is well placed to play a leading role in open BIM-related work.

The bSI system of ‘rooms’ where practitioners meet together – both online and face to face – to share problems and find answers will be expanded. A new room for Building Regulators is to be added to the existing four rooms: process, product, technical and infrastructure. Projects are initiated and co-ordinated in these rooms.

These changes were agreed by the bSI International Council at its annual meeting in Beijing in May. The new membership structure is implemented with immediate effect. Leading corporate entities with ambitions to help shape and create an open digital environment for the built environment industry or wishing to solve specific problems of interoperability and connectivity are invited to join bSI as international members or to engage with bSI as a project partner. The new developments in certification will follow in the second half of the year.

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