Years after BIM started making waves in the industry in Australia and New Zealand, it finally appears to be coalescing into a standard way of delivering assets digitally.

One of the major hurdles in this regard has been the lack of agreed upon standards in both the delivery methodology and, core to BIM parametric modelling, object standards. Thankfully, it seems this is all about to change. We will see a consultative draft ISO BIM Standard available in the early stages of 2017, the document coming in two parts – Information Management using Building Information Modelling – Part 1: Concepts and Principles and Part 2: Delivery Phase of the Assets.

The standards owe their legacy in no small way to the UK’s BS/PAS1192 suite of documents but also refer to and include terminology and thinking from a vast array of documents from across the globe. These documents are intended to be used by those involved in procuring, designing, constructing and commissioning assets and those involved in providing asset management activities, including operations and maintenance.

Common terminologies such as CDE (common data environment) with similar graphics and details illustrating application and use are becoming well-known. Also referred to but redefined are terms like CIR (client information requirements) rather than EIR (employers information requirement) as a way of making these phrases usable outside of the very specific UK based BS/PAS1192 suite. This thinking and semantic supports all the terminology in the documents and these phrases are not written in stone as yet but are intended to broaden the utility of these documents – ‘a generic translation for a global understanding.’

The other document, recently published, is the aptly named International BIM Object Standard. This is an excellent collaboration from the teams behind the UK’s NBS Object Standards and the development teams involved from New Zealand (masterspec) and Australia (NATSPEC).

Essentially, the hierarchy suggested for parametric content creation remains consistent to the inevitable point where the local markets in New Zealand or Australia diverge on its application of project delivery methodology, therefore steering the object standards to reflect the local suite(s) of standards. The result is the International Object Standard with an appendix for either NZ or AUS illustrating the differences.

The challenge here will be those firms that have a global workforce driving productivity via BIM and their application of a consistent high quality object library. Many have already adopted one standard or another at this point, and this might seem like a major rework for these firms. I don’t believe this will necessarily be the case, and would encourage anyone heading down the path of creating an object library to follow this standard as it emerges as it will provide the guidance by which all other object creators can find common ground.

There are exciting times ahead in what can be the quite boring realm of standards and governance!