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BIM is being used all around the world – but approaches vary greatly. How is BIM best deployed? What procedures should be adopted at the start of a project? There are plenty of guidelines out there: can a common wisdom be distilled from them?

The NBIMS-US organisation – which sets standards and guidance for best practice – has made a start in comparing and analysing BIM guidelines from around the world through its Product Development Subcommittee (PDS). Now buildingSMART is moving forward with this guidelines work in a project that was adopted by the Process Room during Munich BIM week 2013.

‘We are pleased to secure an international dimension to the guidelines topic,’ says Chris Moor, chair of NBIMS-US and a member of the bS working group. Susan Keenliside, from bS Canada, is chair of the PDS, where the idea was first  eveloped. A further idea to use a wiki platform took hold during Process Room meetings and is led by Sylvain Marie of VTREEM in France. The group has members in North America, Europe and Australia who meet weekly via the web.

The first step is to evaluate existing BIM guidelines, and the group is using a methodology that derives from the work of NBIMS-US PDS. The group is comparing and categorising current guidelines from a multiplicity of sources. ‘The end goal is to achieve an international framework based on these realworld procedures and requirements from industry,’ says Jan Karlshøj, who leads the Process Room.

A large number of guidelines are being reviewed in these early stages of the project – indeed, the number has swelled since the start of the project. A template has been developed against which the various guidelines are assessed. A  econdary project goal is to solicit input on which guides end-users actually use, either because they are required to do so or through preference. 

‘Our short-term goal is to create an editable, searchable list of the BIM guidelines that are available at present,’ says Jan. ‘By Stockholm week in March we hope to prove the concept of being able compare the contents of the different guidelines. Some 10–20 guidelines will be fully reviewed before Stockholm.’