buildingSMART Organizational Changes Announced

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BuildingSMART is responding to developments in the digital economy, increased market demand and heightened user expectations by introducing a leaner structure, more rigorous project management arrangements, and a revised – and more inclusive – membership model.

The changes underway during 2014 and beyond aim to make bSI a partner of choice for entrepreneurial firms in research and user projects.

As a neutral, not-for-profit organisation, which thrives on collaboration, buildingSMART is the premier institution for projects that enable open BIM. Changes to our organisation and procedures will equip us to move forward to embark on much-needed projects.

A Simple, More Effective Structure

A new structure is being realized, retaining the International Council and ExCom but bringing in the support of a Strategic Advisory Council and international members at the working level. Three main work areas or ‘core programmes’ – standards, compliance and chapters – are defined, with new and existing activities falling into one of these categories.

Newly-formed Strategic Advisory Council

A Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) will contribute independent expertise and knowledge of the market. Members will be drawn from six interest groups: owners, contractors, manufacturers, software vendors, operators and consultants. SAC members reap rewards from council activities as they steer the projects program, ensuring that we are meeting real industry needs in our projects.

Managing the Standards Program

To increase the speed of our standards program, a new Standards Committee will be formed from chapters representatives and international members, leading users and technical experts. To increase openness, the committee will select the best projects from among candidates proposed by our Rooms, our chapters, or external organisations.

A Standards Committee Executive will oversee projects while they are executed. A ‘gates’ system will regulate the progress of each project. The website will provide a comprehensive management and monitoring tool for projects.

Expanding the Certification Process

There are many software products on the market that use the IFC standard but still need certification. Our Certification 2.0 process verified the compliance of 15 products so far, enhancing the quality of the software.

By extending the process to centers experienced in certification in other countries, certification could be significantly increased. BRE in the UK and CSTB in France are being considered. Acceleration of certification benefits vendors (with product development), end-users (ensuring quality) and buildingSMART (through standards and certification revenues).

A Clearer, Stronger Role for Chapters

A new strategy has been launched to bring buildingSMART and its national chapters closer together. buildingSMART will help the chapters engage their governments and industry leaders, while chapters will have a stronger role in the development and dissemination of standards. Strategies include online meetings involving all chapters, visits from officers, and a collaborative approach to projects to avoid duplicate efforts.

Wider Membership of buildingSMART International

Membership of bSI will be expanded. In the past, buildingSMART membership was restricted to chapters. Now, three new member types will be admitted:

  • Strategic Members – Member of the Strategic Advisory Council
  • International Member – Organization with international operations and an interest in what happens locally and in bSI
  • bSI Member – Works mainly in bSI (for example, on standards development)

What will change…

Coming in is the Standards Committee, which brings together experts from different areas. Also new are the Strategic Advisory Council and the expanded bSI membership structure. A more formal project management process will bring consistency and transparency to our approach to projects while our compliance/certification process will be expanded and chapter activities strengthened.

What Won’t Change…

The International Council remains the senior governing board. The ‘room’ system and the existing rooms – Product, Process, Infrastructure and Technical, with a Regulators Room in formation – are unaffected. They provide a hub of industry expertise and the place where projects actually happen. It is likely that new rooms will be added as we respond to market demand.

The exceptional technical skills that buildingSMART brings to standards development will be needed more than ever. There will be no dumbing down of our contribution to the technical development of standards, practical ICT tools and the processes required by the construction industry.

With our commitment to the roll-out of openBIM, we will continue our work to stimulate uptake through conferences and industry days, liaison with governments and projects to fill the gaps in technical and user provision.