What is openBIM®?

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openBIM extends the benefits of BIM (Building Information Modeling) by improving the accessibility, usability, management and sustainability of digital data in the built asset industry. At its core, openBIM is a collaborative process that is vendor neutral. openBIM processes can be defined as sharable project information that supports seamless collaboration for all project participants. openBIM facilitates interoperability to benefit projects and assets throughout their lifecycle.

openBIM empowers stakeholders to develop new ways of working by transforming traditional peer-to-peer work processes. By breaking down data silos, openBIM® can greatly improve project delivery and asset performance. Firms that adopt an openBIM® approach develop cross-party collaboration, enhanced communication and industry standard exchange methodologies. This delivers better project outcomes, greater predictability, improved performance and increased safety with reduced risk.
Throughout the whole lifecycle of an asset, openBIM helps connect people, processes and data to achieve asset delivery, operation and maintenance goals. openBIM plus seamless digital workflows make critical project information accessible to participants on a timely basis to support decision-making through various phases of the project from inception to hand-over to refurbishment and even demolition. openBIM removes the traditional problem of BIM data that is typically constrained by proprietary vendor data formats, by discipline or by the phase of a project.

By adhering to international standards and working procedures, openBIM® extends the breadth and depth of the use of BIM by creating common alignment and language. Technical applications developed for openBIM® improve the management of data and eliminate disconnected workflows. Independent quality benchmarks ensure reliable open data exchanges.

openBIM permits digital workflows based on vendor-neutral formats such as IFC, BCF, COBie, CityGML, gbXML, etc...

openBIM enables an accessible digital twin which provides the core foundation to a long-term data strategy for built assets. This provides better sustainability for projects and for more efficient management of the built environment.

The principles of openBIM recognise that:

  1. Interoperability is key to the digital transformation in the built asset industry
  2. Open and neutral standards should be developed to facilitate interoperability
  3. Reliable data exchanges depend on independent quality benchmarks
  4. Collaboration workflows are enhanced by open and agile data formats
  5. Flexibility of choice of technology creates more value to all stakeholders
  6. Sustainability is safeguarded by long-term interoperable data standards

The benefits for the built asset industry are that:

  • openBIM greatly enhances collaboration for project delivery
  • openBIM enables better asset management.
  • openBIM provides access to BIM data created during design for the whole life cycle of the built asset.
  • openBIM extends the breadth and depth of BIM deliverables by creating common alignment and language by adhering to international standards and commonly defined work processes.
  • openBIM facilitates a common data environment that provides opportunities for users to develop new workflows, software applications and technology automation.
  • openBIM enables an accessible digital twin which provides the core foundation to a long-term data strategy for built assets
Richard Petrie

Richard Petrie

Chief Executive, buildingSMART International

"The value of openBIM in projects is becoming more apparent through our awards programs and the increased demand in software certification. It helps end-users deliver more and projects and assets benefit as a result"