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Three Useful Resources for BIM Implementation in Australia

CostX® was born Down Under, and Exactal’s flagship product offers BIM functionality which has grown in scope since first introduced in 2006. Australia were early adopters of BIM in a global sense, but disparate approaches and a lack of industry-wide standards have left the nation somewhat behind the curve.

Australia does not currently mandate BIM at a national level in the way that the United Kingdom does, although we’ve seen successful implementation of BIM across the Australian private sector. Despite this, several states are beginning to lead to charge. All Queensland Government construction projects worth more than $50 million are now required to use BIM during planning and beyond.

Enthusiasm for BIM hasn’t waned in Australia, but there are still misgivings over its practical application. The ability to collaborate with ease is one of the key advantages of BIM, but a lack of widely-accepted standards for BIM content often stands in the way. Inconsistencies in properties, property naming and object designation often follow, leading to an unproductive workflow and a lot of extra effort to bring projects together.

To address this problem, not-for-profit industry organisation NATSPEC have released a number of tools to support improved exchange of digital information between stakeholders. The following three resources represent an ideal starting point for BIM implementation on projects spanning the entire Australian industry. All can be accessed free of charge through the NATSPEC BIM Portal.

NATSPEC National BIM Guide

The NATSPEC National BIM Guide is a detailed suite of documents intended to support BIM implementation on a range of projects. The primary documents cover BIM roles and responsibilities, collaborative practice, approved software, digital deliverables and many other important factors. A Project BIM Brief Template is included, which acts as a tool for documenting client BIM specifications.

Other documents available as part of the guide include the NATSPEC BIM Reference Schedule and BIM Object/Element Matrix, both of which are useful reference points when commencing with BIM.

The Guide can be effectively applied to individual BIM projects and is consistently updated as processes change. As a centralised repository of knowledge for BIM, it covers everything you need to be confident your BIM project won’t be met with avoidable problems.

NATSPEC BIM Properties Generator

A commonly noted roadblock to industry-wide BIM implementation is a lack of standardisation when it comes to data sharing. To address this need, NATSPEC offer this handy generator based upon open BIM standards.

Users can sort a huge volume of individual items, with everything from balustrades through to truss chords supported by the generator. You can drill down into your chosen selection by identifying the source, property categories and classification, with selected data able to be easily exported to spreadsheet or PDF. This data can then be imported into BIM authoring software applications.

Properties can be selected from a wide range of sources, including IFC4, IFC 2×3, COBie, NATSPEC and BIMForum LOD Specification. The authors of the generator have taken a global approach in their work by utilising objects based on buildingSMART’s Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), as well as classification data from UniClass, Omniclass, Masterformat, Uniformat and more. The generator is suitable for use by content creators, project teams, manufacturers and client companies.

Open BIM Object Standard

Another tool that works hand-in-hand with the Properties Generator is the Open BIM Object Standard, built to support the creation of standardised BIM objects.

The OBOS was developed by NATSPEC in conjunction with Masterspec, in an effort to provide an industry standard that was accessible to practitioners across the industry, from designers through to manufacturers. It gives authors the confidence that the BIM objects they create will be acceptable to end users, mitigating the risk of wasted time and effort.

The 32-page document covers everything from naming conventions and rules to IFC classifications, objects properties and functionalities, and even best practice for importing, exporting and linking. A comprehensive glossary of terms and IFC element types is also included.

These well-researched resources were a collaborative initiative from a number of experienced parties in the ANZ BIM industry, and will continue to be updated as the demands of the local industry dictate.

Choose CostX® for All-In-One 5D BIM Estimating

Here at Exactal, we remain committed to supporting the next generation of construction through innovative and future-proof software. CostX® represents an all-in-one solution for Quantity Surveyors, contractors, builders and many other professions looking to get started with Building Information Modelling.

To learn more about how CostX® can support the evolving needs of your business, feel free to reach out to your nearest Exactal office today. Our business is operated from nine offices worldwide, so you can rely upon timely product support while learning the finer points of our software.

Exactal offer free CostX® licences to full-time students and eligible lecturers/tutors under our educational licence scheme, with more than 5000 student licences active in over 80 institutes across the world. We’re dedicated to giving future generations the opportunity to get started in our industry with a strong BIM background.