NIBS Initiative Working Toward National BIM Standard in US

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The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), a non-profit organization, has initiated a program to bring more digitization into the process of construction. The program is working toward creating a national building information modeling (BIM) standard. NIBS has indicated that the goal of BIM standardization is to help the construction industry by:

  • accelerating the effectiveness of the supply chain;
  • providing more predictable processes;
  • improving project outcomes;
  • driving efficiency;
  • fostering innovation.

Using the BIM process, teams collaborate to build a virtual structure in a digital environment first. Each component of a structure is put into place in the model, and every aspect of the project can be reviewed and checked for issues and clashes before construction begins in the field. 


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As NIBS stated in a September 2022 news release, the national BIM standard would apply to the entire life of a project, from design to construction to operations. The release explained the aim is “to achieve a new level of industrial efficiency through digitalization.” 

The NIBS project is striving to capture the requirements of US building owners so it can document best practices and provide guidance on the adoption of digital technology to increase productivity and performance.

Construction site; image: Associated Builders and Contractors

Those productivity and performance gains might come from faster response times, better allocation of worker resources, streamlined training, less paperwork, better data gathering, flexible workflows, higher customer satisfaction, energy efficiency, ability to track performance issues, and automation of typically manual processes. 


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To accomplish these gains in construction in the US, the NIBS program aims to accelerate the process of adoption of BIM and digital technology by companies in the industry. Work on development of the NIBS BIM standard has been proceeding since 2021. The effort includes owners, designers, constructors, suppliers, and vendors in the public and private sectors. Collaborative meetings are used to review implementation, budget and steps to make the building process more efficient, less expensive, more resilient, and safer over the next five years.

According to IBIS World, the US construction industry employed over ten million people in 2022. Even though inflation has negatively affected construction, Global Data reported the industry’s output for 2022 is still expected to reach $1.94-trillion in creation and renovation of buildings, infrastructure and other built assets. Despite those statistics, the industry has only averaged 1% productivity growth in the past 20 years. Other industries that have transitioned to digital technologies, such as manufacturing,  have benefitted far greater from technology implementation.

Deloitte published an optimistic mid-2022 outlook that having technology-enabled connected construction can make the industry work smarter, more efficient, with better utilization of assets. Every additional 1% growth in productivity for $1.94-trillion of output would translate to a huge increase in production. The industry could certainly use that.


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