Be Open, My Friend: Bruce Lee and the secrets of OpenBIM

This Guest Post is by Jon Buerg

The more you get into BIM, the more you’ll hear about openBIM. The more you hear about openBIM, the more you realize that its proponents are also the most knowledgeable people in the industry. Then, once you realize all of this, you start to see the amazing things you and others on the project team can get out of the BIMs you’re making, because openness is the key that unlocks the ability to share the ‘I’ in BIM, the Information, outside of your own discipline.

When you’re open, vendors can extract lists of equipment for purchase orders, contractors can start to read takeoff and cost data for estimating, energy consultants can analyze embedded data to optimize building performance, and the whole team can quickly find conflicts between disciplines. All of this happens when the exchange of data is through open file formats and between software from a wide range of developers, rather than a monoculture that leaves the project’s limits and fate to the whims and weaknesses of a single software company.

We’ve been given a gift with BIM technology. From the CAD years, the community learned that we needed to be more open and universal. Now we get to benefit from the knowledge of those lessons learned. In tribute to this, I decided to paraphrase martial arts expert and actor Bruce Lee’s famous “be water” quote. For me, this was an easy analog because the “be water” quote is all about flexibility and adaptability, which are the same benefits we admire with openBIM. Enjoy!

Open up your BIMs.
Be versionless. Platformless. Like IFC.
You bring an IFC into Revit, it becomes the RVT.
You bring an IFC into ArchiCAD, it becomes the PLN.
You bring an IFC into Allplan, it becomes the NDW.
IFCs can flow data to all, proprietary BIM files can not.
Be open, my friend.


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