As BIM (building information modeling) continues to take hold of the construction market, it seems commercial contractors and owners are doing most of the talking about its value and challenges. Where do residential builders weigh in on the discussion? Up until now there have been few resources for the homebuilder to talk on BIM.

Enter the RBIMA (Residential Building Information Model Alliance). Created by Jay Moore, business development manager, Ameri-CAD, an ITW Company,www.visionrez.com, Allen, Texas, RBIMA is a grassroots efforts designed to enhance the use and application of BIM technology for the residential building community. Only weeks old, the goal of RBIMA is to start the discussion on BIM for the residential market.

“(There are) tons of groups for BIM but the vast majority of them focus on commercial work and residential topics get pushed to the bottom of the pile,” says Moore. “So I felt it was a good time to get a ‘software neutral’ group for residential BIM. I (do) not want it to push any individual company or software developer’s agenda, but to be an educational site for anybody to share their BIM ups and downs, successes and failures, and anything else that will advance overall BIM use and technology for residential users.”

Current topics being discussed on RBIMA’s LinkedIn page include using BIM to promote residential wood framing, data for energy analysis on residential projects, and how the latest software plays a role in the process.

According to Moore, BIM is prevalent in the homebuilding space, but builders, for the most part, have remained on the outside looking in when it comes to actually implementing and using it as an active product platform.

He says, “BIM is no long “bleeding-edge” technology nor in an “infancy” stage. It is a mature solution that offers the residential building industry tremendous opportunity to build better, faster, and smarter. However, builders have to abandon old ideals about CAD if they want BIM to be successful for their organization. They must divorce themselves from personal ownership and investment in legacy CAD platforms in favor of a more refined and exacting standard through BIM.”

Education is an essential first step. Alliances such as the RBIMA could play an integral role, allowing members from various different disciplines in homebuilding to come together a form a unified voice.