BIM (building information modeling) requires all participants to come together early in the construction project to better plan, design, and construct facilities. BIM, while very valuable if done right, can be difficult to establish a process and standards across a diverse team of stakeholders.

The National Institute of Building Sciences’, www.nibs.org, Washington, D.C., buildingSMART alliance, www.buildingsmartalliance.org, is looking to ease this challenge with the release of a consensus-based standard for BIM use in the United States.

The National BIM Standard-United States Version 2 creates an open-consensus process based on rules of governance from the institute. This follows the previous edition, which was released in 2007 and established an approach for developing open BIM standards.

The second version identifies a process for the full lifecycle of buildings including planning, design, construction, and operations. The standard, released in the United States this week, will follow in other countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

BIM is a collaborative process in which multiple stakeholders share critical data about the project, and construction technology plays a role in enabling this in a number of different ways—clash detection, scheduling, and estimating, just to name a few.

In an effort to introduce new ways to improve the BIM process, solution providers continue to come to market with integration capabilities.

One recent example comes from Bluebeam Software, www.bluebeam.com, Pasadena, Calif., a provider of construction technology to manage PDFs, and Bentley Systems, www.bentley.com, Exton, Pa., a provider of 2D and 3D design software.

Through a new plug-in, AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) companies can now manage project drawings from Bentley’s ProjectWise in Bluebeam Revu 10.

Revu 10 allows contractors to create and markup PDFs and 3D drawings. Comments are tracked and stored, allowing for collaboration among all participants. While the technology is a desktop application, partners can be invited to comment in the new Studio technology, which is available in the cloud.

The integration capabilities minimize meeting coordination time and help facilitate PDF design review. Ultimately, functionality such as this will help improve collaboration throughout the BIM process.

Another recent announcement aims to improve a different aspect of the BIM process. This week, GRAPHISOFT, www.graphisoft.com, Budapest, Hungary, announced integration with e-SPECS from InterSpec, www.e-specs.com, Portland, Maine, which will improve cost management when developing project construction documents.

e-SPECS allows teams to manage construction specifications and product and material selection. The integration with GRAPHISOFT gives the industry the opportunity to sync construction models and drawings with project-specification data.

BIM and associated technologies continue to advance for the construction industry. As new standards, partnerships, and products are developed, contractors can incorporate more components of the BIM process into construction.