Construction companies looking to improve collaboration often turn to technology. Unfortunately, the collaboration process is not always seamless when multiple software programs are involved. For this reason, some technology companies in the construction space are looking to develop standards that will ease workflow for industry adopters across the world.

The Open BIM (building information modeling) program, a campaign initiated by buildingSMART,, a nonprofit organization with chapters in Europe, North America, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East, aims to globally promote the concept of “Open BIM” throughout the entire lifecycle of a project.

According to buildingSMART, Open BIM is an approach to the collaborative design, realization, and operation of buildings based on open standards. The organization is working toward an “Open BIM Certification,” which will help software vendors in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) space improve, test, and certify data connections. The goal is to enable seamless workflow among BIM solutions by providing common definitions, requirements, and branding.

The initiative involves several software vendors using the open buildingSMART data model, including Tekla,, Espoo, Finland, several members of the Nemetschek Group,, Munich, Germany, and others.

In an announcement this week, the buildingSMART companies said the Open BIM approach offers benefits such as reduced coordination errors, reduced exclusion from BIM projects due to “incompatibility,” full control over software upgrades, and accessibility of BIM data for the entire lifecycle including design, construction, and operation.

The ability to support transparent, open workflow for all project members, regardless of the software tools they use, can be an important step toward improving collaboration in the BIM process. As technology solutions become more widely used in the construction industry, interoperability issues will become more common. But with collaboration on the line, industry players must come together to ensure construction is prepared for growth.