National BIM Standard for Reinforced Concrete

Investigators: Chuck Eastman and Donghoon Yang

The National BIM Standard for Reinforced Concrete project defined exchange requirements in an Information Delivery Manual (IDM), identified Industry Foundation Class (IFC) schema requirements and specified a Model View Definition (MVD) with Reinforcement Exchange.

The project followed the general procedures of the National BIM Standard, as promoted by the National Institute of Building Science and the buildingSMART Alliance. The need for a National BIM Standard is outlined in the Standards document to support smooth and flawless data exchange in Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operation (AECo) BIM workflows. This is a challenge when heterogeneous applications are involved. The project was conducted in three phases.

Phase I

Phase One defined exchange requirements in an IDM. This phase undertook the program phase of the NBIMS process.

  • Defined the process map of tasks and exchanges for reinforced concrete production workflows, from engineering to pour placement.
  • Identified the exchange requirements and business rules that apply to each exchange, beyond those defined in the IFC schema.
  • Documented in words, the strategic content of the exchanges.
  • Documented and submitted the process model to American Concrete Institute (ACI) Technical Committee 131, for review and document approval.

Phase II

Phase Two identified IFC schema requirements and the development of Model View Definitions (MVDs) based on the IDM constitutes the second phase of the project. This phase is largely technical work of the research team, and required full review of the ACI Committee, resulting in approved published documentation of implementation guidelines.

Phase III

Phase Three involved preparing for the software companies implementing the exchange standards. It included multiple physical meetings and conferences to support the parallel implementation of the standard by commercial software companies.


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