BuildingSMART International Meeting in Rotterdam Netherlands



April 26, 2016 by John Sullivan, Global Interoperability Manager


The buildingSMART International (bSI) Conference was held in Rotterdam on April 11through April 14. There was a good turnout with 175 attendees including buildingSMART representatives from all 17 of the worldwide Chapters. The Strategic Alliance Council (SAC) members including Autodesk, Kajima Corporation, HOK, ARUP & Nemetschek Group were in attendance as well as bSI Board members representing architects, engineers and contractor requirements. 


bSI IFC 4 certifications were discussed and the certification is starting up this summer (hurray!). I look forward to this development. Revit currently has IFC 4 capabilities built in. Certification will allow for better handoffs between all BIM software as it reconciles some of the implementation differences between the BIM software offerings for IFC 4. Certification is key to good data exchanges and bSI plays the central role for the market with its openBIM effort.

Discussions in the “rooms” for buildings, infrastructure, and automated BIM code checking were lively. In the product room the Building Smart Data Dictionary (bsDD) and its connection to the developing CEN BIM property server standard were discussed. I was in the product room for these discussions with one topic being the collaboration of buildingSMART International and Co-builder to enhance the capabilities of this project.

Current Activities

Our global team focused on interoperability include; Marek Suchocki (U.K), Frank Moore (USA), Hamaji Kazuo (Japan) and Menno De Jonge (Netherlands), Ralf Mosler (Germany) and Emmanuel Di Giacomo (France). Our team investigates and prototypes ways to improve interoperability. The Revit COBie toolkit is one of these projects. We also have a plug-in for Revit that connects to the IFC bsDD and the IFC property server (under development by CEN) as well as several other interoperability initiatives. Many of us were in Rotterdam where we learned quite a lot.


Marek Suchocki presented in the infrastructure room on Navisworks and COBie. This project integrates the COBie data organization tables into Navisworks and allows the federation of COBie information from multiple BIM software vendors to share/append information from a project and create a complete COBie deliverable across a heterogonous software project team.

Marek who is expert on the U.K. BIM Level 2 process, also described how Autodesk is improving the IFC properties capabilities in Civil 3D (C3D). This work extends the access to IFC objects generally in C3D and also has allowed Autodesk to create a template to meet the mandatory Finnish open data delivery standard for roadway projects – Inframodel 3.

This meeting was a great opportunity to work with interesting people and stay current on interoperability topics. We look forward to the next bSI meeting in Korea this September! Our engagement and continuous support of bSI and their openBIM efforts are helping us better understand the needs around the world on interoperability. These meetings provide a great opportunity to serve our clients better.

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