The main theme of the InfraBIM Open 2018 event was OpenBIM, which is a future industrial game changer.

There is a huge amount of data in the world whose acquisition, distribution and utilisation must be not only possible, but preferably easy as well. This is enabled by open data models and international formats and standards, which are now being eagerly discussed and developed.

The first ever InfraBIM Open was organized in Febuary 2018 in Tampere, Finland. We heard presentations of practical experiences in various projects around the world and results of how BIM adapts to the needs of the infrastructure sector and how it has been utilised in the projects. The presentations have been eye-openers for BIM veterans as well as novices who have only just discovered it. The father of the event, Petteri Palviainen, received a lot of positive feedback from participants during the event.

– People abroad think that infrastructure modelling is all glitz and hype and is never actually used. Here, participants heard that it is indeed used in design as well as construction sites. The Nordic countries are the only ones in the infrastructure sector that currently use BIM so broadly. We saw examples of construction sites where everything is done in a model-based fashion and paper is barely used at all. In Finland, we are very advanced at utilising BIM, at the top of the world along with Norway. Here, we know how to get everything out of a model-based construction method even in infrastructure projects, beamed Petteri Palviainen in the afterglow of the event.

Find pictures of the InfraBIM Open 2018 here

Smooth data management still requires international collaboration

In a panel discussion, four different software suppliers, Allplan, Autodesk, Bentley and Trimble, talked about where they already see the benefits of OpenBIM, where the future markets will be and what the main trends in the development of OpenBIM are. Everyone agreed that smooth data management is an operating practice that particularly benefits the owners.

Owners that want to look after their buildings and property obtain accurate, high-quality information from the data models for the maintenance and development of their property. It is important that customers set requirements for the practices in the industry. According to the panellists, owners could be more involved in developing what more they could get out of the process and how.

In principle, everyone is in favour of open formats, but the problem is that there are currently too many of them. – Globally, the situation is the same as it was in Finland about a decade ago: a mishmash of terms, formats and operating practices. When the infrastructure sector gets its own IFC format, we can genuinely talk about one open format, but until then, we’ll be using multiple formats that various countries use in different ways. The same goes for industry terms and object-based titles. The goal is to gather everyone at the same table under buildingSMART International to avoid having everyone take open thinking into their own direction, states the father of the event, Petteri Palviainen.

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