The contractors, suppliers and manufacturers of acoustics systems, ceiling systems, drywall systems, exterior insulation and finishing systems, fireproofing, flooring systems, insulation and stucco are increasingly using building information modeling in their work. To ensure the National BIM Standard-United States (NBIMS-US) accurately references the needs of these allied trades, the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry recently signed a memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART alliance.

“Our association is proud to be part of this far-reaching endeavor that serves to extend the benefits of technology standards to our walls and ceilings partners and their affiliates,” said AWCI Technical Director Lee Jones.

The buildingSMART alliance works with numerous organizations in the building industry to ensure that all stakeholders are represented in the BIM process.

“The very essence of the buildingSMART alliance is the relationships we build with other organizations throughout the facilities industry,” said buildingSMART alliance Executive Director Dana K. “Deke” Smith, FAIA. “This is the first time the entire industry has attempted such a broad collaborative effort. We welcome AWCI into the Alliance and look forward to working with them to effect true and valuable change for all practitioners in the facilities industry.”

A BIM is a shared resource of knowledge about a facility that can be used to make decisions about the building throughout its life cycle, from the initial idea, to design and construction, through daily operations and eventual demolition. Because a BIM covers all aspects of the building process, everyone in the construction industry will be impacted as the use of BIMs becomes standard operating procedure. Therefore, it is important that representatives from every segment of the industry participate in development of the standard, including members from the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry.

“Developing the National BIM Standard-United States is a monumental effort that will change the way our industry operates,” said NBIMS-US Project Committee Chair Chris Moor, who is director of Industry Initiatives at the American Institute of Steel Construction. “Volunteers have the opportunity to use their expertise to ensure the NBIMS-US addresses their specific areas of focus, which means they can have an impact on the acceptance and usability of BIM within the life cycle of a building. Their involvement is crucial to our momentum.”

 In the agreement, AWCI agreed to work together with the alliance to develop and implement open BIM standards. The association plans to establish a BIM committee that will work on developing ballots related specifically to its trade members’ expertise for submission to the NBIMS-US standards development process.