Smarter Specifications for Construction

September 25, 2013

The adoption of BIM (building information modeling) has increased in recent years, but there is still room for construction teams to improve processes. One way, which would be a huge time saver for contractors, is intelligently linking objects to the appropriate specification.

This week, Building Systems Design, www.bsdsoftlink.com, Atlanta, Ga., announced objects from Autodesk Revit, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., are now pre-linked to the appropriate specifications in its SpecLink-E specifications software. Contractors will be able to automatically connect the model with specifications through BSD LinkMan-E, an add-on to SpecLink-E.

With this release, the company offers a catalog of non-proprietary Revit objects, with the appropriate BSD materials applied. The initial release includes more than 400 wall, window, door, and floor-ceiling objects. Future releases will add other objects such as plumbing fixtures and toilet accessories.

Building Systems Design says its ability to offer this functionality comes as a result of Autodesk introducing new capabilities in its 2013 and 2014 releases of Revit, where materials are capable of assuming significant new properties, which Autodesk calls assets.

Functionality such as this will allow contractors to improve interoperability, and ultimately productivity, making BIM processes easier.

This is something Fiatech, www.fiatech.org, Austin, Texas, has also looked at in detail, creating a collaboration lab for specification modeling; guidelines for 3D solutions for virtual reality; and a catalog of technology applications.

Building on the Fiatech Specification Automation project, which published a file format and a set of interoperability XML schemas, the Laboratory of Collaboration for Specification Modeling creates of a lab where specifiers from a variety of industries can engage in modeling specifications. The effort, says Fiatech, will produce schemas, templates, and recommendations.

BIM has given the industry a means to share modeling data with construction processes, allowing the team to use the same data throughout the course of a project. Still, contractors have an opportunity to improve efficiencies in BIM by implementing functionality that will help automate specifications.