Emerging BIM Standards Promise to Bolster AEC Efficiency

Firms can ramp up productivity by adopting a common BIM language and embracing data-integration, advise technologists from HFA Architecture + Engineering.

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — AEC firms would be wise to adopt standardized approaches to building information modeling (BIM) now that it is becoming an expected—or even government-mandated—part of their projects, advised BIM specialists from HFA Architecture + Engineering.

Researchers at the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) already are developing such standards in a bid to spur greater BIM adoption in the United States, noted Jesus Reyna, a Senior BIM Application Specialist at HFA, in a webinar. “They have done this independently,” he explained, “but now they have a new standard coming out in collaboration with professional organizations like ASHRAE, AIA, BIM Forum and the International Organization for Standardization or ISO.”

It is just one more way in which AEC firms can maximize the efficiency of their projects and operations, said HFA BIM Director Brittany Pylant, who co-hosted the webinar (“Data Integration, BIM + AEC Evolution“) on Sept 28. “It is exciting to see all of the legwork going into establishing these standards,” she said.

The BIM process centers on the digital representations of buildings along with data about their geometry, materials, systems and other key components. Pylant and Reyna pointed to the trend among national governments in Europe and Asia of mandating the use of BIM on certain projects. And increasingly, they noted, U.S. institutions are doing the same, including the Wisconsin state government, the Texas Facilities Commission, the General Services Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to name a few.

Against that backdrop, AEC companies would do well to embrace the BIM process and stay in step with its evolution. “There are going to be some growing pains,” Pylant said. “But if people resist thinking about, researching and getting familiar with these trends, they’re going to get left behind.”

Pylant and Reyna offered tips and resources for AEC firms aiming to maximize efficiency with BIM, data integration and cultural change. Here are a few of their recommendations from the hour-long webinar and Q&A:

  • Strive for a consistent BIM process (toward that end, they offered the audience a BIM Uses Checklist for project teams).
  • Explore new cloud-based data-integration tools to eliminate snags caused by converting back and forth the various file formats used by different project stakeholders. “We’re seeing the possibility of eliminating file formats altogether and bringing everything into a common data environment,” Reyna noted.
  • Task at least one person with staying ahead of the curve in areas like AI, XR (extended reality) and middleware (solutions designed to bridge the interoperability gap between applications and data).
  • Document and share your BIM standards. “If you don’t have documentation of your standards,” Reyna said, “you probably don’t have very good standards.”
  • Identify key external and internal stakeholders and then start a dialog with them about how to create a culture of innovation around BIM and other technologies.
  • As a designer, engage in robust dialog with contractors to guarantee better handoffs. “You may have to take that buildable design a little further, in terms of the Level of Development or LOD,” Pylant said. “Figure out what the contractor would like to use the BIM model for—and make sure your model delivers.”

The full webinar is available at:

About HFA Architecture + Engineering: HFA is a nationwide architecture and engineering firm with offices in Bentonville, AR, Fort Worth, TX, Franklin, MA, and Mexico City. With over 30 years of experience, HFA has become a trusted partner for a diverse range of clients, providing comprehensive services that combine design innovation and project delivery excellence. The studio’s portfolio includes commercial projects in retail, industrial, mixed-use/office, restaurants, hospitality and entertainment spaces. To learn more about HFA and their work, visit https://www.hfa-ae.com/

Media Contacts: Jaffe Communications, Elisa Krantz, (908) 789-0700,

SOURCE HFA Architecture + Engineering