I have talked about web-based collaborative BIM technologies a few times over the past year or so (see Asite BIM last year and SaaS and construction collaboration in 2008, for example), and just had to post a link to an interesting article by Kenneth Wong in the latest Cadalyst.
The summer of BIM describes a collaborative effort involving “a bunch of idealistic architects, designers, building owners, contractors, and consultants” who (hurray!) “do away with the professional hierarchies, business protocols, and legal constraints that have long prevented them from working together” (regular readers will know that I have long felt that existing industry structures and processes tend to prevent rather than promote effective collaboration, and that I think these will continue to hamper BIM-type approaches).
‘BIMStorm LA’ focused on an area in Los Angeles, and the total mileage traveled by the participants was zero, thanks to the use of Onuma Planning System (OPS), a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based BIM collaboration platform, developed by Kimon Onuma, a California-based architect.
The OPS IFC Model Server became the central repository to host all the projects, with participants able to use to a wide variety of tools – just as long as they were compatible with Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) standards. And supporting documents and site data could be supplied in Excel, Google Earth, and even pen and paper (so long as they could be scanned and brought into the communal environment).
Further online events are planned, it seems, but wouldn’t it be good if the overall approach (including overcoming the people and process issues) could be applied to delivery of a real project.