Energy Analysis in the Building Room

This year I attended the bSI’s Summit in Paris and had the opportunity to learn and network among the industry’s top critical thinkers for interoperability. The theme I took away from the summit was that the IFC framework is expanding its capabilities to consider geographic information systems (GIS). Incorporating the GIS perspective will fundamentally challenge the rules we’ve laid out for building information modeling (BIM).

One topic that was under fire in the building room was the level of development (LOD) classification system. The debate was about the levels 100 to 500 and why can’t they be called levels 1 to 5, or A to E? There was no consensus at the end of the debate as to which approach we should use or how we should unify the different perspectives. Fortunately, the technical sessions helped me understand the building blocks of an information classification system.

Level of development has been the primary term for defining modeled elements but in the past few years new terms have emerged such as level of information (LOI) and level of geometry (LOG). These terms can be collectively referred by the generic term of Level of X (LOX). You can use LOX to define your scope of work and form an agreement to deliver certain model uses.

There are many types of model uses but the ones I typically encounter are for construction documentation and clash detection. The LOD between these two uses would vary from 300 to 400 but if we included the LOI and LOG then we could add new layers of granularity to this equation. This allows us to break down the LOX and configure a set of parameters for each information level or phase.

Most coordinated drawing sets must comply with local energy regulations but rarely is the energy analysis included as a model use (large/complex models are rebuilt using BEM tool). The reason for this is because the analysis phase requires a lower LOG to facilitate an effective data transfer using file formats (IFC/gbXML). This ensures the space boundary conditions are met which allows for the transfer of information such as energy settings and thermal properties. Each analysis type (energy, daylight, comfort, etc.) can define its own set of LOI in the exchange requirements (ER). It’s much easier to increase the LOG than to lower it.

I came to the summit to share my experience with integrating BIM with energy modeling. Together with the technical group we’re exploring a model view definition (MVD) for energy analysis which aims to capture the necessary information to run a simulation. This feature is still under development, but in the meantime, we can keep refining our information classification system to accommodate discipline-specific model uses.

  1. Start
2.  Analysis 3.  Coordination
Level of Development 50   50 300
Level of Information 50 200 300
Level of Geometry 0 75 300

PxP Toolkits Release on bSC e-Store

Announcing the release of the Canadian BIM Project eXecution Plan Toolkits on the new buildingSMART Canada e-Store.  The toolkits are immensely helpful documents designed to support the process of creating a BIM Project eXecution Plan and preparing for BIM projects.   Each toolkit has been based around real world examples that have been compiled to create a composite illustrative project.

Each toolkit consists of several parts:

  • A Toolkit Overview document describing the toolkit
  • An example PxP (BIM Project eXecution Plan) illustrating what a completed PxP would look like for this illustrative composite project
  • An Executive Summary that provides a high level explanation of the Illustrative PxP Guide
  • An illustrative PxP Guide document, broken into eleven sections, explaining how the PxP was created and containing key decisions and anecdotes
  • A PxP Template for similar PxPs that contain nominal or default parameters for similar cases

Each PxP Toolkit Volume can be purchased separately or the Complete Guide will contain all three volumes together.  

Available in both hard and digital copies (the word template and excel spreadsheet template, as a download, are included with the both hard and digital documents).  

Click here to Learn more.

Canadian BIM Education Update

The goal of the bSC/CanBIM Education Committee is to provide a national and international benchmark for openBIM training.  As a result, we’ve been an active participant in the development of the buildingSMART International ‘Individual Qualification’ program.  Under the bSI Individual Qualification program, individuals receive foundational BIM training through an accredited training provider and then are eligible to take an on-line exam to confirm their fundamental understanding of openBIM.

The bSI exam is based on five modules:

  • Module 1 – To be Comfortable with what BIM is, why it is needed, and its specific Terminology.
  • Module 2 – To appreciate the advantages that BIM can bring compared to a traditional project, the historical issues within the industry and its role BIM has in satisfying government targets.
  • Module 3 – To appreciate the need to plan what outputs are required to inform how information is produced, exchanged, and maintained.
  • Module 4 – To appreciate a need for an open and interoperable solution
  • Module 5 – To be aware of your Organizations capability to working to the BIM Process

Each country is responsible for creating its own national module so we are now working on Module 6 – To appreciate BIM in the Canadian context.  We need your input into the learning objectives for this module.  The committee has proposed the following objectives:

  • Define who IBC, CanBIM and buildingSMART Canada are
  • Identify the phases in design and construction in Canada
  • Identify how BIM fits within the phases of design and construction in Canada
  • Know the legislative framework that governs Canadian contracting
  • Define specifications for object classification libraries
  • Identify the relevant CCDC contract documents
  • Know the professional bodies that govern professional practices

Do you feel these reflect what is needed for a basic understanding of openBIM in the Canadian context?  If not, are there others?  Let us know by sending your comments/input to [email protected] or [email protected]

The Canadian BIM Education Update presentation can be viewed here.

Canadian Chapter well represented at the buildingSMART International Summit in Paris, France

Susan Keenliside

Canadian delegates once again traveled abroad to participate in standards development activities under buildingSMART International. BuildingSMART France hosted the semi-annual event in Paris from March 26-29, 2018. The summit, in conjunction with the BIM World Paris exhibition, was located at La Défense.

Of the 400 participants at the summit, there was representation from 38 nations, 18 chapters and 225 companies. The Canadian delegation of nine included David Watson (Edmonton), Erik Poirier (Montreal), Susan Keenliside (Ottawa), Geraldine Rayner (Vancouver), Tamer El-Diraby (Toronto), Brent Mauti (Toronto), Domenico Statteri (Montreal), Shawna Lessard (Niagara Falls) and Jean Carriere (Toronto). In addition, Birgitta Foster (USA) collaborated with our delegation to extend our coverage.

The delegation covered the majority of “rooms”, including Building, Infrastructure, Product, Regulatory, Construction, Airport, Rail and bSI General. The newly established Rail Room made history with the official signing of the IFC Railway Consortium Agreement. From formal presentations and work group activities to networking and informal meetings, the delegation continues to pursue best value for Canada in its activities and coverage.

Over the course of the four-day event, Canadian delegates delivered six presentations to the community, including “Handover and Beyond” by Geraldine Rayner, “MVD for Energy Analysis” by Jean Carriere, “User Airport Case Study: IFC deliverable for GIS” by Birgitta Foster, “Knowledgeable Clients Asking for openBIM” by Susan Keenliside, “bSI Awards Program: Submission Period Open” by Susan Keenliside, and an ad hoc presentation by Erik Poirier to demonstrate past research results related to capturing BIM-related metrics.

For more information, refer to the event summary from bSI available here

The Canadian chapter will next be represented at the buildingSMART International Board, SAC & International Council meetings in Washington D.C. from May 22-23, 2018. For more information, refer to the event details here

The next buildingSMART International Standards Summit will take place in Tokyo, Japan from October 16–19, 2018. For more information, refer to the event details here

Those planning to attend the Tokyo Summit as part of the Canadian delegation are asked to coordinate email Susan Keenliside here

Stay tuned for more information about the proceedings from the Paris summit in future newsletters.

The joint bSC/CanBIM Canadian Education Committee UPDATE

Last October we launched the joint bSC/CanBIM Canadian Education initiative. The aim of the BIM initiative is to provide a clear scope and sequence of education activities that must be carried out to support and enable the transformation of the Canadian ACEOO community. Our vision: The Canadian BIM community will be highly competent and competitive within Canada and be recognised as such around the globe.

The initiative has five key outcomes:

  • a Framework for future educational work;
  • defined and accepted educational standards;
  • targets for integrated educational programs;
  • targets for robust and recognized certification and accreditation processes; and
  • ensure global relevance of Canadian professionals by aligning with international standards, best practices and activities relevant to education and certification.

Much has happened since last October, both in Canada and internationally, to inform what we are doing. At the same time as we have been developing a Canadian Learning Outcomes Framework (LOF), buildingSMART International has been developing an Individual Qualification and Professional Certification program. This has had an impact on our work as we want to ensure we are aligned and in position to leverage opportunities that arise from the bSI program.

So, where does this leave us? We will be releasing the LOF later this month for comment by the community and we are also exploring how we can incorporate elements of the bSI program. Stay tuned to this space for more information in the coming months.”

Canadian Practice Manual for BIM – Now Available!

What is the Canadian Practice Manual for BIM?

It is a practical Canadian BIM resource created by experts from across Canada.

It is aligned with international standards and practices and was developed as part of the Institute for BIM in Canada and buildingSMART Canada‘s initiatives to support broad adoption of BIM in Canada as outlined in the Roadmap to Lifecycle BIM in the Canadian AECOO Community.

It provides a general background of the various uses and benefits of BIM, a detailed explanation about how to implement BIM within an organization, and an explanation on preparing for and participating in collaborative BIM Projects.

Learn More

BuildingSMART International BIM Awards open for submissions

2017 BSi BIM Awards

As the Canadian Chapter of buildingSMART International, we are excited to announce buildingSMART International is now accepting applications for the “buildingSMART International Awards” in four different categories:

  • Design (Design)
  • Construction (Construction)
  • Operation and Maintenance
  • Student Projects (Student Project Using Open Technology)

Projects utilizing open buildingSMART standards qualify for submission. Participation is open to anyone (including non-buildingSMART members).

The winners for each category will be invited to London, England October 30 – 2 November 2017 to be presented their award.

How to submit a project:

  1. Complete the registration form.
  2. Upload your files to  (for large files) and send an email to [email protected] 

You can find more information on the homepage of buildingSMART International .

The deadline is 15 August 2017

Unifying BIM Champions in Canada!

Joint News Release
Monday March 14th, 2016

Unifying BIM Champions in Canada!

We are pleased to announce that both CanBIM and IBC/buildingSMART Canada are bringing together two of their key committees to work hand in hand to further the interests of BIM in Canada. Their respective Owners and Education Committees will combine their efforts to address the most pressing issues facing our AECOO community in Canada. This will result in a clear set of outcomes that both agencies can support and endorse in a variety of ways.

Further, CanBIM and IBC/buildingSMART Canada are exploring opportunities for joint presentations and content, such as the CanBIM Regional Session in Halifax NS in June of this year.

Allan Partridge, CanBIM President remarked that “This is a significant step towards unifying all the BIM agencies in Canada, that at their heart, really have the same goals and aspirations” he also added “We will also see a streamlining of the valuable volunteer effort that has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the committee work at both CanBIM and buildingSMART Canada with much better outcomes.”

Bob Hildenbrandt, Chair of IBC adds “The essence of BIM is a collaborative process that draws together the dedicated work of those involved. How better to demonstrate that collaboration to our industry than to move forward in joining our efforts.”

John Hale, Chair of buildingSMART Canada Operations Committee adds “We are thrilled to be working collaboratively with CanBIM and IBC;; this will undoubtedly lead to a strengthened network of excellence for BIM in Canada.”

CanBIM and IBC/buildingSMART Canada believe this will strengthen and create a more robust BIM community in Canada. Both agree that a strong, resilient and highly collaborative community in Canada is needed to improve the design, procurement, assembly and operations of the built environment in Canada. At the same time we will unitedly create a stronger voice within the international BIM community.