In Australia, NATSPEC is owned by a wide range of professional associations and government property groups, while in New Zealand the RIBA-owned NBS will be working with Masterspec, a specification company owned by the New Zealand Institute of Architects and the Registered Master Builders’ Association.
The NBS launched its BIM Object Standard in the UK in September 2014, creating a benchmark for manufacturers and designers on the format and properties of BIM objects.
The agreement to establish the forthcoming BIM object standard follows a recent report conducted by the Strategic Forum for the Australasian Building and Construction Industry, which recommended that a universal standard for the creation of BIM objects be adopted to support the creation of national object libraries.
The report concluded that collaboration with NBS was desirable given its position as a “leader in the UK, and globally, of product information management and BIM technology development”.
The goal is to align practices as much as possible while accommodating local differences in building and procurement practices, building products and regulatory framework.
Richard Waterhouse, chief executive of RIBA Enterprises, has just returned from Australia where the agreement was struck. He said: “The collaboration with NATSPEC and Masterspec is another big step in the development of standardised processes for the design, construction and manufacturing sectors of the global construction industry.
“The move towards a digital, global industry is inexorable and initiatives such as this will benefit UK firms seeking international work, supporting the government’s aim to significantly increase exports by the sector by 2025.
“We were delighted that the Strategic Forum for the Australasian Building and Construction Industry recognised the quality of the NBS BIM Object Standard and the NBS National BIM Library and that this was the route they wished to see in use within the region.
“Working with NATSPEC and Masterspec, this coordinated approach will provide a simple platform for all sectors of the industry to provide their products and services across national borders.”
According to the NBS the BIM Object Standard for the UK was the first of its kind in the world, setting out essential requirements for BIM objects. It has been downloaded more than 5,000 times since its introduction.
The standard for Australia and New Zealand is expected to be complete by the end of October, and NBS is in discussion with other countries about the potential for collaboration on further national BIM object standards.