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Bob-H

VWA BIM Certification?

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I was wondering if there is any general information or statement concerning VectorWorks Architect and BIM certification, particularly by the GSA (General Services Administration) of the U.S. Government. Normally, I would not be concerned about it, because VW Architect is a great product. But recently, AutoDesk has been courting the GSA with getting IFC certification for Revit, which VectorWorks does not have. And with the Army Corps of Engineers using a BIM platform (possibly Revit) for government projects, it is apparent that the GSA holds in their grasp the future of the BIM market. And with AutoDesk shmoozing up to the GSA, what is to prevent the GSA from awarding the standardization of BIM to the Revit platform, leaving all of the other BIM vendors in the dust? I am very aware of the possible scenario, after having witnessed the results of the GSA standardizing a CAD file format called DWG back in the 1990's, which was a big billion dollar windfall for AutoDesk. But if VectorWorks Architect and others meet GSA's BIM requirements, a freer market economy would prevent a preemtive BIM monopoly takeover by AutoDesk, if possible. Am I the only person concerned about this? Just wondering.

Bob-H

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Bob, you are not Robinson Crusoe. Our government authorities here in Australia also have 'DWG standards' for all documentation done for them based on a similar decisions back in the early 90's. It locked the rest of us out for quite some time.

Archicad, Microstation, VectorWorks, etc. need to work hard to ensure this strategic mistake is not repeated with a BIM standard.

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Surprise, surprise - I have just received an email from an associate on this very issue.

He attended a recent engineering seminar where the main topic of discussion was the implementation of a BIM standard for all government work in Australia. The push is for IFC compliance and the statement was made that the only program which is fully IFC compliant is Archicad. Thus for the moment the 'standard' is being written around Archicad.

At the seminar there was some resistance to this with most of the attendees pushing for an Autodesk or Microstation based standard. Its likely that the engineering professions will lobby heavily for this to be the case. Based on past experience I would have to say that our architecture institute will be too slow to respond and in the end we as a profession will have very little influence on the outcome.

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Why have a standard at all?

I mean can't we wait until the technology becomes mature enough to be useful before we lock down an other layer of crud to our lives.

BIM is all nice in white papers and software demonstrations, but i've yet to see a system that in everyday use provides less furstration than it solves. For the most part the whole thing seems to lock down creativity and make systems that become restrictive on our work(it's bad enough dealing with real councils and building codes) . Either that or become very adept at what ever scripting language is required.

To me VW has shown a good balance between Freedom and BIMishness, better still keeping that freedom as it becomes more BIMish.

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The push is for IFC compliance and the statement was made that the only program which is fully IFC compliant is Archicad. Thus for the moment the 'standard' is being written around Archicad.

Engineers are going to have a great time doing their work with ArchiCAD...

Already several years ago yours truly posted messages here and sent emails to the top brass of (then) Diehl Graphsoft regarding STEP and interoperability. The replies were along the lines "it is not mature technology", "such projects are not our focus area" and so on.

Well, the train has gone and we are left on a platform with further trains obviously scheduled only to nowhere.

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It seems as if IFC compliance is becoming a requirement in many regions - so far in Europe, the USA and Australia. I for one hope NNA has not dropped the ball on this one.

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They did. There's no hope in hell for VW or any other johnny-come-lately to get any certifications or even tacit approvals. The rules were laid out by the savvy and aggressive software companies and there is no room in the business for those who did not play ball from the whistle-blow.

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Mike (above) sent me this email last week (for the life of me I can never figure why he doesn't just post such comments straight to the forum!):

Christiaan

From this February 06 Cadalyst article it appears that NNA are committed to being IFC compliant with VW:

http://www.cadalyst.com/cadalyst/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=304833&pageID=1

"At this writing, Autodesk's Architectural Desktop and Revit Building, Bentley Architecture, Graphisoft's ArchiCAD and Nemetschek's Allplan have implemented IFC capability. VectorWorks IFC implementation will be available later this year. Now that these BIM applications support IFC export, other software vendors are beginning to develop solutions that use BIM data created during the building design process."

Given that it didn't arrive with 12.5 one can only assume it will arrive with version 13 sometime later this year.

IFC is not the be all and end all of everything though - it is only the inclusion of data within objects and the ability for this to be be exported to other programs.

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Is it just me or did Katie's post (admitting GSA certification) and Petri's post (admitting he was wrong) just go missing?

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It's not on my screen now and I remember reading both with mouth open. I'll be waiting for the next exciting episode......

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Guest

They are gone - I had mistaken information that I did not completely clarify before posting.

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They are gone - I had mistaken information that I did not completely clarify before posting.

How wonderful! Where did you get your training at - the Kremlin? You deleted my message because you needed to rewrite history...

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I have no problem with mistakes and revisionist history (in fact I'd rather that than tightlippedness), but it would have been much better if you'd posted your above note without me enquiring Katie. Bit disconcerting that comments are considered removable without explanation.

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This bit of perverse censorship is indeed nooz worthy ... especially considering the pertinence of this particular topic.

From this episode we can now expect that future discussion of VWA BIM Certification is ipso facto 'verboten'.

Topic cleansing of these forums shall be now be considered the norm...

"fear breeds fascism"

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Hi, did anything happen while I was gone?

Anyway, I would not be concerned about this BIM certification thing, if it were not for the American Institute of Architects (St. Louis Chapter). They held a seminar on BIM last week, starring an architects and engineer group who happened to be doing work for the Army Corps of Engineers. Early in the program, they played a video of the AIA Convention a couple years ago: a panel discussion, where of the panelists stated the following message: "Use BIM or Die". And the seminar went on about the gloom and doom over how the construction industry wastes materials, and the lack of coordination in the drawings, etc. - hence the importance of BIM. Then the seminar closed by mentioning the GSA's website coverage on BIM -- http://www.gsa.gov/bim -- which mentions how BIM is more than just 3D building models. IFC reporting, for example. These are things that the GSA is formulating for U.S. Gov't projects.

The short version of it is, VectorWorks will have to get past the GSA standards if it will ever get used for any U.S. Government projects (a very big client). And since it lacks IFC standards, this allows those web CAD bloggers and writers to brag about how Revit has IFC certification, while VectorWorks Architect does not. Fortunately, the GSA standards are still in the draft stage, so VWA has time to update. These are public observations about the future of CAD, which is fast approaching.

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Take me to St. Louis, Louis... What a load of crap (if you'll excuse my draftingboardside manners.) And then again, just to the point... These are the days of miracle and wonder.

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And what's driving all this baloney about BIM and government standards? Money, and the way the US government is spending it. And with the US Army way over budget (according to the AIA seminar I attended), along with base re-alignments underway, the government is turning to using BIM to save costs on construction. And this will snowball into other things as well - schools, or any other publicly funded project. But it is poor budgeting by the government which is to blame.

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I guess it is up to the immensely unpopular yours truly to let Mr Bob-H to know that in The World, the so-called Americans are a tiny, tiny minority and even in VectorWorks users, just a tiny minority.

The overwhelming majority in either respect could not care less for your political statement. Thank you for your attention and please carry on inspecting your navel-lint.

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I guess it is up to the immensely unpopular yours truly to let Mr Bob-H to know that in The World, the so-called Americans are a tiny, tiny minority and even in VectorWorks users, just a tiny minority.

The overwhelming majority in either respect could not care less for your political statement. Thank you for your attention and please carry on inspecting your navel-lint.

You're right about the minority of VWA in the States, but that is irrelevant, as is the lint. In the matter of government BIM standards, the issue is very relevant throughout the world, including in your native Finland.

This is from Wiki Books:

"In the fields of architecture, enginering and building, some formats (and families of formats) have begun to emerge as contenders for the role of an industry-wide standards. One such format (are there others?) is the Industry Foundation Classes format (IFC) which is now compulsory for state supported building projects in Denmark and many state supported Finnish projects."

Governmental standards for BIM was actually started in Europe, and will inevitably spread throughout the world.

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fair enough but it's still true that govt,tickly here in U.K, has a habit of swooning in front of new IT solutions .. there is definitely at least something in this popular sense of govt luving IT and then, lo and behold, dumping the last solution, in favour of the new one...so the fact that BIM is altogether so important NOW doesn't mean it's big long-term

cancellation: great government word

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I would like to announce that on Monday of this week new IFC import and export plug-ins for VectorWorks Architect got about 70% of the way through level-1 certification at an IAI-ISG meeting in Waltham, Massachussetts. We expect to complete level 1 certification in May.

There will be more announcements on VectorWorks' IFC interface later this month.

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[You're right about the minority of VWA in the States, but that is irrelevant, as is the lint. In the matter of government BIM standards, the issue is very relevant throughout the world, including in your native Finland.

Indeed it is. Finland is a (probably the) leading country in BIM-related matters. Since 1 Jan 2007 all Government sector CAD-work has indeed been required to be done with IFC-compliant software, but no particular progams have been mandated and it won't happen here or anywhere in the EU. That is some 500 million people...

Anyway, for the time being, VW is poison to us.

Edited by Petri

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We expect to complete level 1 certification in May.

It's about time. I can't afford losing more projects.

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