Summaries of the Room Leaders at Closing Plenary

The final day began with the closing plenary. Each Room of buildingSMART International presented their conclusions and strategy moving forward.
Jeffrey Ouellette presented the Implementation Support Group (ISG) status report. This includes findings from recent meetings in the US and a core mission statement to be more agile, engaged and prepared for growth. Examples cited ways in which our community have been working together. Jeffrey also announced the launch of the new technical website:

Greg Schleusner presented the vision and roadmap for the Technical Room. This included the need for modernization to the IFC schema by enabling new technologies and the web. There was also a statement for the need for a clear and robust IFC5 strategy and the community can expect news on this soon. Greg also discussed the need for more linked data and a growing need for the IFCDoc tool.

Tiina Perttula presented updates for the Infrastructure Room. This included a clear program review from 2017-2019, such as IFC Alignment 1.1 and the Common Schema project. It was noted that IFC Bridge is now almost at completion and there’s now some urgency to start software certification and deployment. Other areas of focus include collaboration with other groups and projects such as geotechnics and utilities.

Next up, newly awarded fellow, Roger Grant presented the outlook for the Product Room. This included a review of the meetings that have recently taken places and an update on the new steering committee. Roger talked about work done with quantity take-off and further progress with GS1 on the product data templates. Further collaboration with ISO and CEN was helping to develop data templates and object libraries like the bSDD.

Another newly awarded fellow, Tomi Henttinen gave the outlook from the Regulatory Room. This included some structural changes to the steering committee under the leadership of another recently awarded fellow, Nick Nisbet. Tomi mentioned the good work done on automated compliance, e-submissions and application form reports.

Ken Endo delivered an exciting update for the Construction Room. This included a new name relaunch and a strong focus on the need for API’s. Mr Endo mentioned the need to connect to various sources of data and API’s would act as the connecting mechanism to do so. The message was that API’s can connect with partners and end users as a better digital workflow practice.

Alex Worp presented a status report for the Airport Room. This included the detailed roadmap that focuses on the entire lifecycle of an airport and the many connected assets. BIM/GIS integration is another major topic as well as the need for linked data. By linking ontologies together, Alex suggested differing business units could connect their data to improve processes such as lifts or wayfinding. There was also some exciting news that the airport program intends to run a hackathon in the Autumn.

Finally, David Ivey presented the outlook for the Building Room. This included a notification about the new steering committee and a summary of the communications tools used for the room. There was a detailed report on the status of a 3-year roadmap which is currently in progress and a review of ongoing projects like IFC precast.

Next up was a status update from Sarah Merz and Mark Baldwin for the Professional Certification Program. Since its launch in May 2018, this program has been steadily gaining global adoption and engagement. This included launch dates for chapter adoption for the next year:

buildingSMART Switzerland (May 2019)
buildingSMART Spain (June 2019)
buildingSMART Italy (September 2019)
buildingSMART Austria (Autumn 2019)
buildingSMART Russia (December 2019)
buildingSMART Poland (March 2020)
buildingSMART Canada (2020)

The team was able to deliver a status report showing that almost 300 individuals have now been certified with 22 approved providers now on-board with a steadily growing list of willing organisations and people wanting to get involved. For more information, visit:

Thomas Glättli was next up to present updates on the status of the “Use Case Management” tool. This cross-chapter activity aims to develop a system for managing the growing demand for use cases in the standards and solutions provided through buildingSMART. This new “digital service”, developed by the Swiss Chapter follows bSI documentation and CEN standards and comes in multi-lingual forms. The core goals of this tool were highlighted as:

Ensure common language and common understanding of core BIM/VDC applications within the construction and real estate industry
Use cases help clients and contractors to define the relevant BIM goals
Use Cases specify specific information requirements for an application

This web service is now available online at

The next session includes three presentations followed by a Q&A session moderated by Siggi Wernik. Barbara-Maria Loth, Chief Digital Officer of the Knauf Group, Dirk Schaper, Managing Director of ProMaterial and Konrad Werning, Managing Director of ARGE Neue Medien of the HVAC-industry discussed the significance of product data in the construction value chain paying particularly close attending the use of open standards. "Data is also abundant in the construction sector. However, the industry does not yet use them as comprehensively as they could. The end customer, on the other hand, is aware that he lives in a data-driven world and expects that architects, planners and contractors will also bring him real added value with the help of digitalisation," said Barbara-Maria Loth from Knauf. Konrad Werning concluded his presentation by acknowledging the growing need for structuring product data. “Requirements need standardization and become an essential prerequisite of BIM”, said Mr Werning. The audience asked some interesting questions to the presenters, including how new business models can be presented to buildingSMART, like in the case of ProMaterial, and Dirk Schaper carefully answered with his strong commitment to the growth of buildingSMART as a reason for companies to look to support the ongoing progress.

After the lunch break, Winfried Stix and the team for the “IFC Rail” project presented a progress report for the rail project. With many team members on stage and the end in sight, it was clear that huge progress has been made, spanning differing teams from different countries with solid funding to support the work. It was the first time a conceptual model has been publicly presented for this project and the audience applauded when the model was shown. This exciting moment is a culmination of many years of work and a vision to deliver an open standard for the rail industry. buildingSMART Chairman, Patrick MacLeamy commented by saying “this is the most spectacular project we have in buildingSMART today”.