Following yesterday’s press conference on building performance reporting, the AIA released another modeling-related statement today. A lack of interoperability among building information modeling software has led to more and more headaches for design firms as it becomes more widely used. In an emphatic—if not programmatic—announcement (posted below), the AIA is calling for open standards to help bridge rifts created by incompatible platforms. But will competing software manufacturers embrace changes that could cause them to lose market share? Tell us what you think in the comments.


Miami – June 11, 2009 – According to the 2009 Business of Architecture, a survey of firm characteristics published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the share of firms that have obtained Building Information Modeling (BIM) software has doubled in period from 2006-2009 and is up to 34 percent of all architecture firms, representing about 50% of AIA architects.   Due to challenges associated with the use of BIM with different operating standards among design teams that results in productivity loss, the AIA is calling for the ongoing development of open standards for design software.  The software must support non-proprietary open standards for auditable information exchange and allow for confident information exchanges across applications and time.


“The proprietary and conflicting nature of various software packages results in enormous waste and ineffectiveness, with approximately $16 billion in annual losses for the design and construction industries,” said Kevin Connolly, AIA, board member and champion of AIA’s interoperability efforts.  “This is due to a lack of accurate and effective information exchange, and the AIA is taking a leadership role in seeking a solution to this costly problem.”


The lack of software interoperability results in:


  • Increased expense to practitioners and owners in training and re-training in multiple formats
  • Increased waste in time, materials, energy and money in completing projects
  • Decreased productivity as data re-entry, document versioning and checking and other workflow problems increase
  • Collaborative delivery models such as Integrated Project Delivery will not deliver the benefits that the profession anticipates



Click here for full AIA position statement.