Your project’s team can be on the same page with this free BIM plug-in

by Brianna Crandall — May 10, 2017 — The recently released building information modeling (BIM) tool BIMHawk developed by the U.K.-based Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and NG Bailey is a freely accessible, Web-based system and software plug-in that digitizes and manages the creation of standard parameters for BIM objects.

BIMHawk, launched late last year at the CIBSE Building Performance Conference and Exhibition, just won the BIM Initiative of the Year award at the Heating & Ventilation (H&V) News Awards in London. The award recognizes the tool’s ability to improve productivity by eliminating duplication. It also reduces the time spent applying structured data, allowing existing content to be realigned to the data standard without having to re-define it manually.

The software was developed by Paul Marsland, Design and BIM Development Manager at NG Bailey, and enables authorized users to create or upload Product Data Templates (PDTs) corresponding to real-world products with a full set of industry-recognized parameters ready to be filled in. The model can then be imported directly into BIM platforms without disrupting the rest of the design.

Steve Campbell, technical director at NG Bailey, noted:

Standardizing BIM object information is a relatively “unexciting” aspect of BIM, but it is crucial if the productivity gains targeted in BIM Level 2 and beyond are ever going to be met. I’m so proud of the work that Paul has put into the development of BIMHawk. He saw an industry-wide issue that wasn’t necessarily being addressed and has used his own initiative and knowhow to create a solution that is freely accessible to the industry.

The new plug-in has many potential uses, the primary one being the ability for clients to acquire structured data in a predictable format that is used from start to finish by the design and delivery teams. This removes the need to create new models from scratch for every element of a design, or edit generic or existing models that are not compatible and do not use the same parameters.

Contractors, consultants and commissioning engineers will also be able to use BIMHawk to compare products on a like-for-like basis, making the process of specifying much faster and simpler, and saving the client money.

BIMHawk also uses PDTs created to an extremely high industry consensus standard, requiring three stages of review by chartered engineers and a peer review process, with the parameters specified also being signed off by relevant trade bodies and other stakeholders, says CIBSE. This strengthens the overall BIM adoption process, and greatly increases the supply chain’s ability to work together to the same standard.

 For more information, see the BIMHawk Web site.