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FIATECH and Integrated BIM

  1. FIATECH is a very important AEC industry organization.
  2. One of their primary areas of interest is integrating BIM into work processes and business models.
  3. I would like to see FIATECH broaden its base of membership as they have created an important foundation.

A fellow member of the ASTM E57 3D Imaging committee, Tad Fry also belongs to FIATECH. He has seen this organization help to develop the ISO 15926 standard in a fairly rapid time frame.This is a data integration standard for lifecycle data management of process plants. He also shared with me last week that he thinks people and companies have an obligation to support the efforts to create standards – I agree.

On paper FIATECH has the potential to be the consortium of industries and companies that the AEC marketplace sorely needs. Many of the key consulting engineering firms and industrial plant owners are represented, but unfortunately there are a number of important players and industries that are not there.

The organization has its roots in the late 1990’s with a group at the University of Texas at Austin, NIST and something called the Owner Operator Forum. The name comes from FIAPP – Fully Integrated and Automated Project Processes, which when applied to the construction industry was not producing the kind of productivity gains that were being seen in other industries. A large part of the reason for that the founders noted was a lack of common standards and protocols for data sharing.

A review of the website reveals an impressive amount of activity and effort being invested. One of the primary focus areas is BIM – Building Information Modeling. There are a number of reports and webinar videos including The Effects of Integrated BIM in the Processes and Business Models by Dr. Arto Kiviniemi that contains a wealth of practical information.

Unfortunately for individuals the cost of membership is prohibitive at $10,000. I had not heard of FIATECH until Tad introduced them to me a few years ago, and I do not see them in the press, which is a shame because they are working on a number of critical integration issues. Perhaps over time the organization can be encouraged to broaden its reach, as they have made great strides in getting to this point.

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