What is Open BIM and why is it important?

Building information modeling (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. The resulting building information models support decision-making about a facility from earliest conceptual stages, through design and construction, and its operational life and eventual demolition. This process is supported by various tools and technologies. Building information models are files often but not always in proprietary formats and contain proprietary data that can be extracted, exchanged or networked to support decision-making regarding a built asset. This information are shared either through openBIM or closeBIM format. So, what is openBIM and why is it important, let’s understand.

As the name suggests, OpenBIM is format that allows each and every project member to access the information model without hampering the native design. It is a universal approach to collaborate with design, realize and operate buildings based on open standards like IFC, BCF and others.

Let’s have a look at an example to understand it in a simple way. We write a document and share it with someone. we usually do it in a PDF form. As PDF allows to see the document add comment and suggestions but the original text of it cannot be changed. However, it is not the same with when we share that document in a word format. It is easy to change the original text in that way. Same is with BIM. Here we create a model and then we send it to all project members. If we share it in native file format chances are that anyone can make changes in the original model. But, when the model is shared in OpenBIM format then the data of it is viewable, measurable and usable, and the model content is protected. The original file cannot be altered by any other member. OpneBIM supports transparent, open workflow, allowing project members to participate in it regardless of software tools they use. It is an approach — a philosophy that empowers all industry stakeholders to participate with meaningful, bi-directional workflows, resulting in better buildings

Why is openBIM important?

  • Open BIM supports a transparent, open workflow and allows project members to participate regardless of the software tools they use.
  • Open BIM creates a common language for widely referenced processes, allowing industry and government to procure projects with transparent commercial engagement, comparable service evaluation and assured data quality.
  • Open BIM provides enduring project data for use throughout the asset life–cycle, avoiding multiple input of the same data and consequential errors.
  • Small and large (platform) software vendors can participate and compete on system independent, ‘best of breed’ solutions.
  • Open BIM energizes the online product supply side with more exact user demand searches and delivers the product data directly into the BIM.
  • Best of breed solution Project members can choose to work in best of breed solutions in respective feild anbd solutions.
  • Project memeber can decide about their software upgrades independently from theirt peers in different project.

Why should you use openBIM format

Best in Class, Fit for Purpose

With such a vast array of software products on the market, it is impossible to accept that anyone vendor can produce the best solution to all problems. One open communication protocol means that products can be selected on their capability and not their source.


The software market is under continuous development and vendors are always looking to improve performance, scope and deliverables. In an open market, this will continue unabated as the quest for competitive advantage is the primary goal.


In a major construction project, there are likely to be a significant number of stakeholders using a variety of software tools. It makes absolute business sense that each stakeholder can use their tools of choice providing it can exchange data with others. Only if a particular toolset does not have this communication capability should pressure be bought to change.