impressions of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit

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Video: Summary of Implementation Support Group by JeffreY W. Ouellette

Summary of the Implementation Support Group (ISG) at Closing Plenary of buildingSMART International Standards Summit #bSIDUS19 on March 28, 2019 in Dusseldorf - Presentation by Jeffrey W. Ouellette, Leader of the Implementation Support Group.


Video: Summary of Technical Room by Greg Schleusner

Summary of the Technical Room at Closing Plenary of buildingSMART International Standards Summit #bSIDUS19 on March 28, 2019 in Dusseldorf - Presentation by Greg Schleusner from HOK, co-leader of Technical Room.


Video: Summary of Infra Room by Tiina Perttula

Summary of the Infra Room at Closing Plenary of buildingSMART International Standards Summit #bSIDUS19 on March 28, 2019 in Dusseldorf - Presentation by Tiina Perttula from Ramboll Finland, chairwoman of Infra Room.


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”.


Video: First Impressions from #bSIDUS19

Impressions from the buildingSMART International Standards Summit and the 17th buildingSMART User Day from 25th to 29th March 2019 in Dusseldorf.


Very successfull buildingsmart international standards summit

With more than 1000 participants and intense working in more than 50 single working groups, the buildingSMART International Standards Summit in Dusseldorf was one of the most successful International Standards Summits ever. Room Leaders reported to the Closing Plenary about the current projects and developments, among them IFC for Rail and the Professional Certification Programme that are already extremely well developped.  Participants came from more than 30 countries to Dusseldorf where they found excellent working conditions and possibilities to make partially substantial progress in developing open standards for the digitisation of planning, construction and operation of buildings.

A thoroughly positive conclusion was drawn by both the responsible persons and the participants of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit, which took place from 25 to 28 March 2019 in Düsseldorf. In more than 50 working groups, experts from more than 30 countries worked on open standards for the digital design, construction and operation of buildings. One focus of this buildingSMART Summit was the work on open standards for railway infrastructure projects. In addition, important impulses for strategically important projects were set. These included the integration of geoinformation systems in BIM, as well as the basics for the Digital Gemini and Common Data Environments.

More than 1000 participants from more than 30 countries attended the buildingSMART International Standards Summit in Düsseldorf from March 25 to 28, 2019, which was the largest summit in the more than 20 year history of buildingSMART. This made the Summit, which was followed by the 17th buildingSMART User Day with a further 500 participants, the largest conference on the digitisation of the construction and real estate industry in Germany.

The heart of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit is the work on open and manufacturer-neutral standards for digital planning, construction and operation - experts, users and users from all areas of the construction and real estate industry and the software industry worldwide participate in these through buildingSMART. This work is organized in so-called "Rooms", of which there are two main categories: the Technical Focus Rooms and the User Focus Rooms. These rooms, in turn, are subdivided thematically. For example, there is a separate room for the railway infrastructure sector, which is divided into various topic-related working groups. In these rooms, experts from all over the world work together on a voluntary basis to develop open standards and interfaces for digital planning, construction and operation and to establish them worldwide. Typically, the work is done through video and telephone conferencing, cloud applications, and other digital tools. Twice a year, the community meets at the buildingSMART Standards Summit. Richard Petrie, CEO of buildingSMART International, sums up this approach as follows: "Only if we regularly exchange our experiences with digital work and planning methods in practice will we achieve faster, cheaper and better results. I am therefore pleased that more and more users around the world are working and discussing with buildingSMART".

More than 1000 participants came together in Düsseldorf to work together on the buildingSMART standards on four intensive days and to use the opportunities of the personal meeting to exchange ideas and discuss the current development of BIM and other digital methods and techniques for digital design, construction and operation.

Federal government expects open standards for digitisation

At the end of the Summit, Lothar Fehn Krestas, Head of the Construction Division at the Federal Ministry of the Interior for Construction and Home Affairs, stressed the importance the German government attaches to open standards for digital design, construction and operation. He described buildingSMART as a "strong partner at our side". The federal government is actively working on several strands to increase the use of digital methods and techniques for federal buildings.

On the closing day of the buildingSMART Summit, the heads of the various rooms presented the results of their work and gave an outlook on further developments. The work in the area of IFC for Rail, which was driven forward with a high level of commitment and dedication, was regarded as particularly outstanding. The work on the Professional Certification Program of buildingSMART, the standard for continuing vocational education and training in BIM, was also regarded as particularly successful. In Germany, the first module of this globally standardized advanced training program was developed jointly with the VDI and very successfully placed on the market. BuildingSMART Deutschland already lists 22 continuing education and training providers and offers corresponding BIM courses. Sarah Merz from the Certification Division at buildingSMART reports that the demand for this qualification offer is enormous: "The courses are fully booked. This year the Professional Certification Program of buildingSMART will start in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Austria and Russia. Poland and Canada will follow next year. Thus, buildingSMART has also developed and established a worldwide standard in this important area of digitisation.

Building owners rely on digitisation

Barbara-Maria Loth, Chief Digital Officer of the Knauf Group, Dirk Schaper, Managing Director of ProMaterial and Konrad Wernning, Managing Director of ARGE Neue Medien of the HVAC-industry discussed the significance of product data in the construction value chain on the closing day of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit. "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. During the buildingSMART Summit, a separate roundtable was dedicated to the subject of product data. buildingSMART already has a solution for this important area in the form of the buildingSMART Data Dictionary, which is being developed further with high priority.

GIS-BIM Integration, Common Data Environment, Digital Twin

Other top topics initiated at the buildingSMART International Standards Summit are the integration of GIS into BIM, i.e. the integration of data from geoinformation systems into digital planning, construction and operating models of buildings, as well as the development of fundamentals for common date environments and the digital twin. At the next buildingSMART International Standards Summit at the end of October in Beijing, concrete steps will be presented and initiated.



In January, the first further training course based on the Professional Certification Programme took place. Sarah Merz and Timo Kretschmer, who were involved in the development of the program for buildingSMART Germany, explain why a common educational standard is the basis for change in the planning culture.

In January the first course of the buildingSMART Professional Certification Program started. Since then, almost 300 certificates have been issued. What is the program about?

Merz: The aim is to disseminate uniform terminology and a common language in which we talk about the facts and processes involved in BIM projects.

Why is that important?

Merz: There are many specialists in the construction industry who provide a wide range of services. If they want to work together efficiently and successfully, they need a common terminology.

This means that the programme makes a contribution to changing the planning culture in BIM projects?

Kretschmer: That's it. Without this change, we will not be able to improve the quality of planning and construction in projects. Until now, we have often worked through individual tasks one after the other instead of working together right from the start. This cooperation requires a basic knowledge shared by all participants as well as the ability to use tools in such a way that the right information flows at the right time during data communication.

Merz: And the awareness of why another project participant acts, how he acts and what he needs from me to be able to perform. Only this enables an efficient and productive cooperation.

How is the programme accepted?

Merz: In Germany, we have now listed 22 training providers that meet the quality requirements of the program, including a chamber of engineers and several universities.

Why do universities also participate?

Kretschmer: Because the demand of students for this educational offer is very high. They know that they can get even better off into the world of work if they can prove their BIM knowledge with a certificate. We also receive enquiries from our alumni as to whether they can subsequently receive further training and certification from us.

About the interview partners:
Sarah Merz and Timo Kretschmer represent the German chapter in the working group "Professional Certification" of buildingSMART International, which has developed the Professional Certification program. Representatives from eight different national chapters of buildingSMART International are involved. Merz is full-time Head of Academy at the training provider EDUBIM, Kretschmer teaches full-time BIM at the University for technology, economy and culture in Leipzig.


International Side Program "BIM at its best"

What is possible with open standards was demonstrated during the buildingSMART International Standards Summit in Düsseldorf by the speakers of the almost 20 lectures of the supporting programme "BIM at its Best".

Whether in an architectural office with seven employees or in major international projects - efficient cooperation in the construction industry only works with open standards and manufacturer-neutral interfaces. This was demonstrated at the buildingSMART International Standards Summit by the speakers of the almost 20 lectures of the supporting program "BIM at its Best". Last year's winner of the buildingSMART International Award in the category "Operations and Maintenance", Ernesto Minucci, spoke about the importance openBIM plays in the operation and maintenance of Naples's main railway station. Bjørnar Markussen, BIM coordinator of Aas-Jakobsen, explained why the Norwegian consulting firm was only able to implement the "T2" construction project at Oslo Airport with open standards in such a way that it won the buildingSMART International Award in the "Design" category in 2018.

Open-BIM supports small businesses
Caspar Richter of Richter Architekten and Thomas Klug, Managing Director of Haushochdrei, showed that open standards also help small architecture and planning offices to submit resilient offers to their clients in the shortest possible time and to react flexibly when the wishes of the client change. Szabolcs Kari, Senior BIM Consultant at Graphisoft, explained how openBIM is introduced in an architectural office.



Without product data, the construction industry cannot digitize itself. What this data must look like was the topic of the panel discussion on the closing day.
Standardized, high-quality product data is the foundation on which the construction industry is building digitization. Barbara-Maria Loth, Chief Digital Officer at the building materials manufacturer Knauf Group, Dirk Schaper, Managing Director of ProMaterial and Konrad Werning, Managing Director of ARGE Neue Medien, debated a merger of manufacturers of sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology in the panel discussion on the closing day.

Without product data in high quality it does not go any more

After decades of escaping digitization, the construction industry is now under enormous pressure to digitize its processes due to the lack of skilled workers, increasing urbanization and the need to work in a resource-conserving manner, explained Barbara-Maria Loth in her opening presentation. In order to successfully implement this change, the industry needs standardized product data. "This can only be delivered completely and in high quality by holistic data management," says Loth.

Supply chains on the construction site just in timemanage

Dirk Schaper of ProMaterial explained the importance of open data standards. Only with them could all conceivable building materials be ordered online from any possible manufacturer and orders imported directly into the suppliers' ERP systems. "If we succeed, we can also manage the supply chains just in time on construction sites," Schaper added. Konrad Werning from ARGE Neue Medien reported on the experiences that the sanitary, heating and air-conditioning industry has had for 30 years with the creation and use of product data.

Open data standards offer competitive advantages

The discussion that followed the keynote speeches focused, among other things, on how to convince building materials wholesalers to use standardized product data and manufacturer-neutral standards. The answer is obvious, explained ProMaterial boss Schaper: "They offer a huge competitive advantage. In the past, wholesalers tried to differentiate themselves from their competitors by maintaining high quality product data. That is no longer enough today. Today, they differentiate themselves by offering data in open formats." This is the only way that users from construction practice can use them.



In his speech at the buildingSMART International Standards Summit, Lothar Fehn Krestas, Head of subdivision BW I - building and construction industry of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Community, called for open and manufacturer-neutral standards as well as the introduction of digital building permits in Germany.
"Digitization in the construction industry is unnecessary! Unless it brings added value," explained Lothar Fehn Krestas, head of the construction department at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs, at the beginning of his speech on the closing day of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit. But in order to be able to create real benefits, all those involved in a construction project must " work together cooperatively ".

Culture of mistrust slows down productivity

Cooperative? Yes, said Fehn Krestas, because today countless planners and contractors work on one construction site, but not together, but side by side. "There is a culture of mutual distrust," says Fehn Krestas. As long as the industry accepts this, its efficiency would remain in the basement. "The juxtaposition must be transformed into cooperation," demanded the studied architect. "Only then will digitization bear fruit," he said. For the federal government and its authorities, this means less cost savings in construction projects. "We want to use digital methods to create more value, improve the quality of planning, reduce the number of disruptions in the course of the project and optimize building operations," explained Fehn Krestas.

Collaboration only works with open standards

"We can only achieve this with open and manufacturer-neutral standards," says the professional. This is the only way to replace software tools and use the latest and best programs. It is only with this openness that the necessary interdisciplinary cooperation in construction is possible. "Digitalization must not under any circumstances lead to market access being restricted," demanded Fehn Krestas. This is the unanimous position of the Federal Government and the Länder.

Exact definition of criteria for cooperation at openBIM

As a contracting authority, the public sector is also aware that it must define more precisely in tenders how it wishes the architects, planners and contractors it commissions to work together. It was equally clear that the digital building permit would have to be issued. Although these could only be introduced by the federal states, the federal government could give them the decisive impetus to do so.



buildingSMART International offers the construction industry a platform on which users can develop the manufacturer-neutral standards they need for their work.
More than 1000 participants are currently working on new standards at the buildingSMART International Summit. The work is arranged according to topics such as construction, infrastructure, airports or railway construction. The topics at buildingSMART International are called "Room".

For example, the Infrastructure Room is responsible for developing principles according to which processes in the planning, construction and operation of bridges or roads can be standardized. The "Product Room" develops templates, tools and processes that make working with data easier and more efficient according to the openBIM approach. During the summit, the chairpersons of the respective "rooms" organize and lead the meetings of the working groups that are active in the corresponding topic area."In this way, construction practitioners themselves develop the open, manufacturer-neutral standards that planning and modeling software must meet to facilitate the work of architects, planners, and engineers," said Richard Kelly, chief operating officer of buildingSMART International.

The association involves the software manufacturers in the work process at an early stage. It also works closely with the committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In order to continuously adapt standards to the changes in the construction industry, the responsible "rooms" regularly review and optimize the standards.

Further information about the working methods of buildingSMART International can be found here.


NRW is committed TO BIM

The construction industry will only really profit from digitization if the interfaces of software products are vendor-neutral and open, underlined Ina Scharrenbach, Construction Minister of North Rhine Westphalia in her speech at the Welcome Dinner of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit on Monday, 25 March 2019 in Dusseldorf.
In her speech at the Welcome Dinner of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit in Düsseldorf's Rheinterrasse, Ina Scharrenbach, Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) for Community, Local Government, Building and Equal Opportunities, explained that there must be no monopoly position for building software products in Germany. The loss-free transfer of data from one provider's program to that of another is only possible with a vendor-neutral standardization of interfaces and thus a continuous, digital process from demand planning to building operation. Only if this is guaranteed, however, could all those involved in the life of a building reap the rewards of digitization, according to Scharrenbach.

NRW supports buildingSMART 
For the Minister, it is therefore also clear that the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia will do everything it can to support the work of buildingSMART and ensure that OpenBIM prevails in the construction industry.

NRW entirely focusses on BIM as from 2020
Scharrenbach also pointed out that CDU and FDP as government parties in NRW had committed themselves in their coalition agreement to making the state on the Rhine a pioneer in building information modeling in Germany. Starting next year, the minister wants to demand BIM for all building and road construction projects in the state. NRW is building every year for a good two billion euros.In her speech, however, the Minister also complained that she was legally forced to award planning and execution separately for public construction contracts. The fee structure for architects and engineers as well as the influence of the European Union on public procurement procedures would also slow down the development of BIM.



In the second panel discussion of the opening day, representatives of Autodesk, Nemetschek and Trimble promised to support the establishment and dissemination of an open data standard. 
Uwe Wassermann, Director of AEC, Business Development worldwide at Autodesk, Viktor Várkonyi, CEO of Graphisoft and member of the Nemetschek Group Board of Directors, and Richard Fletcher, Managing Director at Trimble, addressed the question of how suppliers of planning and modeling software see the need for open standards for data exchange in front of an extremely interested audience. "Only with open standards like IFC can we deepen our collaboration and make it as efficient as we need it to become more productive," said Autodesk Director Wassermann in his presentation at the beginning of the discussion.
That's why planners and architects need tools that allow them to seamlessly access the data they share with others involved in a project from within their well-established workflows."Only if they work on a common data platform can the site worker, the planner and the architect deliver the expected results in the required quality on time," confirmed Richard Fletcher of Trimble. For Viktor Várkonyi it was clear: "buildingSMART is predestined to enforce this openness in the BIM process. He promised that Nemetschek would support buildingSMART in disseminating a common data standard.However, according to Wassermann, the construction industry should also be prepared to further develop standards as agilely as Autodesk, Nemetschek or Trimble do their planning and modeling software. After all, the industry is not prepared to work with software that is ten years old.



For building owners, digitization on site pays off immediately. However, the political framework conditions must be right and not only planners, engineers and architects, but also the executing trades must follow the path into the digital future.
Professor Christian Glock, from Kaiserslautern Technical University, Martin Müller, Vice President of the Federal Chamber of Architects (BAK) and René Hagemann-Miksits, Head of the Technology and Technology Policy Division at the Federation of the German Construction Industry (HDB), moderated by Professor Rasso Steinmann, Chairman of the Management Board of buildingSMART Germany, addressed the question of what wishes and expectations building owners have of the digital planning and construction of buildings. After all, the digitization of buildings directly opens up enormous savings potential for them. After all, digital planning and construction methods make it possible to complete buildings without exceeding the time and cost schedule.

Building Information Modeling - Game Changer in the Construction Industry
"BIM is the game changer that turns building an analog craft into a digitized, industrial process," explained Professor Glock in his introductory keynote lecture. However, the industry needs to rethink its approach in order to realize the potential of the method. "The emergence of this mindset is the real problem with the introduction of BIM, not the installation of new hardware and software," says Glock. But the change is taking place, reassured the professor of solid construction. The founding of hundreds of start-ups in recent years is proof of this. They offer new services for the construction industry with the help of digitalization.

Building is a team sport
Martin Müller from the BAK also pointed out that the industry had to find a uniform language in order to talk about digital planning and construction processes. "This is the only way we can take the many small craft businesses involved in construction into the digital future," explained Müller. It would not be possible without these companies. "Because building is a team sport," Müller is convinced.

Politicians have a duty
René Hagemann-Miksits of the HDB also took the politicians to task. "Only if we standardise the regulations in the state building regulations nationwide can we meet the expectations of the building owners", the expert demands. The regulatory thicket will be easier to lighten the faster taxpayers recognize that the public sector can build on time and at the same time more cheaply with the help of digitization.



As part of the Welcome Dinner on the evening of the opening day, buildingSMART International presented nine members with a Fellowship Award for their commitment to the association's cause. We congratulate all new Fellows.
During the Welcome Dinner on the opening day of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit, the association presented nine members with a buildingSMART Fellowship Award for their voluntary work and sustainable contribution to the work of buildingSMART International.

The award went to them:

Christophe Castaing, France. He is the initiator of the "Railway Room" of buildingSMART International

Birgitta Foster, USA, for her work in a variety of committees and rooms of buildingSMART International

Roger Grant, USA, Chairman of the Product Room of buildingSMART International

Tomi Henttinen, Finland, Chairman of buildingSMART Nordics

Susan Keenliside, Canada, founding member of buildingSMART Canada

Inhan Kim, South Korea. He is a member of the board of buildingSMART International

Nick Nisbet, Great Britain, founder of buildingSMART Nordic/Finland and technical coordinator of buildingSMART UK & Ireland

Øivind Rooth, Norway, Founder of the Regulatory Room of buildingSMART International

Jøns Sjøgren, Norway, the long-time chairman of buildingSMART Norway

buildingSMART International honours with a Fellowship members who have made important contributions to the technical work of buildingSMART on an international level or in at least two national chapters and who have advanced the association's concerns in an outstanding manner.

We congratulate all new Fellows.


Summary Of the Opening Day 

What about the digitalization of the construction industry? This question was answered on the first day of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit by the speakers of four keynote speeches and the panels of two panel discussions.
Those who openly face digitalization in the construction industry need courage, enthusiasm and foresight. With these words, Ina Scharrenbach, Minister for Community, Local Government, Construction and Equal Opportunities, opened her speech at the Welcome Dinner of the buildingSMART International Standards Summit in Düsseldorf's Rheinterasse on Monday.More than 1000 participants from all over the world discuss in seven thematic "Rooms" and more than 60 working group meetings within the framework of the industry meeting until Thursday the challenges digitalization confronts architects, civil engineers and planners every day and the potential of digital planning and construction methods in the industry. On Friday, the event week will end with the User Day of buildingSMART Germany.

Recipe for success: Open exchange
On the first day of the Summit, four keynote speeches and two panel discussions focused on how the industry can increase its productivity through digitization and what framework conditions it needs to achieve this. "The productivity gap between the construction industry and other industries is dramatic," said Richard Petry, CEO of buildingSMART International, in his opening speech at the conference. How quickly the industry can catch up depends, he said, on how openly all those involved in construction, share their practical experience of digital building design and construction.In his response to Petry's speech, Professor Rasso Steinmann, CEO of buildingSMART Germany, emphasized how intensively the twelve regional and 24 working groups of the German buildingSMART-Chapter maintain this exchange.

Lack of qualified staff and public procurement law slow down digitization in the construction industry
In his keynote speech, Carsten Lotz, partner and expert for investments in new technologies at the consulting company McKinsey, showed why it is worthwhile for construction companies to digitize their workflows. "However," Lotz said, "the necessary investments in small and medium-sized businesses often fail because of a lack of financial resources to invest in technologies that take a long time to pay off in the early stages of projects".The subsequent, very dynamic debate also focused on the fact that investment is failing because of public procurement law in the EU and because firms lack the skills they need to drive digitization forward.

Architects, planners and civil engineers need a common language
In the first panel discussion of the day, Professor Christian Glock from the University of Kaiserslautern, Martin Müller, Vice President of the Federal Chamber of Architects (BAK) and René Hagemann-Miksits, Head of the Technology and Technology Policy Division at the Federation of German Construction Industries (Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie), moderated by Rasso Steinmann, dealt with the requirements that clients place on digital planning. After an active exchange, it was clear to the group that if they wanted to turn their customers' wishes into reality, architects, engineers and planners would have to communicate with each other openly and in a common language shared by all.

Digital twins deliver added value in all phases of the building life cycle
In the second and third keynote lectures, Peter Löffler, Vice President Innovation and Industry Affairs at Siemens Building Technologies, and Mark Enzer, Chief Technical Officer of Mott MacDonald, a consulting firm, worked out how the smart linking of information makes digital twins a planning, construction and management tool that offers real added value in all phases of a building's life cycle.Mark Enzer also presented the UK Department of Works' plan, launched in 2018, to map the UK's entire infrastructure into a National Digital Twin. "Our goal is an ecosystem of digital twins in which we can store information about our infrastructure in such a way that we can make better decisions to improve the economic and environmental performance of the buildings," said Enzer, explaining the British's ambitious plans.

Open standards from a software provider perspective
The second panel discussion of the day was also held under the heading of "openness". Uwe Wassermann, Director AEC, Business Development worldwide at Autodesk, Viktor Várkonyi, member of the board of the Nemetschek Group, and Richard Fletcher, Managing Director at Trimble answered the question of how BIM software providers see the need for open standards. A keynote lecture on the future of cloud computing by Andy Verone, Global Vice President Industry Strategy and Innovation at Oracle, as well as a lecture on the working methods of buildingSMART International by Richard Kelly, Chief Operating Officer of the international governing body, rounded off the plenary session. However, the highlight of the day was Minister Ina Scharrenbach's speech in the festive atmosphere of the "Rheinterrasse" and the presentation of the buildingSMART Fellow Awards following the dinner.