ACI Foundation Council slates $100K to match BIM research commitments

Sources: ACI Foundation, Farmington Hills, Mich.; CP staff

The ACI Foundation’s Strategic Development Council (SDC) has committed $100,000 to match donations supporting Phase 3 research to develop Building Information Modeling standards for exchanging digital information on cast-in-place concrete construction. Dubbed Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), the standards are open, international models for exchange of data in BIM and will permit interoperability among current and future software platforms and programs.

SDC has been working with industry partners to accelerate acceptance of BIM in concrete. It compelled the American Concrete Institute’s formation of a technical committee, ACI 131, Building Information Modeling of Concrete Structures, to deliver a global data exchange for BIM in cast-in-place concrete construction. “The effort behind creating industry standards began eight years ago, and the help of the Strategic Development Council has been monumental in moving this technology forward,” affirms Bechtel Principal Civil Engineer and ACI 131 Founding Chair Peter Carrato.

With technical assistance from Georgia Institute of Technology’s Charles Eastman, ACI 131 has completed the first two phases behind IFC development. Phases 1 and 2, producing ACI’s 131.1R-14 Information Delivery Manual for Cast-in-Place Concrete and Model View Definitions report, respectively, have been funded principally through the Charles Pankow Foundation with ACI Foundation and partner support.

“In August of 2015, members of ACI 131, software vendors, concrete-related associations, and contractors met to discuss interoperability standards. The group overwhelmingly believe these standards are needed, and that ACI 131 work will be welcomed by BIM software vendors,” says Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute CEO David McDonald, who is championing SDC’s BIM efforts.

SDC is committed to continuing ACI 131 work and BIM project completion at Georgia Tech under Eastman’s direction, he adds. Council members estimate that Phase 3—translation of the three most beneficial engineering models, Reinforcement Placement Sequence, Structural Design, and Construction Reference Schedule, into exchange software—requires $200,000. Additional information on the next phase and contributions can be obtained from SDC Managing Director Doug Sordyl or ACI Foundation Director Ann Daugherty.