The funding is flowing for infrastructure repair and renovation as the Congress releases and the various executive agencies distribute the money allocated in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Picking the priorities and sorting out the bids will take time and effort on the part of states and localities; getting ready to perform will be the task of the bidding contractors.
Few companies are staffed and equipped to handle the complete project when it comes to massive infrastructure jobs. Subcontractors and suppliers will need to be in the loop from the start to assure pricing and availabilities. But communicating with all the various entities necessary for an infrastructure project is a daunting challenge. Unless all the companies are on the same software, the same applications, and even the same cloud, interoperability may slow down the progress.
Infotech, a provider of infrastructure construction software solutions, believes that the answer lies in the buildingSMART project to support the advancement of digital project delivery and open data standards for civil infrastructure. An international authority for the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) standard, which is an open standard for interoperable file transfers through different software platforms for design, construction and fabrication.
At its core, buildingSMART enables the entire built asset industry to improve the sharing of information throughout the lifecycle of a project or asset. By breaking down the silos of information, end users can better collaborate and cooperate regardless of which software application they are using. buildingSMART’s technical core is based around IFC which was ISO certified in 2013.
IFC is a standardized, digital description of the built asset industry. It is an open, international standard (ISO 16739-1:2018) and promotes vendor-neutral, or agnostic, and usable capabilities across a wide range of hardware devices, software platforms, and interfaces for many different use cases.
In 2021, the AASHTO (American Assn. of State Highway and Transportation Officials) officially endorsed the use of IFC file formats as the standard data schema. This support and adoption by AASHTO created an opportunity for major progress toward interoperability and the data exchange standard for BIM (building information modeling) across state transportation agencies.
As the official contractor for AASHTOW are Project, and as a new member of buildingSMART USA, Infotech will focus on supporting the foundational needs for the industry to fully adopt open data standards at both the state and local levels. Infotech is taking steps to incorporate openBIM in its owned products and is currently developing an agnostic BIM Viewer with IFC in the Bid Express service at Bidx.com, which is the most widely adopted online bidding software for Depts. of Transportation, used by 44 state agencies.
Still in the research and development phase, Infotech is developing an option to incorporate an IFC file with a solicitation to incorporate a 3D model as the legal document in Bidx.com. Once finalized, Infotech will pilot this with a champion agency to gather feedback from an agency and contractors.
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