Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

openBIM USA Seeing is Believing Workshop 2023

Seeing is Believing - Exploring the Future of openBIM in Infrastructure Projects

Seeing is Believing - Global and Proven Cases

The "Seeing is Believing  - Global and Proven Cases" conference provided a platform for industry leaders and experts to discuss the implementation of openBIM (Building Information Modeling) in infrastructure projects and focused on global and proven case studies that showcased the successful application of openBIM in various projects around the world.

The conference started with an opening session that set the event's vision, scope, and work plan. Renate Fruchter emphasized the importance of new technologies and approaches in developing sustainable built environments. The conference aimed to push the envelope of collaboration, industrialization, and sustainability through the use of openBIM.

One of the highlighted presentations was by Rick Klooster and Dennis Borst, who discussed the integration of openBIM and openGIS (Geographic Information System). They demonstrated how open standards and open APIs can merge geographical data with BIM to perform various analyses at regional and city scales. They also showcased a case study from Estonia, where IFC-based checking was used for a 5-kilometer long bridge model. This case study highlighted the potential of openBIM for asset management and maintenance prediction.

Jiri Hietanen, from SimpleBIM, presented on normalizing infrastructure openBIM. He discussed data exchange challenges and emphasized the importance of detailed models for construction and management purposes.

Steinar Rasmussen and Katrin Johannesdottir presented the Norwegian Infrastructure case, highlighting the transformation from weeks of work to hours through the use of openBIM. They discussed the importance of models over drawings, the need for IFC4.3, and the integration of construction data for machine control.

Katie Bond from ALICE showcased the concept of generative construction in the industry. She demonstrated how AI can be applied to construction project management, enabling risk reduction, optimization, and exploration of "what-if" scenarios. She stressed the importance of a shared source of truth and the role of owners in driving innovation.

Michelangelo Cianciulli discussed the transformation of openBIM to GIS (Geographic Information System) digital twin. He highlighted the dynamic and real-time link between BIM and GIS views, enabling a comprehensive FM (Facility Management) system.

Min Song and Calvin Kam presented proven city-scale IDS (Information Delivery Specification) checker applications. They shared their experience in integrating and analyzing thousands of IFC models for infrastructure projects, resulting in significant time savings and evaluation efficiencies.

Seeing is Believing Workshop – Scoping for USA Cases

The "Seeing is Believing Workshop - Scoping for USA Cases" provided participants with an opportunity to formulate a scope for the first set of Seeing is Believing efforts in the United States. The goal was to define a clear path from concept to realization within a 300-day timeline, igniting discussions and collaborations among industry professionals.

The workshop commenced with an opening session that presented the vision, scope, and work plan of the Seeing is Believing initiative. Participants were introduced to the concept of 30th Global Teamwork, which encompasses the integration of 3D-Space, 4D-Time, and 5D-Multicultural elements in project development.

One of the key presentations at the workshop was delivered by Mark Counts and Aaron Chamberlin from Caltrans, who introduced the Caltrans Asset Lifecycle Management System (CALMS). The purpose of CALMS is to add value by augmenting existing systems and creating new value for Caltrans across various departments, programs, and the broader ecosystem. The presentation highlighted the importance of connecting people, platforms, data, and systems to enhance efficiency and collaboration. Several key partnerships with Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies, software development companies, and consultants/contractors were also emphasized.

The concept of the Digital Geospatial Ecosystem (DGE) was introduced as a way to centralize and standardize data for the creation of a digital twin. The DGE, also referred to as the Caltrans Digital Cathedral, aims to provide a comprehensive 3D visualization platform for improved decision-making and project management. The presentation also emphasized the need to create a culture that attracts talented individuals to fill the 1,000 vacancies at Caltrans, shifting from a push culture to a pull culture.

Joe Brenner from Michael Baker discussed the use of IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) in bridge BIM pilots. He presented examples that showcased the reliability of IFC imports for civil/structural elements, disproving common misconceptions and concerns. The discussion also touched upon the challenges associated with native format imports and the importance of communicating issues to software developers for improvements.

Marc Goldman from Esri highlighted how GIS (Geographic Information System) amplifies the value of BIM. He discussed the connection between GIS, openBIM, and the Internet of Things (IoT), emphasizing the relevance and increasing adoption of technology in the industry. The presentation showcased the use of CityGML and the integration of GIS with BIM for enhanced project outcomes.

Junwen Zheng from Stanford CIFE presented the BIM-GPT framework, a prompt-based virtual assistant for BIM information retrieval. The framework enables users to ask questions in natural language and retrieve relevant BIM data. The potential applications of this framework were discussed, including its potential value for design, construction, and legal professionals.

Another interesting presentation was delivered by Jinpu Cao from Stanford CIFE, who showcased video-based patch-level pavement distress detection. The automated system utilizes video recordings taken while driving to detect pavement distress and generate reports. The presentation highlighted the advantages of video-based detection compared to manual and image-based approaches, showcasing the potential for improved efficiency and accuracy in detecting pavement anomalies.

The workshop provided a platform for industry professionals to come together and explore the potential of various technologies and approaches in the infrastructure sector.

Please find more details: