Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BIM building product libraries – just digital stencils or more?

Manufacturers and suppliers of building products have a long history of promoting to designers; Sometimes this is above-board, they provide informative sessions, library manuals, samples etc. Sometimes they are less ethical – promotional lunches, free products for own use, other perks; Rarely but occasionally, downright dodgy.
Do you fault manufacturers and suppliers for their marketing strategies? I do – but not that they are trying to get designers’ attention but on how they are doing it.
Manufacturers and suppliers in construction have a great opportunity but also an obligation to get their hands ‘dirty’ in developing virtual design and documenting tools;
Yes, we have had branded stencils for sanitary ware for yonks. Flatcad served up customised blocks for various brands.
Some are promoting their digital (BIM) libraries now – however I find this initiative far too weak;
What I’d love to see is intelligent digital representation of building objects that will know everything that there was to know about what they represented, from full specification to where they can be used. Comprehensiveness, common sense and clarity of expression combined with smart constraining of elements would be excellent.
Some examples of tools that are heading this way can be seen on this Hungarian website: 

Do you know others that do more than just represent building products virtually?
Tomorrow I’ll show you an IKEA example I have come across.


  1. And more BIM Library solutions in collaboration with Graphisoft CAD Studio(, as VELUX, HÖRMANN, etc...

  2. working in australia..very difficult to get samples you know any companies in Aus/NZ which do it??

  3. Dear Vishal,
    Good, branded digital libraries for design and construction are still hard to find; Manufacturers and suppliers are reactive when it comes to providing smart tools to specifiers.
    There are 2 ways to get them moving:
    Approach them directly (through a rep), explain that, ‘there would be a higher likely hood of their products getting and staying specified if they provided smart tool to the specifyers’;
    Go through companies that bulk-promote construction companies, on line, through showrooms, trade fairs or travelling marketers and explain to them clearly what your needs are;
    Here are a couple of companies that are worth contacting – or at least looking up: