The Open Geospatial Consortium and the buildingSMART alliance have just completed a report regarding the software interoperability issues that are faced in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner operator community. The AECOO Testbed looked at methods to increase efficiency and provide cost savings by more streamlined project processes. Sponsors for the testbed included the architectural firms of HOK, Burt Hill, and Ellerbe Becket; general contractors Webcor and Gilbane; the U.S. General Services Administration and the American Institute of Architects.
The testbed aimed to address the productivity loss and fragmentation in the facilities development industries, and the need for software interoperability to not hold back efforts to improve the process. The testbed looked specifically at three areas of the process: Building Performance and Energy Analysis; Quantity Takeoffs for Cost Estimation and Communications Project Delivery and Decision Support.
Among the interesting findings of the report:
“We found that design-software-to-design-software was the least useful information sharing case to address. In the course of a design project, there is little need to share all aspects of the design between project participants. What is more important is to exchange relevant elements of the design between the lead architecture firm or lead general contractor and subcontractors with specific expertise in areas such as lighting, energy usage, building cost, HVAC, circulation, etc.”
The process began with agreements to standardize business practices, before tackling the need to standardize information sharing between software practices. The use of the methods and processes developed in AECOO-1 were shown to reduce timeframes from weeks to hours.
Download and read the full report here.