Our goal is to have high-quality Revit content easily accessible for design and construction professionals. We believe that our current method of "every firm for themselves" results in massive duplication of effort and waste. Even if each of us complete the massive task of creating every BIM object we need, we will still have inconsistencies that make it difficult to communicate, collaborate and share ideas and talent.
Are we crazy to take on these goals of high quality and easy access? The answer is yes. But, we are NOT satisfied with complaining about what others are doing (or not doing). We are fed up with being passive, dependent, "victims" of others' lack of leadership.
Our chosen method to address the Revit content issue is to create an environment where users and providers of BIM content can share knowledge about what is needed and how to improve the current situation. We are counting on other like-minded Revit users to work together to create a valuable resource for the AEC industry. None of us can do this on our own. We believe we can do this together.
A simple start is to provide feedback to content suppliers on how they are doing. That is why we started to rate over 1,200 Revit content providers. In addition to our own opinions, we are asking for real Revit users who have used the content to provide feedback. In that way each provider will know if and when they need to improve. For more information go to www.bluebryk.com
Our View of BIM Content Suppliers
With the acceptance of BIM as a tool for building design and construction, its use has spread rapidly. There has also been a rapid expansion of BIM content suppliers, although lagging in time and in the ability to meet the needs of project teams with comprehensive, quality offerings. BIM content (Revit family) suppliers can be divided into the following segments:
- Building component manufacturers
- Commercial Consolidators of BIM content
- Community Exchanges of BIM content
- BIM component stores
- BIM content creators and outsourcing firms
Building Product Manufacturers have recognized the importance of providing BIM components. Unfortunately, many have produced poor quality or unusable content because of a lack of knowledge or poor advice received from content builders. BlueBryk helps BIM modelers sort out the good from the bad through BlueBryk Quality Metrics. In addition, BlueBryk provides unbiased BIM Content Guidelines so manufacturers have a basis for specifying or building quality Revit families.
A number of companies are marketing their BIM content creation services to manufacturers. One business model promises to expose the manufacturer to BIM modelers by offering a website that consolidates multiple manufacturer offerings in one place. It is implied that specifiers will visit the consolidators website to satisfy their BIM Component needs. The problem for Revit users is that there are multiple consolidators offering overlapping services while no consolidator has a complete set of components. BlueBryk addresses this confusion by providing one comprehensive listing of building product manufacturers that offer BIM components, whether on their own website on a consolidator's website or on multiple consolidators' websites.
In the face of inadequate BIM content provided by software developers, users of BIM software have banded together in virtual communities to share knowledge and to share BIM components. This effort, while well intended, fails to provide a reliable source of BIM content for several reasons. The community consolidated content depends on individuals and firms to provide Revit families voluntarily and without compensation. Some firms object to sharing content for free, given that they have invested time and money in its creation. Another issue with community consolidated BIM content is the widely variable quality due to the lack of standards and the limited experience of some contributors.
Revit component stores have sprung up to try to meet the need for quality BIM content. Indeed, even BlueBryk's founders have participated in such efforts. While most BIM component stores have been started by expert Revit family builders, the standards used vary from store to store. No store can ever achieve a complete set of components needed by an architect, an engineer, a builder or a building owner. BlueBryk includes Revit component stores in its directory to help the AEC/O industry find qualified builders of BIM components.
BIM content builders vary in size from "lone-wolf" operations to tech start-ups to subsidiaries of large firms. Some of the Revit family builders create the content themselves, while others sub-contract or outsource the labor. From an end-user perspective, this segment suffers from a lack of consistent standards, varying experience, qualifications and capacities. BlueBryk addresses some of these issues with BlueBryk's Quality Metrics for Content Builders.