Home » Chimni and xbim win Innovate UK grant to ‘re-imagine’ BIM in housing

Chimni and xbim win Innovate UK grant to ‘re-imagine’ BIM in housing

by Liam Turner
A digital house

Property Logbook company Chimni and Open BIM specialist xbim have been awarded an Innovate UK grant to ‘re-imagine’ BIM use in the housebuilding industry.

The Re-Imagining BIM (RiBIM) project was prompted by concerns about the low take-up of BIM in housebuilding, and will examine how to link the data and intelligence created within BIM during design and construction to the emerging generation of property logbooks.

It will also look at ways to turn the construction data created during housebuilding into useful homeowner info and services.  

According to the partnership, the project will “attack” the presumption that there is no use for BIM data in housing after construction.

Chimni managing director Nigel Walley said: “Our project makes the case that the homeowner should be viewed as a ‘Facilities Manager’ and could use the data if made available to them in consumer friendly ways.”

The project intends to subvert the normal process of BIM model creation and start with consumer research into the homeowner.

Walley continued: “We will look at activity around DIY, maintenance, operation and upkeep of a range of property types and examine where this can be supported with better data from construction or refit.”

The project will create a series of user cases with accompanying data models that can be incorporated into an Asset Information Model.

It will also look at the apps and services being used by homeowners and test the project assumption that property ‘logbooks’ or ‘passports’ provide a way to deliver construction and product data to homeowners in a meaningful and usable format.

Andy Ward of xBIM said: “Creating a homeowner-friendly way to expand the uses of BIM data has to benefit the whole of the new- build and retrofit housing industries.

“Linking BIM data to consumer friendly web apps like property logbooks means we can expand the potential of the OpenBIM approach and dramatically increase the ways in which BIM data can be shared amongst users.”

The project output will be a series of case studies, with supporting data models and software examples, plus recommendations for data creation in new build and retrofit housing.

Background: Chimni and xBIM

Chimni is one of the small number of digital Property Logbook companies that has emerged in the UK in the last three years with the aim of changing the face of residential property management.

The company was formed from digital innovation lab Decipher.

xBIM are specialists in the technologies behind open and interoperable forms of BIM.

Their corporate philosophy is to “liberate building (BIM) data so it can be used by all users”.

The project will use the xBIM Flex product to host the Information Models planned for the second stage of the project.

Image: Khakimullin Aleksandr/Shutterstock 

Read next: Skanska backs development of new BIM-linked robot

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