USIBD websiteIt’s been a year since the U.S. Institute of Building Documentation (USIBD) announced its official launch at the SPAR International conference and began accepting members.

Today, it is 70 members strong (both individuals and groups) and expects to recruit many more at this year’s conference in Colorado.

The institute, led by established architect John Russo, was created as a resource for individuals and firms seeking information about BIM and other aspects of 2D and 3D building documentation. Members include stakeholders at every phase of the building documentation lifecycle from owners and operators to architects, surveyors, engineers, scanning providers and contractors.

“Stakeholders all have different needs. We want to bring them together in a common place to help solve problems,” said Russo. “This kind of collaboration will ultimately be better for the industry and produce more comprehensive solutions.”

USIBD launched with three primary initiatives: the development of standards for specific areas of building documentation; certification to help professionals establish credibility in the building documentation field; and the education of those procuring building documentation services to gain a better understanding of what it is they are asking for so they can properly specify their requirements.

To date, the institute continues working to identify standards currently in the industry and create those standards that are missing—like a Level of Accuracy standard and a Heritage standard, both focuses of the USIBD this year.

“If we can adopt and support an existing standard, we want to do that. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” said Russo. “As we begin to identify existing standards, then we can see what standards do not exist.”

The organization is also in the process of identifying the specific elements of its educational program and aims to have a certification program in place within the next three to five years.

“A lot of the industry trends, technologies and terms are familiar to those in our industry, but still foreign to the greater majority,” said Robert Blum, director of business development for Architectural Resource Consultants and a founding member of USIBD. “Many of us are early adopters of these various practices and we are seeing others trying to enter the market without the qualifications to do so. The way we document, manufacture, design and build is changing.”

With the creation of a certification program, the industry will have a way to vet service providers by requesting a USIBD-certified professional.

The USIBD has also formed alliances with several industry leaders including the BIMForum, buildingSMART alliance™ and CyArk and is seeking more partnerships in the coming year.

“This year, we have been focused on getting the organization off the ground, getting members enrolled, and starting to build that excitement,” said Russo. “We are very pleased with the amount of support we’ve been getting and how fast it’s all coming together. It isn’t every day that you have the opportunity to get out in front of something like this and we want all stakeholder groups to participate.”

USIBD will be at SPAR International in booth #219.