Individuals and firms looking to gain a deeper insight into BIM and the broader field of building documentation will soon have a new resource. The U.S. Institute of Building Documentation (USIBD), which began forming last year, is in the final stages of its formal launch and will begin accepting members this month.

Led by experienced architect and skilled collaborator John Russo, the organization seeks to further excellence in building documentation by promoting, educating, guiding and supporting stakeholders with an interest in the built environment. “Our vision is to be the leading resource for the building documentation industry,” Russo said. “This includes BIM as well as other aspects of building documentation, both 2D and 3D.”

One of the USIBD’s first initiatives will be to create subcommittees to begin developing standards for specific areas of building documentation, such as quality assurance and historical documentation. The organization also plans to develop a certification to help professionals establish credibility in the building documentation field and to provide assurance that service providers are qualified to perform the requested work.

Another major goal of the USIBD is educational outreach. “We want to help building owners and others who are procuring building documentation services gain a better understanding of what it is they’re asking for so they can properly specify their requirements,” Russo said.

The USIBD has an ambitious agenda. But it also has a strength that few other organizations have tried to harness: a truly collaborative approach. In an era where technology is forcing dramatic changes in workflows and processes, the USIBD seeks to engage all stakeholders, from the owner/operators, architects and engineers to the surveyors, scanning providers and contractors. “In the past, these groups have largely operated in silos with a focus on their own interests,” Russo said. “Connecting with other stakeholder groups allows everyone to come up with better, more comprehensive solutions.”

Both individual and corporate memberships will be available, and the USIBD is also seeking to develop alliances with other organizations to foster a broader understanding of shared issues.

Russo is encouraged by the interest he’s seen so far. “It’s exciting to see how many people are supporting this,” he said. “I get energized from their enthusiasm.”