1. What is bSI’s role in developing open solutions and standards?

  • bSI helps industry visionaries transform the design, delivery and operation of tomorrow’s assets by collaboratively developing open, neutral, international digital data-sharing solutions and standards for the built-asset industry.
  • International openBIM® standards are critical to this transformation, enabling businesses – owners, architects, engineers, contractors and operators – to become global industry leaders, while also mitigating risks, saving time, reducing costs, and significantly increasing innovation.
  • bSI standards enable data to flow easily from designers and constructors to owners and operators which allows more efficient, transparent and collaborative ways of working throughout the entire lifecycle of built assets.
  • bSI works with industry experts to develop and create new standards by following the processes set out in the bSI Process.

2. What are the benefits of open BIM standards from bSI?

  • more transparent, collaborative and open workflows.
  • greater information certainty due to a shared vocabulary of industry terms.
  • more open procurement processes.
  • processes that are inclusive for companies large and small.
  • greater re-use of data and reduction in cost.
  • easier integration with linked data created and shared in related industries.

3. Where can I find bSI’s standards?

  • bSI publishes the standards that it develops on its website. You can access them by visiting our Standards Library webpage.
  • The technical aspects of the standards have their own section on our website and can be accessed by visiting the Technical Services hub webpage.

4. I want to use a bSI standard. What do I need to do?

  • You can access and download the relevant information on a standard that you wish to use from our website.
  • The IFC (International Foundation Classes) schema specification is the primary technical deliverable of buildingSMART International to fulfil its goal to promote openBIM® standards.
  • IFC is a standardized, digital description of the built environment, including buildings and civil infrastructure. It is an open, international standard (ISO 16739-1:2018), designed to be vendor-neutral, or agnostic, and usable across a wide range of hardware devices, software platforms, and interfaces for many different use cases.
  • IFC is updated from time to time – in early 2022 IFC4.3 was released.
  • Both this and other releases are available on our website at the IFC Specifications Database.
  • IFC and other bSI standards and technical documentation are made available for all to use providing you follow our licensing terms.

5. Tell me more about licensing terms for bSI standards and other bSI documents.

  • bSI uses several different licensing terms for our standards and other published documents as described in the copyright notice of each published document and/or the relevant webpage.
  • The two most common licensing terms we use are Creative Commons licenses – CC No Derivatives (CC BY-ND 4.0) and CC Share-Alike (CC BY-SA 4.0).
  • For more information, please refer to our IP Policy including the annex relating to Licensing of IP in bSI Standards.
  • In the case of bSI standards and other published documents that you may choose to use, you must give appropriate credit to bSI, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests bSI endorses you or your use.
  • The credit or attribution to bSI for any bSI documentation that you reproduce, should include the following as a minimum: “© [year] buildingSMART International. All rights reserved. Licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0.” or “© [year] buildingSMART International. All rights reserved. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

6. I’m a software vendor, so how do the licensing terms for bSI standards apply for me?

  • Of course, software vendors own the IP in the software they create and market.
  • So, when software is updated for the latest standards published by bSI (for example the IFC4.3 standards update), the updated software continues to be owned by the software vendor who has developed it.
  • The IP in the standards themselves however will be owned by whoever developed it – in the case of IFC, this is bSI.
  • The technical aspect of this (as described above) is that the standards which bSI has published are made available to software vendors and other parties on licensing terms which both enable the standards to be used whilst protecting their integrity.