EXTON, PA.—The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and Bentley Systems, Inc., collaborated on development of The Building Information Modeling (BIM) Guide Series 02—Spatial Validation Program. The guide helps designers developing final concept designs for GSA’s Public Buildings Services (PBS) meet GSA’s spatial program BIM minimum requirements. Requirements include submission of a BIM Industry Foundation Class (IFC) model as defined by the buildingSMART organization of the National Institute of Building Sciences.

GSA takes a vendor-neutral position on the use of BIM for spatial program submissions for PBS and does not require or advocate the use of any specific BIM application. Its only requirement for spatial validation is the delivery of a compliant IFC model such as that delivered by Bentley Architecture.

During development of the new GSA BIM guide, Bentley and Heery International’s architecture and engineering team implemented a project for GSA. "Thanks to this process, we can easily incorporate BIM as part of our workflow," said Gordon Smith, Heery International vice president, director of architecture. "We’ve found significant efficiencies in engineering, section coordination, and discipline coordination."

Brad Workman, Bentley vice president, Global Building and Plant Solutions, said, "The success of Bentley’s solutions on this project substantiated that, as an interoperable BIM exchange strategy, IFC is directly applicable to GSA’s requirements today. The project provided an important set of guidelines that will help AEC firms in their efforts to secure new business from the federal government, and will support GSA’s use of BIM to more efficiently and accurately assess design performance."

GSA, which owns more than 350 million square feet of space, believes that validating architecture and engineering designs at concept design is a big step toward better space management. It began validating spatial programs using BIM in fiscal year 2007. In the past, GSA validated spatial programs using manually created 2-D polygons in plan drawings during early design stages. But this proved to be time consuming and led to discrepancies when GSA’s spatial data management team measured and reported on the actual building spaces for rent calculations.

By using BIM, GSA can automate the spatial validation process to ensure that all designs in the final concept phase adhere to the spatial requirements established by the housing plan and PBS business assignment guide. GSA will also use this analysis to benchmark performance and generate measurement reports based on equivalent space types and building type.

During the development of the new GSA BIM guide, Bentley successfully completed the spatial validation program detailed in the guide by ensuring that Bentley Architecture design models managed the required data and produced a compliant IFC model.

For information about GSA’s National 3D-4D-BIM Program, go to www.gsa.gov/bim.