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Graphisoft Solution Partner Onuma Wins Two AIA Awards with Web-enabled "BIM Portals"

"...making a meaningful BIM model can be as easy making reservations for a plane ticket, hotel, rental car and dinner on"

Kimon Onuma
Onuma, Inc.

Budapest, June 25, 2007 - Graphisoft® Solution Partner Onuma, Inc. recently won two AIA Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) awards in building information modeling (BIM) for projects that employ a groundbreaking approach to making BIM easy and accessible for anyone to use.
Onuma's two award-winning projects employ web-enabled "BIM portals" that let anyone use BIM models to boost productivity and save money, without having to become BIM software experts. This unique approach turned ARCHICAD into a powerful group collaboration platform that fostered faster, smarter decision making from all experts involved in the respective projects. The projects are based on the Onuma Planning System (OPS), a web-enabled planning, programming and project system.

Collective intelligence

The goal was to create an enterprise centric facility and asset management process that included BIM and web enabled data that supported a wide range of USCG needs including planning of new facilities, management of existing facilities and scenario based planning related to each facility's importance to mission performance. The project uses web-based BIM models to integrate resources for planning, investing, using and divesting decisions.

"We wanted to better align facilities with mission requirements as well as budget realities. In other words, we wanted to be able to plan, build and manage facilities smarter, faster and at less cost", said David Hammond Chief, SFCAM Division, United States Coast Guard, Washington DC.

The project has enabled the USCG to create a collaborative decision-making hub to organize building-related mission objectives. In particular, the USCG needed to design and build 38 new Sector Command Centers at bases across the country, a task that would typically take more than three years to conceptualize and design. With the BIM portal, the USCG planners were able to combine the collective intelligence of 38 local teams of up to 20 people to breeze through the design stage in less than three months.

The USCG has also captured its entire 33 million square feet of facility portfolio at varying levels of detail into the BIM database, as well as generated highly detailed 3D BIM models in ARCHICAD of more than 3 million square feet of USCG facilities.

BIM meets Google Earth

Onuma won its second AIA award for the Open Geospatial Consortium's (OGC) Open Web Services 4 (OWS4) Interoperability Initiative. The project served as a test bed to show how open geospatial data and BIM models can be combined through a web portal to enable a host of new applications, from homeland security to building energy efficiency.

To demonstrate the concept, the project simulated a nuclear "dirty bomb" detonation in a Newark, NJ, container port. The project showed how data such as toxic plume movements, weather patterns and air traffic can be tracked and assessed in real time. More importantly, the demonstration quickly assembled a team of experts to coordinate emergency response and rapidly build a field hospital near the bomb site to deal with the wounded. The project demonstrated interoperability between many different software applications beyond BIM. The original building was created in ARCHICAD, Imported into the Onuma System, edited quickly in the Onuma System and then made available on the Onuma model server to be accessible to various other tools through the web including Bentley Architecture, LandExplorer and many other tools.

"It's like BIM meets Google Earth", said Kimon Onuma, principle of Onuma, Inc." Imagine the power of bringing together mapping and geographic data, sensor data, and real-time weather and traffic patterns with BIM models superimposed on a digital map interface."

"The bottom line is that making a meaningful BIM model can be as easy making reservations for a plane ticket, hotel, rental car and dinner on On Expedia you don't have to know anything about XML or HTML, nor understand the software programs that working together to optimize your search. By combining ARCHICAD with OPS, you can make a BIM model without even knowing what BIM is.

The 3rd annual AIA TAP BIM awards were presented to Onuma at the AIA 2007 conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month.