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About BIMStorm

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Watch the introduction of BIMStorm in Vancouver

You can be part of a BIMstorm. Learn how here.

BIMstorm Coming to a City Near You (or participate virtually)

BIMStorm Featured in the Following Books

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BIMStorm Featured in April 2008 CADAlyst Magazine

  • Kenneth Wong of CADAlyst wrote: "What if one summer or in this case, winter a bunch of idealistic architects, designers, building owners, contractors, and consultants decided to do away with the professional hierarchies, business protocols, and legal constraints that have long prevented them from working together? " .... read on in:
  • Summer of BIM .

BIMStorm Featured as Cover Article on JBIM Magazine

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  • The Spring 2008 Journal of Building Information Modeling from The Building Smart Alliance, National Institute of Building Science features BIMStorm LA.
  • BIMStorm from Rotterdam to Los Angeles
  • Download the PDF Version of JBIM .

Here is an excerpt from that article:
Integration Today Using Open Standards
BIMstorm: Rotterdam to Los Angeles and Beyond

I often get asked: What BIM platform should we use? We all like simple decisions. Vanilla or chocolate? PC or Mac? Revit, ArchiCAD, VectorWorks, or other BIM? We like sticking to a brand. For BIM, Open Standards is the New Brand we need to stick to. Information stored in proprietary formats will become irrelevant in this information centric age. Organizations that understand this will flourish like the internet and those that do not will fade like a Betamax.

BIMStorm was proof that a stunning amount of collaboration and change is possible today with many tools. Yet, tools do not matter. BIM does not matter. Data and knowledge is valuable and BIM is just a container for data. What does matter is how data is exchanged and the process. The New Brand gives us broader choices on how data is used which will liberate the industry to get down to business. Technology is not the barrier to change, the cultural shift in how we collaborate is the challenge.
BIMStorm was not perfect. Standards are still evolving. There were surprises, problems and chaos. What was clear is that even today a stunning amount of collaboration is possible in a BIG way, one only needs to accept the new process. Just like the Internet that is never complete, if you wait for standards to be finished you will watch the train leave the station. All are welcome aboard, the train is moving fast.

We all learned that as a group we can start to tip the culture of the industry in 2008. BIMStorm demonstrated the potential of collaboration with open standards. The future of the New Brand is up to us as an industry to define. The horizon is wide open for all that are willing to embrace this change.

Kimon Onuma, FAIA

Join the Buidling Smart Alliance

Join us in the current BIMStorm to continue to make history....


Quick Links

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Comments from BIMStorms
It is almost unbelievable what your whole team has orchestrated. Your BIMstorm exceeds anything one person can even imagine....With heart-felt appreciation for the historic efforts you have made

Mike Bordenaro - NF Publishing Co.

Kimon and his team have opened my eyes to the possibilities of true collaboration, outside of the desktop BIM tools that we have grown so comfortable with and into the world of information sharing. They have illuminated a path to interoperability with a much broader group of participants and disciplines than I ever could have imagined - by starting with simple, yet powerful pieces of shared structured data. I can now understand clearly the power of archiving projects and client standards in this way for future use in our architecture practice. Thanks Onuma Inc. for keeping the juices flowing!

Russ Sanders, AIA - Orcutt Winslow Architecture

My BIM world intersected with Kimon's and many others who were working on NBIMS back in December 2006. My mind was opened to a new realization, and Kimon was leading the way as a practioner with Onuma. He was getting it done. What I learned then was BIM isn't a tool, it's a process. It was great fun to have been given the opportunity to participate in the process and become "Experienced". Team K (DeStefano and Partners Chicago/LA) thanks Kimon and Yong and everyone at Onuma Inc. It was an honor to take part in this historic event.

Timothy Blatner, AIA - DeStefano and Partners, Ltd.

Special thanks again for this awesome experience. You are to be highly commended!

Karen L. Weber - Earth Our Only Home, Inc.

On behalf of familia Corazn, I want to thank you for including us in this historic project. Your team has accomplished more than you could ever imagine.

Terry Mackprang - TEMAK Construction

The BIMstorm was an amazing experience of the wealth of opportunity that is possible today.

Paul Adams - Earth and Sky Architecture

This charrette has been a historic moment! Master Planning will never be the same.


"Most spectacular, I think, was the introduction of Onuma; some people said it should have been used right at the start on Monday! Of course they are right, but the reality is, no one was interested before the communication problems showed up. As usual, it takes a crisis to start a revolution."

Joost Wijnen - CADVisual, NL

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The origins of the BIMstorm go back to the mid 90s when Onuma, Inc. was using BIM in ways that focused on the "i" or information of BIM. This process allowed Onuma, Inc. to collaborate worldwide with teams on projects. Throughout the 90s the process and tools continued to evolve within Onuma, Inc. For the most part, the deliverables to clients at the time were traditional CAD and other documents generated by Onuma, but not the data itself. Forward looking clients started to recognize the value of Onuma and Onuma, Inc. gradually started to integrate it closer with projects and engage the project teams in more advanced use of the "i" of BIM.

Although many clients saw the benefits of the output capability of Onuma, there was one client that stood out among the rest that immediately understood the full potential. The United States Coast Guard in 2003, saw and developed a larger vision called "The Framework for Integrated Decision-Making" at the core of the Shore Facilities Capital Asset Management Road (SFCAM) Map lead by David Hammond in Washington DC. Others in the USCG such as CDR Jack Dempsey, Paul Herold, LCDR Jeff Brockus, William Scherer, CAPT Jay Manik (Ret.), and many more actively participated in the vision of the SFCAM Road Map and supported Onuma and BIM being used on projects. The big and early vision of the Coast Guard has been instrumental in helping to change the entire industry. We would like to thank David Hammond and the USCG for this.

BIMstorm has been a vision of Onuma, Inc. since the mid 90s but until the industry embraces the change required, and follow the forward looking organizations such as the USCG, GSA, DHS, Smithsonian and others, nothing will be possible. This is a challenge to the rest of the industry. Help us raise the bar.

Other leading firms are now using Onuma on projects in ways that exponentially increase the value provided to the industry.

Why are we doing this?
We feel we are on to something that has a direct impact on the environment today, but we need all the help of everyone in the industry. The built environment consumes a majority of the fossil fuels and has a direct impact on global warming.

Placing your hand on a hot surface and you recoil immediately to avoid severe burns. Make this mistake a few times and our brain gets wired to avoid hot surfaces. The communication network in our body transmits the signal in an instant to our brain. We register it in our brain, learn and evolve. If it took even a minute for this message to travel from our fingers to our brain, we would be covered with a lot more burns.

The building industry on the other hand moves in slow motion. We typically take much longer than minutes, hours or days to get a message back to the brain and change course. The limitation has been a combination of technology and embedded processes. As messages are delayed we cannot truly predict the future impact of decisions we make today. As an industry we are not only burning our own hand, we are burning the planet.

BIMstorm links buidlings to locations on the earth to be able to more accurately simulate and make decisions that will drive down the impact of buildings on the environment

Before any construction starts, it is proven that up to 30% of time and effort is wasted. This is a waste of resources and has a trickle effect, when a building that should have never been built breaks ground. What are the larger implications of these compounded mistakes of communication?

Real Time
A BIMstorm proves that communication and decision making can happen much closer to real time. We want to make a lot of mistakes very early on in the process to reduce the chance of severe burns. Being able to simulate and predict the future allows greater confidence in making the proper decisions. Granted this is a complex process that involves much more than a decision to build. These complexities require proper communication and a network of integrated systems that can talk to--and listen to each other. In many cases the answer would be not to build. Not being able to visualize the implications of building, is the biggest mistake we can make. The technology now exists to start making more intelligent decisions about our environment and heading toward an early implementation of carbon neutrality.

BIMstorm enables us to work with real-time scenarios and "the scenario accountant" makes sure we do not get carried away and forget about utilization and cost.
Lars C. Christensen Senior Vice President Technology Outlook and Competence, Selvaag Gruppen | Oslo, Norway

"Onuma demonstrated that software based on open standards can provide an amazing amount of collaborative assistance for complex design problems today."
Mike Bordenaro, NF Publishing Company

We were not aware these type of solutions even existed. Best of all, we are now able to keep the relationship between our financial estimates and the design, since both drive us in our decision making. Onuma involves us, as a client, within the BIM process, where we didn't have this relationship before.
Wim Scheele, Director of Project Development, City of Rotterdam, Netherlands

What is a BIMstorm? A BIMstorm can be used for many scenarios for example:

  • Real time cost and area / program calculation linked to 2D and 3D models.
  • Web enabled tools to allow for multiple users to collaborate in real time.
  • Massive Real-Time Collaboration
  • A series of rapid-fire live charrettes or a BIMStorm to design projects at warp speed.
  • When decisions happen in real-time, and are linked together through open standards based exchanges, potential errors are spotted faster, and a proper trajectory is created
  • Sustainable decision making
  • Open standards based exchanges
  • Watch the on-line presentation or participate
  • Useful Tools: Archicad, City GML, DDS, Elite CAD, Google Docs, Google Earth, Go To Meeting, IFC, Knowledge, MS Excel, MS Word, Navis Works, Onuma, Onuma BIMXML Converter, paper, PDA, pencil, Revit, Skype, Webex, OGC WFS, 3G cell phone (listed here, but not all are necessary to have a full working knowledge of)

In a traditional design and construction process, a developer must find an appropriate property and program for a project. Let's say for a hotel and office building in Los Angeles. They must then run through multiple scenarios of what to build to support the changing market and their bottom line. At the same time they may need to negotiate with city agencies and a broker for the various properties they are reviewing. They may bring on an architect at an early stage of development to study several scenarios and create an early plan. All of the above activities and many more are dependent of each other. In a traditional process much of the early planning and design and is very linear and disconnected. The architect prepares early plans and documents and submits to the developer in a few weeks. By that time the requirements may have changed. There is a constant back and forth between experts, engineers, cost estimators, city agencies to review and approve the next step or in many cases to backtrack and redo work. This is just for the early design process.

BIMstorm allows all the experts to collaborate in decision making in real time. This real time collaboration allows you to spot problems and identify patterns and trends as the project progresses and make corrections on the spot. You can bring in other experts to view the project data while the design evolves. There is no need to be an expert at any software in order to participate. For example cost estimates and area calculations can be viewed in real time on the web or exported out to Excel. The numbers in the reports and Excel file are directly linked to the graphics and 3D. There is no need to manually confirm that everything in sync because it is in sync by design.

Imagine if the airline industry published a paper catalogue of airfares every month and mailed this out to us. Or if the published a CD with the same data. Then we would have to call the airline or have an agent manage the reservation. Today with Expedia or Obitz, you can do this in real time. The construction industry is in many ways functioning like the first scenario of passing static project information around. There are better and more efficient ways to do this. Welcome to BIMStorm.

A BIMStorm is:

  • Strategic
  • Tactical
  • Organized
  • Real-Time
  • Management

Linking knowledge to process and tools using BIM and data has resulted in a process referred to Onuma, Inc. as a BIMStorm.

Connect Teams and Consolidate Work

An organization that works with consultants and multiple disciplines on global, domestic or local scales, knows that managing project information and content is not an easy task. Efficiently and effectively organizing, documenting and communicating is the backbone of business. Developed and used by our own team to collaborate within and with other disciplines on real architectural projects, Onuma, Inc. wanted a way to collaborate globally. The answer: a web-enabled management solution. Being web-enabled allows users to maximize existing hardware for collaborating and eliminate the concern for team members and consultants to all be using the latest agreed software and version. With an Internet connection, teams can quickly and securely work together on development processes and exchange information at one central point.

Web-Enabled Project Sites Promote

  • Uniformity regardless of hardware platforms
  • Real-time information collaboration
  • Central project information and content location
  • Error reduction
  • File attachment management
  • Integrated practice

Creative and Powerful Employment of Open Source Tools

A BIMStorm is not bound to using only Onuma, Inc. developed tools. The strength of the BIMStorm lies with a team that can be mobilized to utilize a wide range of tools that directly address the specific needs of the project. For example, if a particular project deals with larger master planning issues, then the focus of the tools used might gravitate towards leveraging project data in GIS or CityGML.

Design Process at Warp Speed

Using traditional methods, current design processes are inefficient. BIMStorm creates a framework for putting the process into warp speed and maximizing the value of a design charrette. Onuma, Inc. trains and provides on-site support or we can support your team virtually from our BIMStorm command center. Bring your projects into the 21st century.

Tools Used

  • Building Information Modeling
  • ArchiCAD, Revit, VectorWorks or other IFC Tools
  • Onuma
  • Internet Browser
  • Internet connection
  • Computer


  • Your knowledge-experts are actively engaged
  • Data and knowledge are instantly retrived and translated into an understanding format
  • Proven efficiencies with 10X speed gain
  • Continuous planning
  • Continuous collaboration
  • Accurate data
  • Integrated team
  • BIMStorm
2015-10-17 19:26:47

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