Lobbyist Wars and BIM Development. All Parts

artem boiko
8 min readMay 7, 2022

A series of articles titled “Lobby Wars and the Development of BIM” describes the evolution of ideas and the progress of data sharing in the construction industry since the 1980s. The articles provide the historical background to the issues facing every construction company today.Overall, the number of views on social platforms exceeded 150,000 views. Part 3 with the BIM history map was the most viewed article in this series, while Part 2 about the struggle between OpenBIM and ClosedBIM and Part 5 about how big finance funds control the data industry were the most commented.

Many thanks to everyone who translated articles into other languages and thanks to everyone who left comments and criticisms under the articles. Also, a special thanks to all who shared the information that was touched upon in the articles.

Thank you for your support!

The main events tree will help you follow the information presented in this article. To add a comment to this diagram or to consider in more detail individual fragments of the map, follow the link: BIM development map from 1980 to the present

Disclaimer

In the comments under the first articles in the Lobbying Games series (part 1 and part 2), I was accused of marketing work for Autodesk Corporation. In the comments under the latest articles (part 4 and part 5), on the contrary, employees of this corporation hinted at custom work against Autodesk.

For writing articles, I did not contact any of the companies listed in them. Representatives of the mentioned companies contacted me, asked me their questions and wrote suggestions and comments after the articles were published. I did not represent the interests of any of the companies, and absolutely everything written here is a personal opinion based on my experience and processed information.

Part 1: Format STEP-IFC and how Revit conquered the CAD world

📰 LinkedIn: Part 1: Format STEP-IFC and how Revit conquered the CAD world

📰 Medium: Part 1: Format STEP-IFC and how Revit conquered the CAD world

📰 Original: Part 1: Format STEP-IFC and how Revit conquered the CAD world

In this article we will answer the question: where did STEP, IFC and buildingSMART come from, how a Soviet mathematician helped Autodesk to conquer the world market for СAD and why Autodesk rarely mentions Revit in its financial statements.

Content:

⚈ Creation of IFC and buildingSMART

⚈ Creation of Revit Software

⚈ REVIT is the world leader in planning

⚈ Conclusion

Part 2: open BIM VS closed BIM. Revit vs ArchiCAD and Europe VS the Rest of the World

📰 LinkedIn: Part 2: open BIM VS closed BIM. Revit vs ArchiCAD and Europe VS the Rest of the World

📰 Medium: Part 2: open BIM VS closed BIM. Revit vs ArchiCAD and Europe VS the Rest of the World

📰 Original: Part 2: open BIM VS closed BIM. Revit vs ArchiCAD and Europe VS the Rest of the World

In this article we will take a look at where the BIM CAD software market is headed today. What BIM CAD programs are chosen by designers in different countries of the world and how the planning world has radically changed over the past 15 years. If you follow the main trends in BIM planning around the world, you will notice an incredible bias in the development of BIM technologies in certain developed countries.

Content:

⚈ Which BIM software to use?

⚈ Overview of tools for BIM planning

⚈ Open BIM vs. Closed BIM

⚈ In conclusion

Part 3: Fathers of BIM Technologies. Who is behind the success of Autodesk and openBIM

📰 LinkedIn: Part 3: Fathers of BIM Technologies. Who is behind the success of Autodesk and openBIM

📰 Medium: Part 3: Fathers of BIM Technologies. Who is behind the success of Autodesk and openBIM

📰 Original: Part 3: Fathers of BIM Technologies. Who is behind the success of Autodesk and openBIM

In this article, we will highlight the work of all the major “fathers” of BIM technology, who developed CAD tools in the 80s and 90s. We will also analyze who is behind the success of buildingSMART and corporations such as the Nemetschek Group and Autodesk and why the old Autodesk programmers did not like the Revit developers, and the Nemetschek company refused to develop the IFC format.

Content:

⚈ How the University of Munich created the IFC format

⚈ BIM’s father — creator of SONATA or RADAR CH?

⚈ The Creation of PTC and the Emergence of Solidworks and Revit

⚈ How BIM startups evolved. Mergers, acquisitions, and attitude to their history

⚈ In conclusion

Part 4: The fight between CAD and BIM. Monopolies and lobbyists in the construction industry

📰 LinkedIn: Part 4: The fight between CAD and BIM. Monopolies and lobbyists in the construction industry

📰 Medium: Part 4: The fight between CAD and BIM. Monopolies and lobbyists in the construction industry

📰 Original: Part 4: The fight between CAD and BIM. Monopolies and lobbyists in the construction industry

🌗 In this part we will talk about the struggle between CAD and BIM, about the monopolization of construction design by Autodesk and the buildingSMART organization, and about lobbying for the openBIM concept at the state level in some countries.

Content:

⚈ How Autodesk discovered BIM

⚈ Struggle between CAD and BIM

⚈ Expansion of BIM ideology and Revit software

⚈ At what point did BIM beat CAD

⚈ Revit is a dead-end road for Autodesk

⚈ Is openBIM a worthy Revit alternative?

⚈ Why did German speaking countries choose openBIM

⚈ How lobbyists work in construction

Part 5: BlackRock — the Master of All Technologies. How Corporations Control Open Source

📰 LinkedIn: Part 5: BlackRock — the Master of All Technologies. How Corporations Control Open Source

📰 Medium: Part 5: BlackRock — the Master of All Technologies. How Corporations Control Open Source

📰 Original: Part 5: BlackRock — the Master of All Technologies. How Corporations Control Open Source

Tech giants use investment fund money to control an increasing proportion of new developers and products, thus blocking the path for new programs and new technologies in the construction industry. As a result, the entire CAD industry has become an oligopoly dominated by a group of several companies. And their position at the top is becoming more and more unshakable.

Content:

⚈ BlackRock — the master of all technologies

⚈ Oligopoly in the CAD market

⚈ Autodesk is following in Oracle’s footsteps

⚈ Why programs don’t develop

⚈ The corporation’s fight against open source

⚈ Autodesk and IFC data format

⚈ Autodesk Challenge — Open Standards Organization — ODA

⚈ In conclusion

Part 6: Reasons for speculation in the construction industry. Corporate monopolies over data

📰 LinkedIn: Part 6: Reasons for speculation in the construction industry. Corporate monopolies over data

📰 Medium: Part 6: Reasons for speculation in the construction industry. Corporate monopolies over data

🔐 The reason for the lack of productivity growth and the spread of speculation in the construction industry is the quality of the data used by the participants in the construction process. To store data and transfer it between various construction participants, you need to trust CAD corporations or organizations that control the development of the IFC format. This situation can be compared to the early development of the Internet, when there was no strong encryption on the network and users had to rely on system administrators (third parties) to protect their data.

🧮 As a result of monopolies and lobbyists’ struggle for power over data, the construction industry has become an obsolete system with low productivity, where a certain percentage of speculation is taken as inevitable. To remove the tiered structure of mistrust, control, and pressure, construction companies need transparent business processes and new convenient data storage formats.

Content:

⚈ Reasons for the low productivity of the construction industry

⚈ Consequences of the lack of transparent interoperable data in construction

⚈ Where did BIM come from and why?

⚈ Formation of a monopoly in the data market

⚈ Storing information in CAD software

⚈ Postgres — pioneers of data storage from CAD to SQL

⚈ Revit — database in graphical representation

⚈ Creation of ArchiCAD and Tekla tools API

⚈ The problem of data interoperability in the construction industry

⚈ Data connections via plug-ins and APIs that do not work

Part 7. Open Source in Construction. Opacity of the IFC Format and buildingSMART

📰 LinkedIn: Part 7. Open Source in Construction. Opacity of the IFC Format and buildingSMART

📰 Medium: Part 7. Open Source in Construction. Opacity of the IFC Format and buildingSMART

🌪️ Construction companies make super profits on projects with “inattentive” customers thanks to opacity, and CAD-corporations with their monopoly over data bring additional chaos to these already confusing and non-transparent processes.

🌑 Transparent and high-quality data — the key to any successful operation — must be stored and transmitted without regulatory and supervisory bodies in the form of CAD vendors or organizations like buildingSMART. The buildingSMART organization has levers for managing the development of the IFC project, and the project itself is lobbied for individual interests, which does not allow us to consider the development of the IFC format itself transparent and open, which positions itself as a product close to open source.

Content:

⚈ Asian and European beneficiaries of the openBIM movement

⚈ Hidden IFC format features

⚈ The complexity of working with the IFC format

⚈ The construction industry needs interoperability

⚈ Open Source — a ray of light in the darkness of monopolies

⚈ Applied Open Source in the sectors of the economy

⚈ Open source in construction

⚈ Conclusion

⚈ Completion of the series “Lobbyist Wars and the Development of BIM”

⚡️ What is “pipeline in Construction”? https://datadrivenconstruction.io/index.php/pipeline-in-construction/ 📥Free IFC2x3-to-Excel/DAE converter. Community Edition: https://datadrivenconstruction.io/index.php/product/free-ifc-2x3-converter-to-xlsx-dae-2024/ 📥 Free Revit®(2015–2022)-to-Excel/DAE converter. Community Edition https://datadrivenconstruction.io/index.php/product/free-revit-2015-2021-converter-to-xlsx-dae/

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artem boiko

For the last ten years I have been working in construction industry and implementing Python scripts and processes automation in construction industry.