Monday, November 16, 2009

Presentation Explores Relationship Between BIM and NFRC

The first day of the NFRC Fall Membership Meeting wrapped up with a presentation on Building Information Modeling (BIM) interoperability, fenestration, and the NFRC process.

“BIM is becoming more common,” explained Charlie Curcija, of CARLI, Inc., “but we need to understand how we can benefit from that.”

At this time, NFRC doesn’t have any BIM–enabled processes, said Curcija. “We are at the beginning,” he said, “we need to define how we want to fit into that system.”

Efforts to create linkages between tools are a good first step, explained Curcija. For example, CMAST reads WINDOW, OPTICS, and THERM new xml files and runs WINDOW and THERM in the background. And, the CMA Software Tool (CMAST) produces EnergyPlus report file and provides it as a part of label certificate, accessible on the Web.

Among the potential linkages between BIM and NFRC: fenestration manufacturers would benefit from the ability to export custom in-house configuration and bidding systems to NFRC rating tools.

Justin Wong, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, joined the presentation via conference call. He noted that you can get a lot of information about a window in BIM. As 3-D object-oriented software, BIM can provide information on location, dimension, materials, performance characteristics, quality, and interrelationships.

Dr. Peter Lyons, of Peter Lyons and Associates, wrapped up the presentation by encouraging attendees to think of BIM as a platform or vehicle for exchanging information.

Curcija then asked the audience to think about how NFRC can start incorporating BIM into its processes and to provide feedback on the matter.

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