State of Texas Has Published BIM Standards for Projects

In the summer of 2009, the Texas Facilities Commission (TFC) announced that Building Information Modeling (BIM) would be required on state projects.  In January 2010, they published the BIM standards which are to be utilized on projects.  The TFC’s BIM Standards are detailed and a great deal of work has gone into preparing the standards for publication.  I commend the TFC for the hours of effort that has gone into this process, which covers both building and site information.

According to the “TEXAS FACILITIES COMMISSION – PROFESSIONAL SERVICE PROVIDER GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS” document, the “TFC has adopted Building Information Modeling (BIM) as a standard for producing the design and documentation for all projects under TFC authority”.  “CADD software may only be used to produce documents on minor renovation or maintenance projects when approved in writing by one of the FDC Directors”.

The TFC BIM Standards require that BIM models “be created using BIM authoring software in native file formats readable by the current software versions in use by TFC as indicated below:”

  • Autodesk Civil 3D 2010
  • Autodesk Navisworks 2010
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010
  • Autodesk Revit MEP 2010
  • Autodesk Revit Structure 2010

To assist with incorporating the BIM standards, the TFC will provide the template files to be used on state projects.  Those templates contain TFC’s custom “standard” objects that already have materials and configurations predefined.   This includes doors that already have the finishes and hardware functions defined, as well as wall types, room styles, and custom material definitions.  Standard views, sheets, and title blocks are also provided in the templates, in addition to all of the typical settings that are established inside templates.

It is very interesting that the TFC seems to be requiring the actual building “model file” to be separate from the “annotation files” which contain the annotation.  This means that the dimensions, notes, and details are not allowed in the model file, but must be placed in at least one separate file.  While this is an unusual process not utilized by many Revit users, the TFC lists 3 reasons for using this process.  They are:

  1. “Limit the size of the “central” file”,
  2. “Maximize workflow efficiency, and”
  3. “Limit documentation access to only those responsible for any given scope of work.”

It also appears that the Revit “central” files and “local” files must be stored and accessed from TFC’s Central Collaboration Server.  If a professional service provider desires to work on the Revit “central” file, or even a “local” file, on their own in-house computers, they must get written authorization to do so.  This process is different than the typical process of a user working on their “local” file on their own computer at their desk.  Architects, engineers, and others will need to get accustomed to not having the actual design files reside on their own computers.

The “TEXAS FACILITIES COMMISSION – PROFESSIONAL SERVICE PROVIDER GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS” document is a detailed document that provides much information to professional service providers.  While this document is more than just the BIM standards, it seems to attempt to eliminate inconsistencies between different firms that provide BIM files to the TFC and document exactly what they desire.  The goal is to get consistent project files that are easy for the TFC (the owner) to maintain for the project’s life.

The actual document containing the TFC BIM Standards can be downloaded from the forms webpage at http://www.tfc.state.tx.us/communities/facilities/prog/construct/formsindex  and selecting item #23 which is PSP Guidelines/Standards, Revised 1/15/2010Information in this blog article is the author’s interpretation and opinions on the document, so the actual document must be referenced for clarification.  You can contact Chris Tisdel, Director of BIM for the TFC at chris.tisdel@tfc.state.tx.us or 512-463-3417.

The original announcement about BIM adoption at Texas can be seen at http://www.tfc.state.tx.us/newsevents/texas-adopts-building-information-modeling-bim-capability.
(It was noticed on April 28, 2010 that the above links are no longer valid and the information cannot be located on the TFC website.  The link information in this blog will be updated when available.)

On a related note, effective July 1st, 2009 the Wisconsin Department of Administration Division of State Facilities started requiring that Building Information Modeling (BIM) be used on larger state projects.  More information on BIM requirements in Wisconsin can be found at the following site:
http://www.doa.state.wi.us/dsf/masterspec_view_new.asp?catid=61&locid=4

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