One software solution or integrated system can't fulfill all the requirements of the construction industry. Instead, a mixed environment of purpose-specific systems, communicating effectively, using information models with commonly agreed processes and methods and shared terminology is required. This means that we need to have an open approach to Building Information Modelling.
Open BIM benefits in practice
Project members want to be well-informed and updated about what others do, and understand and realize the design intent successfully. Construction project parties should be able to work together smoothly regardless of the tools they use. Open BIM is about workflow-level compatibility, not just compatibility between two software packages. This does not end with design, manufacturing processes also call for open, readable data.
Currently, using IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) file format offers the most viable option for everyday open BIM. Through IFC, Tekla links with AEC, MEP and increasingly with plant design software.
Until now IFC-based workflows have been more common in design, but also the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) has adopted the IFC at the core of its interoperability strategy. The need for higher productivity pushes automation development in the steel industry, creating more demand for planning and process management information.
Working with partners
Tekla software is used in an industry where a major project can often employ 150-200 companies that all should achieve one shared goal – no wonder that collaboration, communication and compatibility are crucial to success. The open BIM approach gives the industry freedom to choose the best project parties to work with regardless of the software they use.
To support our customers’ work with their partners, we work together with other construction industry organizations in buildingSMART International. This ensures Tekla Structures interfaces with other providers’ solutions and fabrication machinery.
We also want to allow our customers to produce their own applications if they wish: If you want to add your own contribution to what can be achieved with the industry-standard interfaces, you can do it with Tekla Open API application programming interface. Using Tekla Open API, these applications can integrate into the modelling environment, and you can also create connections to any custom application you might have.
We offer a specific Tekla Partners Program for developers. As a member of the Tekla Partners Program, you will receive Tekla Structures Partner license and permission to sell, market and distribute applications - and many more benefits. Tekla Developer Center is the hub containing all relevant information about Tekla Open API for developers.
Just think about how the Internet became the most popular system by utilizing open protocols and linking instead of monolithic closed systems and how the open-source coding principle and openness enable crowdsourcing. This has caused an unforeseen leap of development, which we now seek after with open BIM. Open programming interfaces enable cooperation with the best tools for the best result.
- Otto Alhava, CTO, Fira