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Monday, February 2, 2009

Empowering the “I” in BIM - Cadalyst AEC

Solibri CEO Jonathan Widney shares his thoughts on the direction BIM is heading and how Solibri is finding its niche.


Last week I had the opportunity to talk with Jonathan Widney, CEO of Solibri, about his product's role among rapidly evolving BIM technologies. Widney is an interesting figure in the CAD and BIM world because of his vast experience across multiple platforms. Widney spent 14 years in government service as a Chinese (Mandarin) and Arabic (multidialect) linguist. After that time, he returned to the University of Oregon where heearned his undergraduate degree in political science and international business and completed his graduate studies in public administration, with a focus on Middle- and Far-Eastern business development. For the past 16 years, he has been developing CAD markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and most recently in the Americas. In this capacity, Widney has been involved with multiple CAD platforms and tools, both with end-users and with channel partners. In 2001 he founded NavisWorks, Inc., as a subsidiary of NavisWorks Ltd. (United Kingdom). In 2008, he launched Solibri LLC, a subsidiary of Solibri, Inc., based in Finland. Here he shares his thoughts on Solibri and its place in building information modeling.

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Solibri Model Checker has been used extensively by the General Services Administration (GSA) and others who are focused on the use of Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs) and the use of analysis tools — real BIM versus building modeling — but it didn't have a lot of traction with commercial users. One reason why it was a good fit for me was my expertise in building markets, but perhaps more important, I believe it represents the next generation of tools that are applicable to the development of real BIM. I was pretty successful with creating a market for NavisWorks here, so I have a good understanding of how the tools are being used in the interoperable environment and also am aware of some gaps that technology like Solibri is well positioned to address.
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This model checking tool is important for checking for egress; for example, it will tell you whether the distance from the inside door to the outside door is within allowable parameters. Or perhaps if the distance of any hospital patient room to a nurses' station can't exceed 100 feet, it will help you analyze that before you build, because a few minor adjustments can put the design in compliance. The value in this type of improved design process is very tangible. I think we're stimulating a lot more thought processes on the part of the people who will be modeling, which is good. We're also able to check very quickly to see whether a design is even constructible. You are able to find all the interferences, faults, and mistakes early in the model instead of finding them in the field.
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continue reading http://aec.cadalyst.com/aec/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=549080

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