At OpenRFA, we're not only pushing for standardization, we are proposing a new approach to developing standards through open collaboration.
So far, I have yet to see an industry standard (BIM or other) that has been developed through collaboration of an online community. Standards are typically developed by a committee of experts and then released to the industry in which it serves.
"ISO standards are developed by groups of experts from all over the world, that are part of larger groups called technical committees. These experts negotiate all aspects of the standard, including its scope, key definitions and content."Source: ISO
In most cases, this approach seems to work, but in terms of BIM it is not currently working:
"The results show that, despite advancements in the Industry Foundation Classes schema, Architectural Engineering and Construction (AEC) firms are still facing several challenges while implementing IFC in project delivery systems."Source: OAKTrust
From a Revit perspective, we have seen an attempt by Autodesk to develop "Master Shared Parameters" as a standard. This ultimately failed due to lack of adoption by the AECO industry. I can only assume that the proposed standard was rejected by the industry because the parameters didn't work for the end users. There also was no way for these end users to modify or propose changes. In addition, there may not have been enough support from Autodesk who would have had to put together a team who would be tasked with managing these shared parameter definitions. The NBS has actually gone through these motions with the birth of The National BIM Library.
Now, let's look at this from a new perspective.
Rather than hiring a team or committee to create a standard that the industry may or may not agree with, why not let the industry professionals manage the standard themselves? The tech sector is doing it right with open source software. With an open collaborative mindset, a community is formed organically and the most passionate individuals will contribute to the cause, often times as a volunteer. The benefits of adopting this workflow seem obvious.
"The term "open source" refers to something people can modify and share because its design is publicly accessible."
"Users who aren't programmers also benefit from open source software, because they can use this software for any purpose they wish—not merely the way someone else thinks they should."Source: OpenSource.com
Can this work for the building industry?
Is it at all possible for the Revit users of the world to form a community who can decide on a standard set of master shared parameters? We would like to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Image Credit: OpenSource.com