The right BIM Solution

AEC3 makes an expert assessment on advancing the GAEB format

The aim of the study "GAEB - European comparison - Scientific Research of the various European data exchange formats for bidding and awarding in comparison with the GAEB data exchange format" was next to the comparison also to make recommendations on the further development of the GAEB standard. Therefore the following data exchange formats were analysed and compared on the basis of a especially developed questionnaire :

GAEB DA XML 3.1 (Germany)
Organisation des Austauschs von Informationen über die Durchführung von Baumaßnahmen


SIA 451 XML (Switzerland)
Datenformat für Leistungsverzeichnisse


ÖNORM A 2063 (Austria)
Austausch von Leistungsbeschreibungs-, Ausschreibungs-, Angebots-, Auftrags- und Abrechnungsdaten in elektronischer Form


SUF (The Netherlands)
STABU uitwisselings formaat


NS 3459 (Norway)
Computer-aided interchange of project data


CITE (Great Britain)
Bills of Quantities Standard - Version 4.2


UN/CEFACT ebXML (International)
eTendering Standard


As a result the following should be emphasized :

Currently there is no indication, that a European Standard is being developed which could become criti-cal for the German GAEB DA XML. All but one (UN/CEFACT) of the viewed formats are focused on the national home markets and are not laid out to be used across country and language borders.

The GAEB format is less influenced by the content it can transport than the other exchange formats and excels in its scope. But it is in its set-up a rather autonomous format with very limited capabilities to link to other exchange formats or to object-oriented building models and their quantities via IFC.

The following general developments should also be considered by GAEB :

The organizations make use of the fact, that their exchange formats can be used with just minor adjustments in other scenarios as well. They are thus broadening their scope and paying more attention to FM data, especially. GAEB should follow this example.

For the organisations developing the exchange formats the growing importance of building information modeling is a very important issue. There are also projects on the way to create element-based specifi-cations or structure the work items accordingly. The GAEB should follow suit.

The following recommendations can be made :

No further activities should be undertaken to use the PAS 1067 as a starting point for an international standard on ISO level. The focus should be pointed towards a closer cooperation between the German speaking countries Austria and Switzerland.

For the closer cooperation the means of a national standardization is seen as appropriate. Working on a national standard would make it possible to invite the Swiss and the Austrians to join in. Taking the other formats into consideration would make it possible to stay or rather become compatible to the other two formats even if no direct linkage is possible. As a first step bilateral talks are recommended. The recommended developments towards BIM and CAFM should be topics as well.

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