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BIM-M is creating masonry BIM tools for you to use and promote among masonry users.
BIM-M is creating masonry BIM tools for you to use and promote among masonry users.
September 9, 2016 7:00 AM CDT

BIM-M Update

Recent activities and accomplishments


We’d like to provide a BIM-M update based upon recent activities and accomplishments. You have been behind us during our formative years and now those efforts are creating masonry BIM tools for you to use and promote among masonry users. We have to get the news out and see that these tools are placed in the hands of architects, engineers, contractors and other users of BIM software to increase the use of masonry!

  1. Keep a look out for the new BIM-M articles in the next issues of SMART|dynamics of masonry. Fred Kinateder is the author for the next issue highlighting various contractor initiatives.

    Dave Sovinski is the author for a BIM-M article in an upcoming issue of Masonry, the on-line magazine ( Dave’s article “BIM for Masonry: Delivering on the Promise” highlights many of the accomplishments of BIM-M. Keep an eye out for the September issue.

    BIM-M is in the news overseas! Russell Gentry, Shani Sarif, and Andres Caviares of Georgia Tech and David Biggs, BIM-M Coordinator authored a paper titled BIM Schema for Masonry Units and Walls for the 16th International Brick and Block Conference in Padua, Italy. Gentry presented the paper on July 28, 2016. The paper is available on the BIM-M web site along all BIM-M generated papers.

  2. The BIM-M Executive Committee has authorized development of Version 1 of the Masonry Unit Database (MUD). This will be one of the most significant projects of BIM-M and make masonry products more accessible to designers and contractors.

    Version 1 will include generic concrete masonry and clay masonry units applicable to most manufacturers. After a lengthy proposal process, CAD Technology Center (CTC) of Minneapolis has been selected as the BIM-M developer. This MUD version will include a web site for masonry users to obtain the database information for use in designing and detailing masonry construction. Expect to see results from this project starting in late fall 2016.

    In mid-2017, development of Version 2 of the MUD will begin. This version will be expanded from Version 1 to further include custom CMU, clay and cast stone units. Tile and rain screens are proposed as well.

    Following Version 2, the database will be expanded to include manufacturers’ specific units and commercial functionality.

    Jeff Elder of Interstate Brick is the BIM-M Project Manager for the MUD project and is sponsored by Interstate Brick and the Western States Clay Products Association.

  3. BIM-M has several new product releases to announce. All are available free on-line for the industry to offer users to expand the use of masonry.

    1. Earlier this year, “BIM for Masonry, Modeling Masonry Buildings in Autodesk Revit, A guide for Autodesk Revit users developed by BIM-M and the TMS BIM Committee” was released. Developed by two consultants for BIM-M, this guide provides modeling examples and direction for designers and contractors working with Revit. The guide is developed for users already familiar with Revit but wanting to expand their knowledge of masonry modeling.

    2. As a follow up to the Autodesk Revit guide, BIM-M is developing a series of instructional videos. These 5 to 10 minute videos are based upon specific modeling topics from the guide and present them concisely for users to avoid perusing the entire guide. Whether someone is learning for the first time or just needs a refresher, these videos should accelerate the development of masonry designs.

    3. A recent addition to the BIM-M products is the Masonry Pack - Revit Wall Content Library. This library includes 2D or 3D images of standard masonry element content that users can incorporate into their models with drag and drop loading. The images will be presented through a graphic interface that does not require searching through the entire library to find the content. Detailing content includes bond beams, vertical reinforcement in grouted cells, movement joints, arches, various wall types, various generic unit profiles, wall hatches and flashing details. The library can be accessed for free at

    4. BIM-M can now be seen on its own YouTube channel ( This new feature includes both promotional and instructional videos and will be expanded as more are created. As the number of subscribers increase, more designers and contractors will be using masonry. We’ll also see better search opportunities on You Tube for masonry, So, sponsors are asked to distribute the link and encourage masonry users to become subscribers (free) to the channel.

    5. Developed by Scott Conwell of the International Masonry Institute for the benefit of the BIM-M and the masonry industry, a Sketchup Wall Library is slated for release before the end of 2016. Scott is the author of the IMI masonry details that are so popular on the Sketchup 3D Warehouse

      Sketchup is a 3D modeling program used by many designers and contractors. This library will provide dozens of wall sections and a conventional naming system for materials that will begin to standardize the design of masonry walls. An even future development will be to put these wall sections into Autodesk Revit. Be on the look out for the Sketchup library later this year.

    6. In February, “BIM Deliverables Guide for Masonry Contractors” was released at the 2016 World of Masonry. Since then, this guide has been the subject of numerous seminars and presentations by Fred Kinateder who has been crisscrossing the country on behalf of BIM-M. The guide is our Version 1. It is a primer for contractors on BIM for masonry and provides numerous examples of Sketchup models as an introduction to 3D modeling. The entire guide was written by contractors for contractors! The numerous examples were all developed by masonry contractors who have determined that 3D modeling can be useful and profitable to improving their projects; they use 3D modeling because it makes business sense and not because they have to.

      Fred is also the lead author on the “BIM Deliverables Guide for Masonry Contractors, Version 2” that is in development. This new guide will be unveiled at the 2017 World of Masonry in Las Vegas and will feature advanced Sketchup models and examples as well as models and examples using Tekla and Revit.

      Visit the BIM-M web site “Events” for an upcoming webinar or seminar. If you don’t find one near you, let us know and we’ll schedule one for your group.

  4. Georgia Institute of Technology is BIM-M’s primary consultant. They have also been retained as a reviewer and technical consultant for Version 1 of the Masonry Unit Database project. In addition, they will develop the request for proposal for Version 2 of the MUD coming in 2017.

  5. The Charles Pankow Foundation has been a strategic partner of BIM-M since its formation. Now they have become a funding sponsor by providing a $25,200 grant in support of the development of Version 1 of the MUD. BIM-M is extremely grateful for this generous grant and continuing support!

  6. The BIM-M Executive Committee has approved becoming an official sponsor of the Fall 2016 BIM Forum in Atlanta. BIM Forum formed by the Association of General Contractors (AGC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) seeks to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of building information modeling (BIM) in the AEC industry. The BIM Forum has adopted masonry level of development standards created by BIM-M and has promoted them as a superior example of an industry’s efforts to improve BIM standards. BIM-M’s association with the BIM Forum will help place masonry in the mainstream of BIM with other competing materials.

    BIM-M has been a presenter at past BIM Forum events and those are expected to continue for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017.

  7. BIM-M has a growing list of seminars and presentations. Stay tuned to the web site for ones you may want to host. We need to get these programs out into the design community to promote more masonry!

  8. The BIM-M Executive Committee has set late spring/early summer 2017 for the next BIM-M Symposium. The previous one in 2015 in St Louis was a great success and the next promises to be even better. The site will be in the Chicago area. Details will be released in the coming months.

  9. With many BIM-M projects underway, the TMS BIM Committee has a need for more and active members with experience using Autodesk Revit and Trimble Sketchup. Being a part of the committee gives an insight into the BIM-M development process. The committee meets virtually as well as twice a year in person. Committee members set priorities for future BIM-M products, prepare requests for proposals for new projects, and beta test software. Currently, there are several new plug-ins and add-ins in the plaaning stages that offer many opportunities for new members to join and help.

    Do you know a young energetic architect or engineer who could be enticed to be part of this dynamic team? Here’s a chance to support the future of the masonry industry by supporting them to participate. Contact BIM-M through the web site or to the TMS BIM Committee Chair Ms. Jamie Davis (
Thank you again for your continuing support of BIM-M. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know.

About the Author

David T Biggs PE, SE is a structural engineer with Biggs Consulting Engineering in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He serves as the coordinator for the BIM-M Initiative. Biggs is an Honorary member of The Masonry Society and a Distinguished Member of ASCE.


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