BIM Plug-in Opens Green Product Libraries
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued 1st Pricing, a “notice of allowance” (a precursor to a patent – approved not yet issued) that will grant additional intellectual property protection for its Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.
The plug-in works as an add-on to CAD programs, allowing architects and other designers to use libraries of real-world, commercially available products.
“Building Green is hard to do.” said Douglas Lopez, general contractor and founder of the California-based company. “The two biggest obstacles to building green (using sustainable and energy efficient building materials) are the higher material costs and easy access to key information. With our ability to access important product data, including eco-friendly performance ratings, LEED credits and energy efficiency coupled with our e-commerce platform, we can offer viable green options through the click of a button and allow easy, online fulfillment of the exact product. Some of the items covered in the additional intellectual property protection are:
- Green data (meet predetermined environmental or efficiency criteria or both),
- Communication module between CAD and outside data sources,
- Inserting a green schedule into the construction plan drawing,
- Exporting a green schedule to a separate database, and
- Sending a green schedule back by itself or with pricing.
“Making access to external data or content such as LEED and Energy Star ratings, geospatial information, RFID, product specification information and other related information both from within CAD and through online access is important to improving the entire process. It allows us to provide CAD users and all involved parties with precise, relevant information in connection with the environmental responsibility of a building, building component or building material automatically based on their design specifications.” said Lopez.
With the click of a button, the technology accesses an Internet portal and pulls pricing and other data of multiple brands to fill out a detailed bill of materials with all related content, on demand. An online shopping cart is also automatically created for easy fulfillment from a local material distributor. Changes and updates are made within seconds so that everyone is on the same page. The company is focused on building materials for residential construction but plans to add commercial building products in the near future.