buildingSMART alliance Specifiers' Properties Information Exchange (SPie) Workshop

Specifiers' Properties Information Exchange (SPie) Workshop

MARCH 10-11, 2010

Host: Earle Kennett and Dominique Fernandez, NIBS
Dominique Fernandez
(202) 289-7800 ext 119


This two-day SPie workshop demonstrated how product templates may be imported into design and specification software and then updated as products are selected for the project. The meeting described the process that may be used to create and deliver open standards across all building material, product, and equipment lines.

The meeting brought the results of the 2009 pilot SPie project to a wider audience. In particular, a wider range of Trade Associations were represented. The SPie proposition – and the process that supports it – are covered in – (05) SPie process – and are being developed into a "SPie handbook".


National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) - Washington, DC.


NIBS funded this two-day meeting with the support of USACE ERDC, CSI and SCIP. Presentations were made by:

  • Earle Kennett - National Institute of Building Sciences
  • Dominique Fernandez - National Institute of Building Sciences
  • Deke Smith - National Institute of Building Sciences
  • Nick Nisbet - AEC3 UK Ltd
  • Bill East - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center
  • Mark Kalin - Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice
  • Roger Grant - Construction Specifications Institute
  • Gilles Letourneau - InterSpec


The meeting was attended in person or online via a web-conference by 19 people including 10 trade associations, 6 product manufacturers and one service provider.

  • Charles B. Clark - Brick Industry Association (BIA)
  • Julie McLaughlin - National Insulation Association (NIA)
  • Rich Walker - American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA)
  • Bill Yanek - Glass Association of North America (GANA) & Protective Glazing Council Int. (PGC Int.)
  • Jeff Inks - Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA)
  • Donald E. Smith - Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industries (AWCI)
  • S. Rob Gustafson - Woodwork Institute (WI)
  • Tom J. Soles - Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA)
  • Kevin J. Flynn - Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA)
  • Jim Lewis - National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
  • Tom Evans - Dow Chemical Company
  • James C. Moots - Eaton
  • D Buerer - Leviton
  • Richard D Hermans - McQuay International
  • Marty J. Brett - Wheatland Tube Company
  • Rick Jannott - ARCAT
  • Bill Jannott - ARCAT
  • John Przybyla - Woolpert
  • Seamus McGrady


The following presentations were given at the meeting:


Standards and Classifications:


Demonstration s of SPie:

Review of the SPie Proposition and the examples (see "(05) SPie process" above):

  • Light fittings
  • Acoustic ceilings
  • Furniture
  • Wood Locker
  • Window
  • Dry wall construction
  • Cavity wall construction

Approaches to Specified Products (omitted)

  • Design Assemblies – Bill East, USACE
  • Accessories – Nick Nisbet, AEC3

Delivery of SPie product information to the Facility Owner:

Next steps:

  • (12) NIBS and MOU for Trade Associations – Earle Kennett, NIBS

What are the next steps?

Most of the trade associations represented have embarked on taking the SPie proposition to their boards and membership and to investigate some selected products as examples. NIBS and in particular the buildingSMART Alliance intends to support the process.


The paperwork part:

  • Trade Associations sign MOU designating 2 POC's from each participating member
  • Trade Associations form "BIM Committees"

The proposed schedule:

  • Trade Associations identify stand-alone product types, particularly those that have individual serial numbers
  • Trade Associations identify assemblies
  • On behalf of NIBS and the buildingSMART Alliance, AEC3 ( providing initial templates combining current ProductGuide™ with IFC and OmniClass Properties Table properties (60 days following signature of MOU).
  • Document sent to Trade Associations for review by their BIM committee (or equivalent) (60 days)
  • NIBS/ProductGuide™ providing coordination a review meeting (30 days)
  • On behalf of NIBS and the buildingSMART Alliance, AEC3 updates templates and example data sets onto ProductGuide™ (45 days)
  • Trade Associations Product Manufacturers make web page for each of 5 products with filled in template (45 days)
  • Some Product manufacturers may also include delivery of parts and maintenance schedules in COBie (or equivalent ifcXML) format.

The proof:

  • NIBS proposes a full public demonstration at DEC 2010 NIBS Annual Meeting, at the Washington, DC Convention Center. Indications are that there could be 50 product families represented.

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