buildingSMART alliance Wall information exchange (WALLie) Project

Wall information exchange (WALLie)

ORGANIZATION: Component Assembly Systems/USACE ERDC/CSI/MABECgroup

Bill East
(217) 373-6710


Current representation of walls in building information modeling software is insufficient to meet requirements beyond the design phase. Designer- and software-specific, single use wall types become useless in terms of historical and organization data points. If a wall type cannot be expressed using standards, many inefficiencies present themselves:

  • The handoff along the project stream
  • Internal database and historical data mining capabilities
  • Industry best practice knowledge
  • Cross project pricing comparison
  • Bidding leveling control
  • Material innovation breakthrough as industry changers rather than client to client change
  • BIM model complexity. A single wall descriptor allows reference to standards rather than bulky details
  • Details building multiplied by number of contractors plus architects.
  • Proprietary solutions choke out competition


To define wall types explicitly through an internationally accepted wall layering convention that can be used as an external reference to solve the problems that are hobbling the wall construction sub-industry today. This layering standard will allow Architects, General Contractors, Specialty Contractors, Manufacturers, suppliers and Owner to speak a common language with respect to wall information.


This project will follow the buildingSMART Information Delivery Manual process to identify and define the required building information through the life of a project against a series of selected wall types.  This will result in a Model View Definition specification that can be delivered using the open-standard Industry Foundation Class Model.

Expected Result

The life-cycle flow of wall information from Architect to Facilities Manager will allow for minimal loss of project and building information. CAD and Estimating Software companies will focus on rendering capabilities for all configurations rather than stopping at generic wall types. Organizations will build valuable reference databases that will facilitate their growth and will in turn build deeper client value.


The project is organized into a core team and corresponding membership who will review and comment on the work of the core team. This core team has representation from design, construction and design software sectors. US and international data modelers are also supporting the team to ensure the work accomplished will be consistent with OmniClass, Industry Foundation Class model specifications, and the emerging international adoption of NBIMS-US standards.

  • John Lord
  • Don Smith
  • Robert Anderson
  • Nicholas Nisbet
  • Ryan Ghere
  • Greg Ceton
  • John Rapaport
  • Steve Holzer

To participate as a corresponding member of this group, please contact Mr. John Lord at

Additional Resources


Creative Commons License
WALL information exchange by buildingSMART alliance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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