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BIM Loket Newsletter
February 2016

Welcome! This is the first English-language edition of the BIM Loket newsletter. The BIM Loket (the Dutch BIM Gateway) was set up on 30 April last year, as a central information and control point for open BIM standards in the Netherlands. We intend to use the newsletters to keep you informed about the developments concerning the BIM Loket and the relevant open BIM standards.

Get to know the BIM Loket

Point of contact for open BIM standards

One central information and control point for open BIM standards. That is the promise that the BIM Loket seeks to fulfil in the next few years. The BIM Loket (the Dutch "BIM Gateway") is an initiative of the buildingSMART chapter Benelux, CROW, Ketenstandaard Bouw en Installaties (ETIM / SALES), Geonovum, SBRCurnet, STABU, and Dutch Information Building Council knowledge institutes. The BIM Loket is an independent non-profit foundation. There is a small implementation organization that is based on De Bouwcampus in Delft.

The collaboration is intended to lead to more effective implementation of BIM. The Dutch construction industry is at the heart of the collaboration. There is also a strong emphasis on bringing the standards into line at national and international level. Furthermore, the BIM Loket is aiming to promote the use of the standards. The benefit for users of the BIM Loket is primarily its simplicity. No more searching will be needed - there is now one single point of contact for questions and information about open BIM standards.

Official launch of De Bouwcampus

A meeting point for the construction industry and creative ideas

The BIM Loket has been based on De Bouwcampus in Delft since May last year. It was officially launched on 13 January, an event attended by more than 400 guests from throughout the construction industry. De Bouwcampus offers a place where parties from the sector can meet and work on joint innovative solutions to issues relating to housing, work, and people’s lives. More than 120 businesses, government organizations, and knowledge institutes are linked to De Bouwcampus. This is where partners like Rijkswaterstaat, the Central Government Real Estate Agency, Bouwend Nederland, local authorities, engineering firms, construction companies and school boards can air and share the societal issues that they deal with. There are currently twelve permanent residents on De Bouwcampus, including the Center for People and Buildings, COB, SBRCURnet, Building Changes, Post Academisch Onderwijs (PAO, postgraduate education), and the BIM Loket.

For an impression of the opening event, go to the De Bouwcampus website.

“Open BIM standards are important”

Ministers Stef Blok and Melanie Schultz van Haegen visit Bouwcampus

The opening of De Bouwcampus was a good opportunity to put the theme of open BIM standards firmly in the spotlight. The Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector, Stef Blok, paid a lightning visit to the ‘BIM house’, the newly equipped BIM Loket location. It clearly genuinely interested him. BIM Loket director Jacqueline Meerkerk took the opportunity to ask him about the use of open BIM standards during the renovation of the ‘Binnenhof’, the centre of political life in the Netherlands. Her question was a reference to the debate in the House of Representatives on 10 December, during which Ingrid De Caluwé of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy asked the minister whether the VISI open BIM standard would apply during the renovation work. Unlike during the debate, the minister’s reply this time was an unequivocal “yes”.

The Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, also underlined the value of open BIM standards. She said they were of great importance for the Environment & Planning Act. The chairman of Bouwend Nederland, Maxime Verhagen, expressed the intention of actively working to make the use of BIM and open BIM standards more widespread.

GB-CAS, NLCS and VISI to BIM Loket from 1 January

Another three open BIM standards incorporated

Since 1 January 2016, the GB-CAS, NLCS, and VISI open BIM standards have formed part of the BIM Loket. This follows a decision last year, taken by the relevant governing bodies and the BIM Loket board. Together with CB-NL and NL/SfB, which joined last year, the BIM Loket portfolio now contains five open BIM standards. For parties who use these standards, the BIM Loket functions as a point of contact via

The BIM Loket is an independent foundation in which the relevant knowledge institutes concerned with open BIM standards in the Netherlands - SBRCURnet, CROW, STABU, Geonovum, Ketenstandaard Bouw & Installatie, and, buildingSMART Benelux - work together. The inclusion of standards in the BIM Loket is in keeping with the aim of the parties involved to organize the management and coordination of open BIM standards from one central point.

GB-CAS is a standard for 2D CAD drawings and information exchange among different construction parties in the residential and non-residential building sector. The Central Government Real Estate Agency (RVB) prescribes the standard in the RVB BIM Norm for 2D extracts supplied from a BIM. Until this year, GB-CAS was owned and operated by STABU, which has transferred its rights to the BIM Loket. From now on, GB-CAS will be managed as an open standard by the BIM Loket.

NLCS is the standard for exchanging information in CAD drawings for the soil, road, and water construction sector. Rijkswaterstaat, Dienst Vastgoed Defensie, and the Rotterdam City Council Public Works Department have prescribed the NLCS since 1 March 2012, as do many local authorities and provincial governments. Until this year, the management of the NLCS was the responsibility of the SBRCURnet. NLCS version 4.1 will be issued on 1 March this year. A significant addition is that an ‘as-built’ NLCS drawing of a completed outdoor project can now be converted into a GIS file. This means that the new situation can easily be replicated in the BGT - the large-scale topographical map of the Netherlands, which is compulsory by law. The aim is to position the NLCS as a fully valid ‘level 2 BIM standard’ (see the BIR Knowledge Chart 1: Dutch BIM levels).

VISI forms the basis for communication and information transfer in organizations and building and other projects, and ensures that the responsibilities on a project are properly allocated. Having this open process standard across the industry will enable construction parties to structure, monitor, and adhere to their communication agreements and arrangements. The VISI standard is on the Standardization Forum ‘Pas toe of leg uit’ (‘apply or explain’) list. Until this year, the management of the VISI was the responsibility of CROW. The activities for managing and keeping the VISI standard up to date will be continued under the auspices of the BIM Loket from 2016, at the same level of quality that its users are accustomed to.

CB-NL users’ consultation body established

Sign up as a participant

CB-NL currently has no users’ consultation body. However, there is a pressing need for one, as many organizations are in the process of setting up their own OTL (Object Type Library). These organizations use or will use the conceptual framework provided by CB-NL. For CB-NL, it is important the standard is developed on the basis of usage. What were the questions being asked by commissioning parties and contractors when setting up their own object libraries? What needs are there? CB-NL would like to meet these needs, within the possibilities that exist. This can be achieved by setting up a users’ consultation body. It will be an open body to which every user will be welcome. A user can be the operator of an OTL, the software supplier offering support in the process, a user or a client of the OTL, those who draw up specifications/standards, etc. The users’ consultation body will start in April. We will keep you informed of developments through the BIM Loket. For more information or to sign up:

Ask the BIM Loket helpdesk

Users of GB-CAS, NLCS, and VISI - an extra welcome!

The BIM Loket is the central point of contact for information on open BIM standards. The BIM Loket helpdesk has replaced the separate helpdesks for open BIM standards, which have been incorporated into the BIM Loket. From now on, users of GB-CAS, NLCS and VISI have one single point of contact: This is also the place to contact for general questions about BIM and open BIM standards.

Public-sector commissioning parties are pooling their resources around BIM

European subsidy for EU BIM Task Group

The European Commission has awarded a two-year subsidy to the EU BIM Task Group for the formation of a European network to coordinate the use of Building Information Management (BIM) in public-sector projects. The establishment of the network will result in Europe getting the largest coverage of government-run BIM programmes in the world. This joint European approach to the use of BIM will ensure that the continent has a world-class construction industry.
Finland and Norway were the first countries to establish open building standards, followed by national BIM programmes in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Initiatives led by the government and the business sector have recently been launched in France, Germany and Spain. The EU BIM Task Group, which is co-funded by the European Commission, is bringing these national initiatives together.

At present, the EU Task Group includes fourteen European Member States, with representatives from commissioning parties in the public sector (public property organizations, infrastructure authorities, policy-makers, and others) from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
The EU Task Group will be communicating its aims at conferences throughout Europe. A launch meeting is shortly due to be held in Brussels. In addition, it is keen to attract more representatives from Member States in the form of commissioning parties in the public sector, and to encourage them to further interact with the European construction industry. On 19 January, the members of EU BIM Task Group steering group attended their first official meeting, in Brussels.
Chairman Adam Matthews said, “As a group, we believe that the public sector can show leadership in Europe, and can contribute to the development of world class digital construction industry that is open, digital, and competitive.”

Contact persons
  • Benno Koehorst (NL, Rijkswaterstaat), tel. +31 6 22946482
  • Hester van der Voort (NL, Rijkswaterstaat/BIR programme team), tel. +31 6 51291085
  • Adam Matthews (UK, chairman of EUBIM), tel. +44 7980 756 684

Province is committed to BIM for building of ‘Het Gelders Huis’

COINS and VISI open standards applied in residential and non-residential building sector

The province of Gelderland is having a new provincial hall developed and built. The In Domu Nova (iDNova) consortium will be using VISI and COINS in order to maintain effective control of the process. This means ‘Het Gelders Huis’ is the first residential and non-residential building sector project in which these open BIM standards are being used.

Het Gelders Huis consists of new construction in combination with the renovation of the current provincial hall in Arnhem. Of the existing buildings, one is to be demolished and three disposed of. A new building is also to be erected alongside the existing provincial headquarters. The building work started in the summer of 2015, and the new construction is due to be completed in mid-2017. The province has opted for premises that are sustainable and energy efficient. They are intended to meet modern requirements in relation to energy consumption, safety, and technology. Because future maintenance needs were factored in during the design phase, and because of the innovative use of modern materials, future maintenance costs will be kept at a minimum.

Uneto-VNI prepares ETIM standard for calculating and drawing

ETIM-RT to Ketenstandaard Bouw en Installatie foundation

During the VSK trade fair on 4 February, the Uneto-VNI engineering umbrella organization transferred ETIM-RT to the Ketenstandaard Bouw en Installatie foundation. In recent years, parameters needed for calculation and drawing applications have been added to the international ETIM standard for technical products. Manufacturers can now also classify their technical products in ETIM-RT for these applications. If every product is described according to this standard, it will be easier for construction parties and software platforms to exchange 3D product information.
Read more about ETIM-RT (in Dutch).

Uniform Objects Library
Uneto-VNI also launched the Uniform Objects Library project on 4 February. With the data from ETIM-RT, uniform and exchangeable objects can be generated in the engineering firms’ CAD systems. A team of specialists from the IT companies involved are currently working on a proof of concept. The first object models and plug-ins for the CAD systems are expected to be ready towards the summer.
Read more about the Uniform Objects Library project (in Dutch).

BIM Loket consultation hour

Drop by with your questions or suggestions

If you have any questions about BIM or open BIM standards, you can always contact our helpdesk. Sometimes, though, it better to be able to talk with someone, even if it is just to introduce yourself. The BIM Loket consultation hour serves this purpose. Visitors are welcome to visit us at the De Bouwcampus once every two months. The next consultation hour is on 25 April, from 10:00 to 12:30. Register at, and we will schedule an appointment for you.


5 April 2016
BIM Loket board

5 April 2016
BIM Loket supervisory board

21 April 2016
BIM Praktijkdag ("practical day")
Jaarbeurs, Utrecht

25 April 2016
BIM Loket consultation hour
De Bouwcampus, Delft

16-19 October 2016
5th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE2016
more information
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