Building Information Modeling for Masonry     


David T Biggs & Tim O’Toole

The masonry industries of the United States and Canada are sponsoring an initiative for Building Information Modeling for Masonry (BIM-M). With guidance from Georgia Institute of Technology, the goal is to maintain and advance the commercial masonry industry’s market share by improving project delivery methods, including BIM. The first generation BIM software for masonry is projected for 2017-2018. It will have a significant impact on the way masonry buildings are designed, constructed and maintained.

A major undertaking of sponsors and volunteers, this major initiative provides information through a newly launched web site. Coupled with periodic press releases, BIM-M will be become known to the masonry industry in the US and Canada. transfers information on the initiative to site visitors. A resume-type appearance is easy to navigate and allows users to download information.

Layout Key features include:

• BIM-M Leaders

• Visitors are invited to get involved

• Benefits to the industry including designers, suppliers, manufacturers, craftworkers, contractors, construction managers and owners are highlighted.

• The mission statement is spelled out for all to understand the goals and the vision for BIM-M.

The Building Information Modeling for Masonry Initiative (BIM-M) is identifying barriers to and strategies for the full implementation of masonry materials and systems into BIM software for the design and construction industries. The purpose of this initiative is to unify the masonry industry and all supporting industries through the development and implementation of BIM for Masonry software to facilitate smoother workflows and collaboration across all disciplines from owner, architect, engineer, manufacturer, mason, contractor, construction manager and maintenance professionals.

• Identified are organization, committee structure and Executive Committee initiatives.

• On-going BIM-M projects are listed individually with leaders, consultants and proposed time frames of completion. The initial project completed is the Phase IRoadmap created by Georgia Institute of Technology under the direction of Professors Chuck Eastman and Russell Gentry, consultants to BIM-M, Georgia Tech’s roadmap charts the path the masonry industry needs to take toward digital inclusion in the construction industry. The full Roadmap is available at

• Resources provide glossary of BIM terms, downloadable presentations and links to articles.

• Events and News are key features that will be updated as warranted. Events include educational opportunities. News includes changing programs and press releases.

Still to Come!

With the first generation of BIM-M software improvements proposed for release in 2017, there is plenty of work to do. The web site will follow the activities of BIM-M and be a vehicle of information. Social media opportunities are being explored along with additional links to related industries and organizations. Stay tuned and look to!

David T Biggs, PE, SE, DIST M ASCE, HTMS, is principal of Biggs Consulting Engineering in Troy NY and the Program Coordinator for the BIM-M Initiative. He specializes in structural forensic engineering, masonry design and historic restoration. He lectures, is involved with research projects and provides consulting for the development of new masonry products. Biggs was a member of the Building Assessment Team that investigated the World Trade Center disaster for FEMA and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is a Distinguished Member of ASCE, an Honorary Member of The Masonry Society and has been a visiting lecturer at the Czech Technical University in Prague and the University of Minho in Portugal for the European Course Advanced Masters in Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historic Constructions. He is a member of the Masonry Standards Joint Committee and a board member of both The Masonry Society and the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE. Biggs is also a GREAT MIND of the Editorial Advisory Board of SMART |dynamicsofmasonry and a partner of Constructive LLC, prefabricated masonry wall system. | 518.495.5739

Tim O’Toole is the Director of Marketing, Education, and Information Technology for the Mason Contractors Association of America in A lgonquin I Land the developer of the website. He has a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University and has worked in the masonry industry since 2003 . 224.678.9709

Live help