Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why a Building "Census?"

Many people will point out that a Census is for counting people. And isn't there an effort to create a National Building Inventory?

Yes, an "inventory" makes traditional sense for counting inanimate objects, such as typical buildings.

But the good new buildings are not typical and it will not be long before existing buildings are equipped with devices that make them "smarter" and able to communicate with us. Some buildings are already interacting with us through an ever growing array of sensors that reach out to our mobile devices to report on energy performance and other conditions.

Also, a census implies there is a latent value in understanding dynamic qualities of those being counted. In terms of dramatically reducing our global carbon footprint, it is all about buildings. Sure, it is easy to see that vehicle improvements can save energy. But do you ever spend all day in your car? And when you are not in it, do you keep it running? Homes are almost always "On." The latent value in gaining a comprehensive understanding of our buildings is significant.

So let's see what can be done when all of your facilities are in one list, visually represented as boxes on Google Earth and contributing to one report.

OK, maybe not all of your buildings, but a good representative sample will allow you to experience a wide range of business insights. Based on the clear visualizations you will say, "I SEE what you are talking about."

We use BIMStorms to help with the online brainstorms using Building Information Models to aid the visualization process. (Check out award winning activities at

We have done it before, we will do it again. And we won't stop until we get significant energy savings and cost reductions for all building owners.

Michael Bordenaro
BIM Education Co-op

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Building Census

Building Census - Where Everything and Everyone Counts

Every ten years, the United States thinks it is good to conduct a census of all the people in the country.

In 2010, hiring of census takers contributed to a three month stabilization of job loss. We allocate economic value to counting all the people.

A building census gives owners of multiple properties many economic values.

Most owners don't have an accurate list of all properties in one place. Creating an authoritative, single list of properties allows visualization of savings that can be immediately realized when approached properly.

BIMStorm exercises have demonstrated how it is possible to create comprehensive lists that are visually validated with online brainstorms using Building Information Models. Because BIMStorms can start with Excel lists, for our purposes we will see these lists as the start of a building census. (See BIMStorm videos at and on YouTube.)

Being able to count everything in your buildings allows for planning and problem solving on a level that contributes to dramatic improvements when properly executed.

Oklahoma City Director of Planning Russel Claus called BIMStorm "a valuable tool for planning and design internationally and in the United States."

This blog will point to past, current and future activities that can help building industry professionals dramatically improve their productivity by implementing and managing a building census. For example, if Oklahoma City had all of their municipal properties in one list so building performance can be presented in one report there would be significant benefits to multiple departments.

BIMStorm processes are the best ways that I know to create a building census of the scale we need to provide improvements to our global environment. So expect a lot about BIMStorms. But I look forward to learning about all ways to share data using open standards with web-based, mobile devices.


Michael Bordenaro
BIM Education Co-op
mbordenaro at cs dot com