Back to Events & Publications Published: 2024 June 21

EMSD & SBI Wins Grand Award at the Hong Kong openBIM/openGIS Awards 2024

SBI and Hong Kong Government Agency, EMSD (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department) received the Grand Award in the Technology Solution Category at the Hong Kong openBIM/openGIS Awards 2024 during the buildingSMART International Asia Summit this month. 

This award category recognizes the use of openBIM/openGIS technologies, its technical implementation to the real-world impact, and future development plans. It assesses how the technology solution demonstrates its practical implementation, integration and benefits.

EMSD engaged SBI on this project to transform MEP project handover practices by embracing BCF, bSDD, IDS, IFC, and openBIM into BIM-Asset Management Life Cycle.

Continue reading below to learn how, in half a year's time, we were able to align and elevate EMSD's existing and sophisticated workflows with buildingSMART International's bSDD and IDS, with a vision to test local use cases that all projects in Hong Kong can benefit from.

EMSD's Journey towards openBIM

In 2014, the EMSD team developed BIM-AM systems and the first standard based on openBIM technology, enabling the integration of Building Information Modelling (BIM) with Facility Management (FM) and Asset Management (AM) systems. Building on this foundation, they explored more efficient data exchange and handover processes, and further enriched their QA/QC workflows through the incorporation of model validation plugins, the CDE, and ISO19650 standards. Despite facing challenges, the EMSD team remains committed to advancing their capabilities through the adoption of openBIM principles.

Challenges in Ensuring QA/QC

EMSD's need for high customization to meet their specific requirements results in a wide variety of models authored using different BIM software & versions. openBIM approach would solve this problem, but, how do they efficiently manage their Asset Information Requirements (AIR) such that it is human-readable and open, while maintaining reverse compatibility with their existing processes? How will they migrate to an openBIM workflow together with their Appointed Parties?

What they needed was not a single software -- they needed toolbox, a collection of tools.

EMSD's Toolbox

As part of the EMSD project team, we conducted development and trials in several areas. Within 6 months, we developed an in-house, first and largest of its kind, Attribute Requirement Repository (ARR) to transform Organization Information Requirements (OIR) into Asset Information Requirements (AIR) in any required format, both machine-readable and human-readable. This automated process contributed to 96% in time savings. We demonstrated the feasibility of asset handover using an IFC-based workflow, which saved 10s and 100s of hours. We developed conversion tools to assist contractors in converting Revit-based BIM models to IFC format, and finally, developed an Information Delivery Specification (IDS) file, a checking rule set for data validation that involved 39 rounds of exchanges.

Major Achievements and Contributions to the openBIM Community

Before the official release of IDS 1.0 earlier this month (June 2024), SBI deployed an IDS for the Lands Department of Hong Kong in early 2023 using an earlier version of IDS. When SBI joined the EMSD project team, we started the project with IDS 0.9.6, and quickly upgraded to 1.0 soon after the official release. We collaborated with the bSDD Technical Group and coordinated with software vendors to improve their off-the-shelf openBIM solutions. We developed and ran the first IDS check for the largest public dictionary in Hong Kong with 370+ elements, 800+ attributes, and over 16,000 class-property relations. We then contributed the specific attributes and requirements to be shared on the bSDD for other organizations to take reference.

Congratulations again to the EMSD Project Team for this great achievement!