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BIMHawk tool celebrates golden first year

Free web-based tool BIMHawk, launched last year by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and NG Bailey, has been celebrating a golden first year with a string of industry plaudits and awards.

Recently listed as a highly impressive part of NG Bailey’s BIM Excellence Award win at the Construction News Awards, the new plugin also won the BIM Initiative of the Year award at the Heating & Ventilation (H&V) News Awards in April.

The judges in both instances recognised BIMHawk’s potential to significantly improve BIM Level 2 production, as well as the altruistic spirit in which it was made freely available to make the BIM industry better for all.

By offering the software free to the engineering community, CIBSE and NG Bailey hope to strengthen the production and adoption of Product Data Templates (PDTs) by creating an online platform that could standardise them quickly and easily. This allows organisations of all sizes, from multinationals to micro-businesses, to work with the same tools and drive up standards of BIM adoption.

Carl Collins, BIM Consultant at CIBSE, said “It is really encouraging to see the BIMHawk tool recognised in awards and the media because it shows a real willingness to engage in the process of making BIM easier to use and more effective for the whole industry.

“When we decided to make it free to use we intended that BIMHawk would level the playing field and allow smaller companies without big technology budgets to do BIM as well as the big multinationals, and this recognition is a big win for that collaborative model.”

The software was developed by Paul Marsland, Design and BIM Development Manager at NG Bailey, and enables authorised users to create or upload Product Data Templates (PDTs) corresponding to real-world products with a full set of industry-recognised parameters ready to be filled in. The model can then be imported directly into BIM platforms without disrupting the rest of the design.

The plug-in has many potential uses, the primary one being the ability for clients to acquire structured data in a predictable format that is used from start to finish by the design and delivery teams. This removes the need to create new models from scratch for every element of a design, or edit generic or existing models that are not compatible and do not use the same parameters.

Contractors, consultants and commissioning engineers will also be able to use BIMHawk to compare products on a like-for-like basis, making the process of specifying much faster and more simple, and saving the client money.

Alongside the website, CIBSE and Marsland also developed a Revit product data plug-in. This will allow designers to acquire product data in a structured format from a PDT. The plug-in removes the need for manufacturers to create new product models from scratch. It also has the ability to update any matching parameters within existing families to the BIMHawk standard, a feature which has the potential to correct and align any non-conforming existing Revit objects created by manufacturers.

Visit BIMHawk at