BIMStorms require people to share data to enable rapid and connected decision-making. The power comes from creating a common operating picture that all can use. Trust builds as those who experience the process work to solve problems and develop solutions. For a detailed timeline of completed BIMStorms, see the BIMSTORM CHRONOLOGY page.

What are the interesting aspects of BIMStorms?

  • BIMStorms give people a first-hand experience of the power and possibilities that distributed processes make possible.
  • More than 35 BIMStorms with many different program focuses have taken place since 2008. Concepts that were innovative at the time are becoming mainstream approaches and used worldwide.
  • Each evolution of the BIMStorms offers glimpses of more things to come as the cloud and web services blossom.
  • BIMStorms celebrate expertise and experience. International and local experts communicate, examine, and propose solutions to a predetermined built environment issue focused on a geographic area.
  • Teams contribute expertise from around the world, creating a global perspective for the BIMStorm solution set.
  • Participants use rules-driven systems, business metrics, connected decision support, geographic information systems, and building information modeling in the cloud during BIMStorms. Participants use tools of their choice and access the web in ways that are familiar, contributing their information and expertise to group projects.


BIMStorms are online brainstorms using Building Information Models in proof-of-concept exercises that allow people to come together to experience the beauty and power of web-based information sharing. They are BIG-BIM and BIG Data in action.

BIMStorms concentrate on sharing the information in Building Information Models. Their power comes from linked live data from authoritative sources. It is an inclusive approach that allows anyone to participate. Frequently they occur over one to three days to show that, in a short period, extraordinary things can happen—when everyone works together in a connected information sharing environment.

At times, BIMStorms are held over a period of months to allow participants to experience real-world workflows of greater depth and complexity.

BIMStorms let people roll up their sleeves and experience real information modeling in ways that are straightforward and cost effective. No travel occurs to demonstrate your ability to work with people all over the world. BIMStorms are near zero carbon events; since everything happens in the cloud, and no one must travel to take part.

In 2008, BIMStorm Los Angeles was the first of public BIMStorm. This open demonstration showed what is possible using a service-oriented-architecture approach to information sharing in unison, by people all over the world. The event offered a first-hand experience of a BIG-BIM ecosystem.

In twenty-four hours, multiple teams with a total of 130 participants created more than four hundred Building Information Models. People from around the world collaborated in real-time with information models and many open-standards software applications. What may have been futuristic was proven possible.

BIMStorm Los Angeles was a watershed event that opened the eyes of the world to the possibilities of BIG-BIM. The event won an American Institute of Architects BIM Award for its innovative approach to using BIM on the web, something very new at the time.

Today, we look back and laugh at the simplicity of the technology when BIMStorms started. The cloud and web services were just beginning to blossom. BIG-BIM was an aspiration. The intersection of building information, geographic information and facilities management was conceptual to many; yet proven by the participants, who landed their models on Google Earth near the Los Angeles’ Dodgers baseball stadium.

BIMStorms take many forms and have focused on sites around the world. They are live events offered at no cost to participants. One brings their enthusiasm, expertise and a willingness to collaborate on something new. The BIMStorm is the best way to get hands-on understanding and experience of how to use BIG-BIM. You invest your time; the remainder is free

BIMStorms have changed over the years. First, BIMStorms enabled comprehensive design and industry participation. BIMStorms involved architects, engineers, and those in facility leadership positions. Quickly they transitioned to encompass wider design and industry participation.

Early BIMStorms were designed to give people a clear understanding of where the technology was heading, making it easier for people to plan their personal transformation to a more connected and collaborative world than in the past.

Commercial BIMStorms that support customer needs have been in demand since 2010. The commercially focused version of the BIMStorm has been used to design for organizational change—EcoDistricts, major facilities, statewide school systems, and health-care facilities. Thousands of people from all levels of society and all specialties have now experienced a BIMStorm in a variety of forms.

Since BIMStorms work with open-standard and interoperable data, experts can quickly extract the information they need, using both traditional or innovative tools, at any stage of the process. Expert participants can then post their professional take on the matter to enrich the data of the ecosystem. Concurrently, other users provide reviews, post input and monitor progress.

People are starting to understand why we must move toward a BIG-BIM ecosystem approach and away from our reliance on files and siloed processes. BIMStorms show how each of us can be part of the BIG-BIM solution. BIMStorms react to the individual, environmental, and public needs in ways that offer informed decision-making. Rather than the politically charged processes that have become the norm in society.