Geo Week News

September 23, 2014

Help is Coming to the Building Documentation Industry!

USIBD documents intro

The U.S. Institute of Building Documentation (USIBD) recognizes a need for standardization to help building stakeholders speak a common language about documentation, and is addressing the issue. 

One of the big challenges faced by building owner/operators, architects, engineers, contractors (OOAECs) and others who procure building documentation services is knowing how to effectively specify and request building documentation services in a way that is meaningful to service providers. They see this challenge when the bids they receive have significant spreads in cost (which, by the way, should be a big warning sign).

Service providers see this challenge when the requests for proposal (RFPs) are missing the critical information that they need to respond with a fee proposal. When this information is missing, service providers are left with a difficult decision. Do they bid the job the way they know it needs to be done (which often adds cost), or do they only bid the minimum in order to keep their fee low and win the job?

To help building stakeholders speak a common language, the USIBD is publishing its first series of pre-bid and bid documents. These documents will help OOAECs specify building documentation services in ways that are meaningful to service providers so they can get back better bids and lower their risk. They will also streamline the bidding process for all stakeholders involved. 

The USIBD’s first series of documents will include the following:

  • Request for Qualifications (RFQ) template
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) template
  • 3D Imaging Specification
  • Level of Accuracy (LOA) Specification

At the beginning of the year, these documents were published in draft format for public review and comment. The USIBD also tested the documents with a number of mock and real world projects. This testing was performed by USIBD Members as well as non-members alike from the various primary stakeholder groups. All feedback was considered for incorporation into the final versions, which are due to be published shortly.

Using these four documents, the USIBD will provide its membership and the industry with tangible tools to improve the way they procure and offer building documentation services. The first series of documents is scheduled to be released to USIBD’s membership on September 30th for a consensus vote. On October 14th they will be released to the general public for use and the second series of documents will be announced. 

If you are not currently a member of the USIBD and wish to be part of the early release, you can learn more and find an application for membership at I encourage you to become a member today to get involved in one of our committees and help shape the direction of our industry!

Want more stories like this? Subscribe today!

Read Next

Related Articles


Join the Discussion