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Will Sharp Presenting on Open Standards in BIM and Infrastructure Design at buildingSMART Virtual Summit

Keynote Address on Oct. 26 Will Reach International Audience of Design and Data Professionals

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Will Sharp

As an expert in the evolving practice of highway and infrastructure design, HDR Highways Director Will Sharp has been invited to present a keynote address this year at the buildingSMART International Virtual Summit.

Speaking to the global audience at 1 p.m. CDT (6 p.m. GMT) on Oct. 26, Sharp is discussing HDR’s approach to open data standards in the U.S. Conference organizer buildingSMART International is the global authority for Industry Foundation Classes open data standards used worldwide in building information modeling for horizontal and vertical construction.

HDR has been very active in promoting open data standards in the U.S., working closely with many industry groups including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Council of Engineering Companies. As a member of AASHTO’s Joint Technical Committee on Electronic Engineering Standards, Sharp provided industry input into the resolution last year in which AASHTO adopted IFC as the national standard for exchanging engineering data.

“The whole idea is for digital information to be utilized from planning to design to construction to asset management in a non-proprietary open format so you can leverage that data throughout the life cycle of the project," Sharp said. “This internationally accepted IFC standard enables that to happen.”

HDR formally joined BSI this year. As a leader in implementing BIM for Infrastructure in the U.S., HDR has undertaken many projects that push the boundaries of what’s possible and find new, better methods for improving project constructability, reducing construction change orders, and leveraging digital data.

Those projects include leading the BIM for Bridges and Structures Pooled Fund Program (a five-year effort involving the Federal Highway Administration and 22 state Departments of Transportation), which is seeking to develop a national open data standard based on the IFC format specifically to utilize bridge design data for construction and fabrication. HDR is also leading the Digital Delivery Directive 2025 effort for Pennsylvania DOT to transition all transportation projects to model-based design and deliverables. And HDR led the design of the fixed facilities for the automated people mover at Los Angeles International Airport — one of the largest BIM projects in the nation, involving hundreds of models.

“Personally, I’ve been pushing for this for over 20 years,” Sharp said. “There’s tremendous value in open data standards to reduce project risk and overall agency project costs.”

Sharp’s keynote joins a number of other BIM for Infrastructure presentations by HDR experts this year, including presentations at the Annual TRB Meeting, the Autodesk Rail Summit, Bentley Year in Infrastructure, an ACEC National Webinar, AASHTO Committee on Bridges and Structures Annual Meeting and many others.

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