BIM or openBIM?
That is the question!

BIM or openBIM | ACCA software

Are you faced with the choice of which process and which BIM platform to use for your everyday work and afraid of remaining trapped with the software you’re implementing?

Choose openBIM, choose the only CDE platform with IFC certification by buildingSMART International.

Get free access to usBIM and manage IFC, point clouds and other BIM files (DWG, RVT, DXF, EDF, SKP, etc.) even large sized complex models with 15 free applications and 10 GB of cloud storage space

closed BIM vs openBIM®


What are the advantages and disadvantages of openBIM over BIM or closed BIM? Why use openBIM® instead of closed BIM?

These are the main questions you need to ask yourself when organizing your work and choosing the most appropriate collaborative platform for managing your BIM processes.

To understand the advantages, disadvantages and differences between BIM, closed BIM and openBIM®, let's start from the definitions.


What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the interdisciplinary process used by engineers, architects, surveyors, builders, and maintenance technicians, to continuously create and update all construction data sources.

What is BIM used for? BIM is used to create a digital model of a construction that contains a continuously updated source of information related to a building's life cycle and at any moment in time, from design, to construction, to execution and maintenance.

What is openBIM ®?

OpenBIM® is the multidisciplinary process to create and manage the information model of a construction based on open formats (independent of the software vendor that manages such data) such as IFC, BCF, COBie, CityGML, gbXML, etc.

It therefore extends the concepts of BIM by identifying the use of a common language made up of international data standards and processes commonly defined as the plus to ensure a real advantage for all stakeholders in the construction sector (Architecture, Engineering, Construction AEC).

openBIM: full definition

What is an open data format?

An open format such as IFC, BCF, COBie, CityGML, gbXML, etc. is a technical specification in the public domain, used for the description and storage of digital data free from legal restrictions for its use.

The digital data format is defined as "open" when the syntax, semantics, the operational context and the methods of use are made public with the aid of detailed documentation.

This means that the data format does not belong to a single software vendor (Autodesk©, ACCA, ArchiCAD©, Trimble©, Nemecheck©, etc.), but is kept in the public domain so that anyone can access it and build products or services on it.

Interview on openBIM with the Top Managers of buildingSMART international | ACCA software

Interview on openBIM with the top managers of buildingSMART international
Meeting ACCA software-buildingSMART international | 10th - 11th March 2022


What is the difference between BIM and openBIM®?

The difference between BIM and openBIM ® is that openBIM ® processes only require the use of open standards (open data formats) in data sharing to create and update the construction information model, while BIM also allows the use of closed formats, thus leading to the so-called closed BIM.

Advantages and disadvantages between openBIM ® and closed BIM

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process that is based on cooperation, collaboration and communication using digital technologies.

Everyone involved in the process of creating the construction information model must be able to record, modify, verify and access data and information at all times.

It's becoming evermore clear that the greatest advantage of openBIM ® over closed BIM is precisely the greater accessibility to data. The BIM process is not blocked by the need to use specific software for information management.

The Benefits of openBIM ®

The multiple advantages of openBIM® over closed BIM:

  • you are always free to use any software to produce, read and manage data;
  • you really are the owner of your data, because you alone have full access regardless of the software with which it was originally created;
  • feel free to switch to other software at any time, it's up to you;
  • use specific software for each project requirement while maintaining your openBIM workflow on a common data model;
  • always access your data throughout time without the need for a license to use the software with which your data was created;
  • create work processes that are free from the use of specific software;
  • collaborate with anyone regardless of the software you use;
  • aggregate different data from an openBIM digital model, because all data is written in a common language;
  • always have data available in an open format that can be read and analyzed by anyone for cross-checks and higher quality results;
  • run automatic or semi-automatic data analyses and verifications because you know the structure behind such data and therefore have better control over the entire work process;
  • save on software costs, because of greater market competition with more software to choose from for each kind of problem to be addressed and solved;
  • increase your productivity with highly efficient tools designed for every aspect of your work;
  • get your hands on increasingly better-quality software, competitiveness continually stimulates innovation and development.

Disadvantages of closed BIM

The strongest disadvantages of closed BIM over openBIM® are:

  • you are always forced to use the same software used to create the original data even if you only need to read or manage it over time;
  • you are not really the owner of your data because without the license to use the software with which you have created such data, you can no longer access and read it;
  • you'll find it much harder to be able to choose a different software even if you find a better and more convenient solution;
  • you need to use the same software for all phases of your work, you can't aggregate data produced by different software used for different aspects of your work.;
  • collaboration is limited to only those who have the same software and version as you;
  • you'll be unable to analyze or verify data to improve the quality of your work, unless you have access to specific applications that can handle your own data formats;
  • you end up spending more for software because you'll always be forced to use those specific software solutions even if they cost a lot and are now becoming obsolete.

openBIM® vs closed BIM: how to choose the BIM process and platform?

If you need to choose collaborative processes and platforms for your work, don't make the same mistakes made in the past when choosing your BIM modeling software.

Does your software only manage its proprietary file formats? Finding it difficult to collaborate with colleagues that typically use other software tools and can't manage your data with other software?

When choosing your BIM collaboration platform, don't repeat the same mistakes made in the past! Choose to work with open file formats and not with proprietary formats, only with openBIM you communicate freely with others and manage your data regardless of the software used.

Choose an openBIM® platform. Choose the only CDE platform with IFC certification by buildingSMART International.

Get free access to usBIM and manage IFC, point clouds and other BIM files (DWG, RVT, DXF, EDF, SKP, etc.) even large sized complex models with 15 free applications and 10 GB of cloud storage space
OpenBIM IFC | ACCA software

Transforming BIM to openBIM ®

The N.1 IFC openBIM® Expert, the company with the highest number of IFC-certified software in the world.