GeoBuild – An Interoperability Strategy


The building and construction sector in New Zealand has a falling level of productivity and a number of other issues affecting the cost of buildings.  A number of activities are underway to address and rectify these issues, including some technology based activities.


GeoBuild is an overarching strategy with respect to technology applications affecting the built environment.  The GeoBuild Strategy is NOT an IT project with a large budget and many staff.  It is simply a strategy to ensure that any new technology solutions or activities affecting the built environment are interoperable with each other.


The GeoBuild Strategy takes a holistic, strategic and interoperable approach to the building and construction “system” to encourage the performance and productivity of the building and construction sector.  If these factors can be lifted, better economic outcomes can be achieved, and results centred on client needs can be realised.


Three technology programmes are at the core of the GeoBuild Strategy:


  • A national online development consent system
  • Acceleration of the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • An upgraded Geospatial project (GIS)


The introduction of a national online development consenting system for building and resource consents would be a project driven by MBIE and MFE to achieve more consistency in the development consenting system and reduce costs for consent applicants. 


BIM is being used by a limited number of designers and builders in New Zealand.  The Productivity Partnership had identified the accelerated uptake of BIM as an opportunity to realise significant productivity gains, especially in large and commercial buildings.


Geospatial information in New Zealand is held by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and local authorities.  LINZ is engaging in a significant programme to improve the quality and accessibility of land information.  This programme will involve local authorities, and other parties, in the updating and improvement in the amount and nature of GSI information within the LINZ system.


Each of these projects is expected to generate significant benefits in its own right and justify the allocation of capital to fund development and implementation.


The GeoBuild strategy will ensure that these programmes are interoperable with each other that the data they retain is available for other uses affecting the built environment.


The strategy paves the way for: better building quality, reduced rework, improved timeliness of the construction process, lower construction costs, better supply chain management, a more sustainable built environment and fit for purpose buildings.


Resilient and sustainable urban environments need to be fit for purpose, remain true to the integrity of their design, use materials technology to their best advantage and encompass the efficiency and effectiveness of whole of life building management.


GeoBuild will also provide opportunities for information from the built environment to link with other information to create business opportunities, economic growth, and improve the lives and wellbeing of New Zealanders.


The GeoBuild Strategy would show how an interoperable building and construction system can:


1)     Reduce the time required to complete a building project through enhancements to building design, planning, consenting, and construction (BIM)

2)     Realise savings in development and construction costs, for example through early clash detection and a reduction of unbudgeted changes (BIM)

3)     Create durable and robust frameworks for sharing planning, building and geospatial information (GIS)

4)     Realise wider economic benefits from integrating data on buildings and building environments (GeoBuild)

5)     Increase the transparency and openness of the building consent process and information held by government agencies (NODCS)

6)     Ensure more efficient use of scarce resources, especially skilled trades people (Pipeline Report)


Allow each component to realize its own cost saving and productivity objectives and contribute to the overall availability of data in the built environment


Ensure that there is interoperability between systems affecting the built environment


Set an interoperability standard for new data sources wishing to add to existing data in the built environment


Ensure that there is interoperability between competing systems supplying data to the built environment e.g. competing BIM systems.





Why the contribution is important

GeoBuild™ - Setting the Standards for Interoperability

What is GeoBuild™?

GeoBuild™ will set national minimum standards and software protocols to allow the sharing of information between the private and public sectors within the built environment.

What will be the benefits of GeoBuild™ be?

Land and building owners, developers, architects and designers, building and construction companies and central and local government agencies will be able to locate, quickly and simply, all the available information about a particular piece of land or building. They will be able to see everything above and below the ground and, if the building was designed using Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, a 3-D view of the building and its structural components. This information will inform better decision making and save time and money for any new developments or building work.


Another important benefit will be the ability to collect data on buildings as they are planned, consented and built, and monitor their performance over the lifetime of the building.

Analysis of this rich multi-level built environment information will enable identification of building designs and systems, or particular products that may be found to have faults many years after they were installed.

Much of this information exists today but it is held in many different places (private businesses, central and local government agencies, owners etc) and in many different formats (paper, electronic, digital etc) and locations. The information is in silos and therefore isolated. The lack of common standards and formats limits access and use of the information by the people who need it.

Wider Applications and Opportunities for GeoBuild™

The benefits of GeoBuild™ go well beyond the design and construction of buildings. The nature of information contained within the building sector can benefit emergency response services; enhance police services; and assist government agencies in making better decisions. For very little additional cost a platform will be set to enable anyone to design innovative applications using the available information. It will create new business opportunities and new ways to enhance productivity and value that are not possible without GeoBuild™ interoperability.


An example is access to GeoBuild™ trademarked information by emergency services. A fire brigade on the way to a callout could use a tablet device to gain immediate access to information about the design, purpose and construction of a collapsed or damaged building. This information adds significant value to the planning of the rescue operation.


by andrewminturn on August 15, 2016 at 04:48PM

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  • Posted by IdiotSavant August 16, 2016 at 12:50

    If this was an open, non-trademarked standard, it might be worth considering. But proprietary standards and solutions are the very opposite of open government.
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