SketchUp Talk: BIM

Let’s talk about BIM! Building Information Modeling is a big deal in the building industry and SketchUp is a big part of BIM! Take a listen as Aaron and Matt talk about the history and the current state of BIM before they invite Bill Allen from Evolve Lab into the studio to get an expert opinion on what is happening in the world of BIM!

EvolveLab -
VolkerWessel on Design8 -
Trimble Constructable Website -

Link to Podcast on YouTube:


Let us know your thoughts on the history and current state of BIM, and where you see SketchUp fitting in your BIM workflow!


I couldn’t find the link to the podcast. Is this the podcast?

I like BIM because it helps you make lists of building materials, but I agree certain BIM programs are restrictive on creativity compared to SketchUp (which allows more creativity). I’ve never used dynamic components for BIM because I’m a SketchUp Make user, but I usually just write in information (such as cost, size, and a link to purchase the component online) in the component description. Then you can create a list of building materials and calculate costs.

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In the Netherlands, the BIM working method has been used for years in the AEC industry. Fortunately, more and more small and medium-sized companies are also applying the BIM work methodology in the AEC industry.

I believe that the combination of a 3D BIM model and process automation makes a process
accessible and efficient. By using 1 central information source the process. This allows the information to be communicated unambiguously, coordinated and reused.

During various studies I was trained with other CAD software, which was said to be the best fit for the BIM work method. But I saw that many companies had difficulty using this CAD software efficiently. I always thought SketchUp was very user-friendly and when I saw that SketchUp Pro had an IFC import and export functionality, I was convinced that I could apply SketchUp Pro with the BIM working method.

In 2016 I chose to use SketchUp Pro with the OpenBIM work methodology where the information is shared in an IFC file format. I have developed a SketchUp Pro BIM workflow that I constantly improve and optimize.

SketchUp Pro can be used from the design up to and including the user phase in the BIM workflow. In the Netherlands many companies use the BIM Basic IDM. It is an initiative to use a basic information delivery specification.

Unfortunately the IFC export functionality does not meet with the IFC scheme in accordance with buildingSMART. To comply with the BIM Basic IDM and to generate an IFC export that complies with the buildingSMART directive, an IFC Manager extension has been developed.
The extension can be downloaded on github:

Despite a good IFC extension has been developed, it is very important that SketchUp improves the native IFC import and export in upcoming versions.

In addition, I would like to see:

  • That the generate report functionality is developed further so that more information can be extracted in quantity statements.
  • Dynamic components are being developed further so that more dynamic BIM content can be developed for companies that also look realistic. Now we are faced with various problems such as textures that stretch rather than reproduce.
  • The possibility to define custom property sets for IFC export in (dynamic) components.

There are still more wishes, but that is not the topic.

In short: SketchUp Pro is very good to apply with the BIM working method! Not only thanks to the powerful 3D functionalities, import and export functions, but also the possibilities that Ruby scripting offers to let SketchUp talk with other systems.


I wanted to THANK SU-Talk for an AWESOME Cast on the BIM subject matter. This was an Excellent Presentation on the Current State of the Industry. Crucial if we want to make Educated Speculation regarding the Direction in which BIM is going.

Congrats on Job Well Done.



Yes, that’s the correct link. Scroll down to video frame a bit further down below.

great resources thanks… trust the Dutch to get things organised…


Thank you for the insights @last episode of SketchUp Talk, I think Bill Allen from EvolveLab pretty much nailed it when he said that in this exciting and disruptive times, one needs to constantly evaluate and look for opportunities in the (aec) industry.

With all the buzz and fuzz about ‘roadmap/Gaap restrictions etc’ elsewhere on this forum, these podcasts provide a clearing sky.
With the excellent choise for the Spotlight Community :grinning: one could extract even more information on were Trimble is heading with SketchUp.

As ˈeərən‘ (not sure how to pronounce) explains, SketchUp will always be the software were you can just go ahead and draw, like the box with coloured pencils on your desk.
Offcourse, one can utilize SketchUp with all the bells and rings to do Revit-kind-of-things (or use EvolveLab to get your ‘rubber duck wall’ in it) but the true power is that you, as a designer or just a future inhabitant of that what’s being built, are in control of how it is gonna look like.

Keep’m coming!

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