McGraw-Hill Construction Releases New Interoperability SmartMarket™ Report

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McGraw-Hill Construction's new interoperability report finds software incompatibility largest obstacle to interoperability.

Interoperability, from a purely technology-based viewpoint, allows collaborating firms to share electronic data between software applications

McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP), today released its Interoperability SmartMarket™ Report at McGraw-Hill Construction's ENR Construction Business Forum in Washington, DC. The report provides insight into the interoperability of software applications and platforms serving the building community -- of key importance to the $1 trillion U.S. construction market, as interoperability costs add 3.1% to a typical project budget.

The 36-page SmartMarket™ Report reviews the results of research conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction Analytics in late Spring 2007. The goal of the study was to assess the interoperability of software applications and platforms serving the building community based on responses from a representative sample of 295 architects, engineers, contractors and owners. The study was sponsored by nine industry associations: The American Institute of Architects, International Code Council (ICC), Associated General Contractors of America, Construction Users Roundtable, Construction Owners Association of America, Construction Management Association of America, Construction Specifications Institute, Society for Marketing Professional Services, and buildingSmart Alliance.

The study aimed to:

  • Identify the types of software used most often by building team members.
  • Evaluate usage of building information model software.
  • Quantify the costs and issues associated with the ability of construction project software to effectively share data or "interoperate" among applications.
  • Determine usage of automated code-compliance checking.

The major findings of the report include:

  • Software incompatibility is the largest obstacle to interoperability.
  • Costs are another obstacle to interoperability, with the largest expenditures coming from training and time spent on translation when switching to programs allowing interoperability.
  • The costs of not improving interoperability primarily come from manual data re-entry.
  • The most frequently used interoperability software is 2-dimensional CAD. Also important are scheduling software and Business Information Modeling (BIM). In fact, use of BIM is increasing so rapidly that the study foresees a "tipping point" by the end of 2008, when a majority of architects are expected to be using BIM.
  • BIM has emerged as a critical catalyst in the effort to create innovation within the building community.

"Interoperability, from a purely technology-based viewpoint, allows collaborating firms to share electronic data between software applications," said Norbert W. Young, President, McGraw-Hill Construction. "The lack of seamless flow of information - or interoperability - is one of the primary factors holding the entire industry back from quantum leaps forward. This study gives us a full picture of the real challenges we face. We need this baseline in order to map out the important work ahead to create solutions for the entire industry."

Through its editorial coverage in Architectural Record and ENR magazines, McGraw-Hill Construction has become a thought leader on the challenges to interoperability. This report, however, brings together for the first time McGraw-Hill Construction's editorial expertise with independent market research to provide an in-depth report on interoperability.

As Stephen A. Jones, who spearheads McGraw-Hill Construction's initiatives around interoperability, BIM and integrated project delivery, said, "This report takes the pulse of the industry in terms of expenses, drivers and effectiveness of different tools. This information is critical to our work moving forward."

Electronic copies of the report are available at

About McGraw-Hill Construction:
McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies MHP, connects people, projects and products across the design and construction industry. Backed by the power of Dodge, Sweets, Engineering News-Record, Architectural Record, GreenSource, and Regional Publications, the company provides information, intelligence, tools, applications and resources to help customers grow their business. McGraw-Hill Construction serves more than one million customers within the $4.6 trillion global construction community.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies MHP is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2006 were $6.3 billion.


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