There are hundreds of BIM libraries out there, and many companies create their own to promote their objects (we have!). In amongst the noise, there are a few major BIM libraries to pick from which set high standards and generally provide first class objects for free, in a range of formats including IFC, ARCHICAD, Revit and Vectorworks.
The first is the award-winning NBS National BIM Library, which is owned by RIBA. The NBS have very high standards to promote quality and consistency. The site also has downloadable plugins to allow you to directly drag and drop into your drawings, and offers some generic objects.
BIM Store is another major player which has a desktop app to make it easier to get objects fast. BIMstore also features BIMWorld, where wacky creations lie – including an AT-AT from Star Wars, and a Fender guitar!
The final big one is BIMObject, which offers an app which enables instant downloads within your software. They also promote their use of ‘BIMobject Properties’ which reduces the size of a file and allows you to retain only the useful or relevant data to your project (e.g. language, country-specific regulations).
Whilst the libraries are all very similar, the tie between RIBA and NBS National BIM Library make this the provider of choice for around 42% of architects*. If you can’t find a manufacturer object on one site, it may be worth checking the others.