News

Open product data standards inch closer

21 October 2018 | By Denise Chevin

Two of the world’s biggest not-for-profit agencies came together last week to promote greater interoperability of digital product information. 

The news comes as the UK BIM Alliance issued its A Fresh Way Forward for Product Data: State of the Nation at Digital Construction Week aimed at improving consistency in digital product information.

buildingSMART International (bSI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GS1 to enable the construction industry to benefit from the combined expertise of both organisations through the use of standards and services they deliver.

A statement from the two organisations said: “The use of global buildingSMART and GS1 standards, in particular for product instance identification and exchange of product data, is critical in addressing today’s challenges of digitalisation in the construction sector.

“This agreement further strengthens the benefits of open standards-based interoperability throughout the building and infrastructure value chain and lifecycle, and the broader application of digital product information. 

“With shared visions and goals, the aim of this MoU is to jointly expand the breadth and depth of the standards that are developed and maintained in their respective”

CaseyRutland, UK director of digital at Royal HaskoningDHV on Twitter said: “The best news I’ve seen today!”

buildingSMART International is a vendor neutral and not-for-profit body that leads the development of open digital information flows across the built asset economy. 

GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. It is best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of “the 50 things that made the world economy”. 

GS1 standards improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains and item lifecycles across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. 

The UK’s BIM Alliance issued its A Fresh Way Forward for Product Data: State of the Nation at Digital Construction Week aimed at improving consistency in digital product information. The report looks at six key areas and comes up with a series of recommendations and action points:

  • Structured data and what it is;
  • The current situation with product data standards;
  • The data journey right through the lifecycle of our built assets;
  • Product data naming and Identification (what things are called and how we identify them);
  • Product data hosting (who stores the information and how?);
  • Product data security.

Su Butcher of Just Practicing who write the report said: “Its aim is to identify some of the key challenges to the digitalisation of product data, explain why the process is far from ready to use, and identify what the barriers to progress are and how they might be overcome.”

The report can be down loaded here.

Image: Raman Venin/Dreamstime.com