Standardized Product Data Sheets for BIM – Build Smart

Sep 16, 2015 -- Building information modeling can be defined as a process that involves generation, documentation and management of 3D models populated with geometric and parametric information. A lot is being talked about BIM and its use in the entire design to construct process. Today several BIM Consulting Services deliver VDC support, BIM 4D Simulation, BIM 5D Modeling, sustainability solutions and BIM for facility managers. However, from here on what the industry actually needs is standardization of the way information is received.

We all are aware that the UK government has made it mandatory to implement Level 2 BIM for all public sector projects. An integral part of delivering BIM Level 2, is to produce information, in the form of a COBie spreadsheet. Hence all the documentation, asset information and project data is delivered in a standard electronic format.

What is COBie?

COBie is the chosen information exchange schema for Level 2 BIM. It is used alongside BIM models and PDF documents. In a typical scenario, project information is contained in drafts, BOQ’s and specification sheets. Construction professionals collaborate and put all this information together.

The idea behind COBie, is that all this information is made available in a single format and shared with construction teams at various stages.

When information is produced in a standard and structured format, it facilitates a collaborative approach, and serves the actual purpose of adopting BIM.

How manufacturers prepare simple product data sheets and become eligible for projects with BIM level 2 implementation?

We have been discussing this for a long time now that BIM needs to be standardized in order to derive the optimum benefits out of it. BIM users need a standardized product data and they are hence demanding this from the manufacturers. Why? So that it becomes easy to compare, choose and incorporate products into BIM. It is pivotal in saving unreasonable amount of time and the eliminating possibility of errors, when designers manually enter general product data into BIM.

Here in this scenario PDT comes to rescue. Earlier manufacturers published data in the format and fashion they deemed fit, however using PDT (Product data template), manufacturers are able to deliver standardized and structured data for a project. The PDT is actually a questionnaire, and is structured into various sets of information including the manufacturing information, construction data, dimensional data, performance information, details about various controls, electrical data, sustainability and operations details, maintenance data etc.

Make Product Data Sheets Available For BIM Projects

A fully filled PDT – i.e. a PDS (Project data sheet) is ready to be used for BIM. These Product data sheets can be hosed on websites by the manufacturers so that they can be freely downloaded and used into BIM. Via these simple spreadsheets, manufacturer’s data in a standard format, is delivered to a project and hence into COBie.

It is a high valued proposition for manufacturers to make BIM objects along with Product data sheets available to be used in BIM projects. Having an in-house team for development of BIM objects and standard spreadsheets may not be possible; hence manufacturers can partner with BIM services provider and develop a BIM object library and PDS for every object within this library.

About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi is an Associate Director at Hi-Tech Outsourcing Services. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan, handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.

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