The French Concrete Industry Federation (FIB) and
Concrete Industry Study and Research Centre (CERIB)

lead the development of the sector on the digital front

The French Concrete Industry Federation (FIB) represents the interests of the French manufacturers of concrete products at the national and European level. As a support and service to its members, it contributes to the development of the the manufacturing process of concrete products and systems, and promotes the interests of the industry.

CERIB is an industrial technical centre which focuses on research and innovation. Its expertise in the field of construction and in particular concrete works (materials and precast products), as well as its state-of-the-art equipment, enable CERIB to support industry actors by providing information and technical consultancy services.

« In their understanding of the Construction Object, Cobuilder treats data as an integral part of Building Information Modelling, alongside 3D geometry. This approach to information management is in line with the methodology adopted by the French concrete industry to structure the properties of generic products.»

Remy Lannoy, Engineer in charge of CERIB's Digital Construction & BIM Department

Needs of the concrete industry

In line with market expectations and regulatory developments, FIB and CERIB have recognised BIM (Building Information Modelling) as the main driver of economic growth in the sector.

By establishing a digital database of concrete products and systems, they aim to meet the growing need for exchanging and using reliable structured data about construction products throughout the life cycle of built assets.

Challenges

The main challenge in construction today are the information siloes that persist within the sector. The same type of construction data is provided differently by different actors in the same project. This hinders the information exchange along the entire supply chain and leads to poor efficiency, both throughout the development of the project, but also during the long years of operation of the built asset.

This is why, supporting all manufacturers in their digital transformation and encouraging the use of generic construction objects in order to facilitate the digital information exchange between the actors is a new challenge taken up by the FIB.

Тhis will also enable the concrete industry to better define its offer and make its solutions easily available to all players.

Solution

With the support of CERIB, FIB has launched a collective project which aims to facilitate the structuring and integration of generic data in construction objects with the help of data templates. This will enable the dissemination of reliable data to all stakeholders throughout the entire life cycle of the project.

To achieve this, FIB has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Cobuilder, whose know-how and award-winning data platform will provide the infrastructure that will enable the sector to be at the forefront of digital construction.

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Step-by-step implementation

  • The first stage of the digitisation project was to create Data templates and a catalogue of generic FIB-branded construction objects.

    The Federation shared with Cobuilder its Data Templates that were the result of FIB’s active participation in the PO BIM project. Cobuilder enriched these Data Templates with generic properties and helped FIB create additional templates based on their needs. Cobuilder then assisted FIB in populating these templates with values through Cobuilder’s solution goBIM. The solution was implemented as a branded catalogue of the Federation comprising generic construction objects that contain structured machine-readable data.

    FIB collaboration with Cobuilder led to the digitisation of product information for more than twenty product families and systems in one year.

  • At the beginning of 2020, the project entered into its second phase. The approach previously used will be adapted to meet the evolving needs of the federation. It aims to give the Federation complete autonomy in the creation and management of its data.

    On the one hand, FIB will take over the work with enriching its generic data templates in Cobuider’s solution Define to create templates that match the products and systems offered by FIB’s members. On the other hand, the Federation will continue to manage its digital catalogue through Cobuilder goBIM.

    In addition, FIB will be able to start using a dictionary of generic construction objects and their properties which is now a reference point for creating and exchanging data about construction objects in France (PO BIM). The PO BIM content, comprising 301 generic object templates and 3139 properties, is now integrated into the Cobuilder platform.

Results

This new work method based on the use of data templates for the creation of generic construction objects allows the Concrete Industry Federation and its members to deliver machine-readable standardised data that will be used in BIM models during all project phases.

Such approach to Building Information Modelling will enable analyses, simulations, checks and visualisation. It will improve the design and allow timely detection of potential problems before the construction of the built asset begins. Finally, it will ensure better control of construction costs with the help of up-to-date data extracted from the digital model in real time.

FIB and CERIB have been quick to detect and react to the changes and needs of their entire ecosystem – project owners and construction companies. They have identified the importance of data and have initiated the digital transformation of their sector while developing the product offering of the Concrete Industry. This big digitisation effort will make the industry’s products and systems widely available to all actors.