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.»
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.
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 models and 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.
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.
The first stage of the digitisation project was to create Data templates and a catalogue of generic FIB-branded construction objects (products and systems).
The Federation shared with Cobuilder its Excel Data Templates that were the result of active participation in the PO BIM project. Cobuilder enriched these Data Templates with properties, uniquely identified by a piece of code called the GUID (globally unique identifier), and helped FIB create additional templates using Cobuilder Define software solution – the core of the digital platform which allows the data to be structured and standardized.
FIB collaboration with Cobuilder led to the digitisation of product information for more than twenty product families and systems in one year.
In this second half 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, on the one hand, to give the Federation complete autonomy for the creation and management of its data, and on the other hand, to facilitate the daily life of its members.
Thus, the CERIB will take over the work with enriching its generic product and system data templates and its properties in Cobuilder Define’s solution to create templates that match the products and systems offered by FIB’s members. To this end, CERIB will be able to start using the PO BIM dictionary of generic construction objects and their properties which is now a reference point for creating and exchanging data about construction objects in France. Its content, comprising 301 generic object templates and 3139 properties, is integrated into the Cobuilder platform.
The data templates obtained will be made available to members of the association via a public page under the FIB – CERIB brand. They will be able to download them and then use them as templates to create their own product sheets.
At the same time, the Federation will continue to manage its digital catalog – which is also available to its members through Cobuilder goBIM.
This new work method based on the use of digital generic products and systems data templates allows the Concrete manufacturers, which are part of the CERIB, to deliver machine-readable standardised data that will be used in BIM models during all project phases.
Such an approach to Building Information Modelling will enable analyses, simulations, checks, and visualization. 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 digitization effort will make the industry’s products and systems widely available to all actors.