Swissbau 2018 CRB Schweizerische Zentralstelle für Baurationalisierung

coBuilder and CRB launch the SBS Tool at Switzerland’s Biggest Buildig Trade Event: Swissbau 2018

This year Switzerland’s Biggest Building Trade Event: Swissbau is all about Collaboration. Are we doing it (digitisation) together or is everyone on their own? Fitting to the theme of the show coBuilder’s CEO Lars Christian Fredenlund is right where the action is: at the CRB-Lounge. Why? The reason is coBuilder’s groundbreaking collaboration with The Swiss Research Centre for Rationalization in Building and Civil Engineering (CRB). Exclusively to Swissbau, between 16th and 20th January, the partners will be showcasing their united software development – the SBS* Tool. In addition, Lars will be holding informative lectures on topics such as ‘Standardization of Product Data Templates in Europe’ and ‘Information management using building information modelling’ as part of the main lecture programme at the CRB-Lounge. Learn more about the collaboration and the SBS Tool in the CEO’s own words in the following interview by Gaby Jefferies, originally available in CRB’s official bulletin.

The ‘digital transformation’ is achieved by doing not just talking. This is why, coBuilder and CRB have partnered up in order to set up a Swiss-specific process of creating Product Data Templates (PDTs) and establish it as a national standard. Together we are developing the SBS Tool – a digital platform that will enable CRB to collect feedback from the industry and build robust templates according to not only international best practice but also to the specific needs of the Swiss industry. Sometimes thinking globally requires us to act local. I think together with CRB we will illustrate that a nation-wide ‘digital transformation’ is possible.

* SBS Strukturierte Bauproduktinformationen Schweiz

Can you briefly explain what coBuilder does?

coBuilder’s mission is to digitise the construction industry. We believe that this can only be achieved through establishing standardised digital processes that are followed by everyone. Our main focus is construction product data. We employ the best IT and construction industry talent in order to create common standard-based data structures called Product Data Templates. These templates are the cornerstone determining the future of a better, more efficient and more collaborative construction industry.

Why is the standardization of product descriptions (PDT) so important for the construction industry?

Construction product data is the smallest building block of the digital twin of any built asset. If we are to experience the benefits of digitalisation in the construction sector, we need to look at data first, and not focus on fancy sounding buzzwords like VR, AR, IoT, machine learning etc. Data today is confined to unstructured formats such as PDF. It is inconsistent: even the meaning of a simple word such as a ‘door’ varies across different countries. That is why we have to bring the standards and the test methods that products are being defined against into the picture. A PDT does just that – it describes what a product is and what its characteristics are in a way that machines can understand. When we make all machines around the globe understand what anyone means when they say ‘a door’, the possibilities are limitless.

In which countries do you already see advantages for the construction industry, precisely because such standards have become established?

In the UK the Government requires that any built asset is handed over with a digital O&M called the Asset Information Model. Apart from the geometry, this model requires accurate data and documents about the installed product in a building. Through the implementation of standard-based PDTs, construction product data is collected according to digitally set requirements and is automatically validated and verified by information management software such as coBuilder Collaborate. By implementing such ways of working, the UK Government aims to close the performance gap and ensure that what is designed is what actually is built. The foundations of this process are already laid and the industry sees great benefits for building owners and contractors alike but, still, digital transformation is a journey and it takes time to fully see the advantages.

What advantages can the Swiss construction industry expect from cooperation between coBuilder and CRB?

In Switzerland, CRB is the industry-recognised expert in providing and maintaining a multi-lingual construction-specific terminology database. coBuilder are the leaders in establishing the PDT methodology in Europe. Together, the two organisations hold the expertise to provide to common digital construction data structure and specific Swiss context that will help all construction industry actors take advantage of the same data no matter if they speak English, German, French or Italian. This will be a great opportunity to show the world that standard-based collaboration is the way forward and there is no turning back.

How do you rate CRB’s international contribution to the «digital transformation» of the construction industry?

The ‘digital transformation’ is achieved by doing not just talking. This is why, coBuilder and CRB have partnered up in order to set up a Swiss-specific process of creating Product Data Templates (PDTs) and establish it as a national standard. Together we are developing the SBS Tool – a digital platform that will enable CRB to collect feedback from the industry and build robust templates according to not only international best practice but also to the specific needs of the Swiss industry. Sometimes thinking globally requires us to act local. I think together with CRB we will illustrate that a nation-wide ‘digital transformation’ is possible.

You are intensively involved on the international stage with BIM / digitization. What makes CRB one of your ideal partners?

BIM is no longer just a buzzword in the industry, people are slowly starting to realise that BIM actually means better information management, better cooperation, transparency and replicability. This is why European bodies such as CEN (Work group 442), ISO, buildingSMART etc. are busy providing us with the guidance on how to work in the digital environment. The involvement of national standardization bodies such as CRB in the process means just one thing: the change is happening. We are delighted to call CRB our partners because coBuilder is powered by first movers, innovative thinkers and people willing to change ‘business as usual’. In that sense we are a perfect match.

2018-05-15T11:33:21+00:00 January 17th, 2018|BIM implementation, PDTs, Standardization, Switzerland, The I in BIM|