Cobuilder Define – Your trusted knowledge library

Imagine a library that contains all the knowledge in the world that relates to construction products, components, materials, systems, etc.

Data Dictionary

Firstly, it contains a dictionary of what means what. It can help you translate the meaning of a ‘window’ or ‘width’ to any language in the world, including machine language. Moreover, it keeps all the knowledge about the relationships between things. It can tell you that ‘width’ is connected to ‘meter’ and ‘centimeter’, but not to ‘Volt’. It holds the information that window in the UK is connected to this standard and in the US to this standard.

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Data Governance

Secondly, because this library is a digital one, it has special types of librarians who keep the rules in this world of knowledge. These experts make sure that every piece of knowledge is defined and referenced by a credible source. To their aid, national and international standardisation bodies such as the European standardisation body CEN or in the USA – ASTM International, put forward technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. They provide a common language and a clear reference to what parameters a specific market requires. By studying these standards, the experts make sure there are no duplicates of knowledge, only synonyms or local variations. They keep the quality of the knowledge in the library by data standardization, federation, and versioning and help the global community create new knowledge according to best practice.

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Data Templates

Finally, this knowledge library can answer specific questions. It holds data templates that correspond to different purposes – it can easily create an assembly of parameters that fulfill different conditions set by data requesters such as ‘What are all performance characteristics needed to CE mark a product in the EU?’. In this library, data creators can create their custom information structures, which still are linked to the great body of conceptual knowledge.

To enable a connection from design to construction to operation all actors need to use the same data definitions based on local standards. To make design to manufacturing possible, the whole construction supply chain needs to link the geometry in BIM software tools to interoperable data structures that give actors the possibility to agree on what properties they need, at what time (LOIN) etc.

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digital twin


If this library of knowledge exists in the cloud, any software can source information from it. Anyone can use industry-approved terminology, localized to any region and applicable to any specific purpose. This library is a powerful translation tool, translating knowledge consistently to anyone. It is also a very versatile tool as it can create data structures that are used for different purposes – for specification, purchasing, for cataloguing actual products.

By using such a library, different actors can bridge the rift between design, construction, and manufacturing. They can even begin creating cyber-physical systems that unite the digital and physical realms. When data is consistent, unambiguous, structured and based on sources of credible truth it becomes a powerful business asset.

This is how the trusted machine to machine language that we all need is defined by linking abstract concepts to unique data objects to data structures. From this point on, the possibilities are limitless. This knowledge library builds the basis of seamless data flows across the digital supply chain.