Cobuilder implements a common digital language through Define Data Dictionary

Implementing a common digital language in construction helps organisations to “speak” the same language. This has a knock-on effect on automating processes, improving operational efficiency and accelerating the transition to net zero. With this in mind, we have integrated our software solutions with the standards-based Data Dictionary Define that enables actors to develop a common, machine- and human-readable language.

A paradox in the construction sector is that we want to collaborate, but we do not want to come to common terms with everyone across the industry and around the globe. Indeed, this is a difficult task. That is why agreeing on using a common digital language and standardised processes for structuring data is key to solving this puzzle in the industry. What do we mean by that? If we all agree on how to use technology-enabled processes to define, create, organise, and maintain construction data then we can lift this knowledge into a common space that is available to all. This knowledge will be interpreted in the same way by everyone in the value chain, it will be consistent – in a common structure and format, and it will ensure interoperability so that various software systems and BIM-authoring tools will “understand” it in the same way. All this will have a positive impact on the collaboration among all construction parties and the entire built environment.

Digital data dictionaries improve information exchange in construction

There are different digital data dictionaries in the construction industry worldwide and through them, organisations can develop a common way of describing objects, products, systems, materials, and assets. Using a data dictionary and structuring data is the first step to refining the construction information and extracting value from it. However, those dictionaries need to be interconnected with each other. The experts in the standardisation bodies CEN and ISO are currently aligning the available standards to ensure that digital dictionaries can store properties and their attributes in a consistent way.

Learn more about Data Dictionaries in construction

Learn more

Cobuilder steps on the methodology laid down in interconnected and standardised data dictionaries and applies it as a foundation for its software solutions.

By integrating the standards-based Define Data Dictionary, we ensure that the construction data flowing through all our software solutions is of the highest quality – standardised, consistent, interoperable, and universally understood and interpreted by all construction actors and their software systems.

Define Data Dictionary – a standards-based solution created by the industry for the industry

Define is an industry-led data dictionary that enables construction organisations to structure their data in line with all relevant international standards for data management. It is a software for authoring, managing, and sharing standards-based data models (data templates) within a common data dictionary framework.

Through Define, a common digital language can be achieved by developing standards-based data templates for capturing and sharing information about construction materials, products, systems and spaces.

What are data templates and the benefits they bring to the construction sector?

Learn more

Define is led by a management board comprising international construction industry actors who are responsible for all decisions concerning the development of the software.

Members of the steering committee include, among others,  Lignum, a Swiss based company representing the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois) and Molio, a Danish Information centre.

Read more about Define steering committee

Learn more

Cobuilder’s contribution to the Define community

The community that is created to support the Define data dictionary consists of users of the software and external industry actors that share a common vision for utilising standardised data templates to create a machine-readable language for the construction industry.

Through our expertise as a software provider, Cobuilder serves as a technical operator for all data management requirements and administrative needs of the Define community.

Learn more about Define Data Dictionary