The new standard EN ISO 23386 adopted in Cobuilder Define

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Modified on December 8, 2020

After more than 3 years of work, the construction industry has finally received a global standard on developing ‘properties’, namely EN ISO 23386. The standard was officially published on the 3rd of March 2020 and is available at the official ISO webpage. At Cobuilder, we have been carefully following the progress with this new standard and our experts have been involved with it from the very start. In our previous article, we explained the key highlights of EN ISO 23386. In this article we look at how Cobuilder have put the standard into practice.

Let`s start from the beginning – why is EN ISO 23386 so important?

The newly published EN ISO 23386 is related to the exchange of data in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital processes used in construction. It serves as a methodology to describe, author and maintain construction products’ characteristics called ‘properties’ in interconnected data dictionaries. The main objective of the standard is to allow а quality exchange of construction information between the industry stakeholders.

In other words, the new EN ISO 23386 is a prerequisite for achieving consistency in the digital data and a common digital language. Only after this step is completed, digital data can start flowing ‘freely’ between the organization`s internal and external software systems and digital tools.

Properties for Systems and Products as per EN ISO 23386

Ok, but what does this mean in practice

At Cobuilder, we are firm believers that we need to ‘go hand in hand’ with industry standards.

We have always stated that standardisation and interoperability are the key pillars that have to be adopted by any construction business that wishes to build a robust digital strategy. This is the only way any business can create value through its digital data. This is the reason why we have based our business model on those two cornerstones. And we keep on collecting knowledge and upgrading our expertise with the newest building regulations.

We are proud to be among the first organisations that succeeded in implementing the new EN ISO 23386 in our platform, namely Cobuilder Define. Cobuilder Define is part of Cobuilder full-cycle solutions on data management and is developed for solving organizational problems related to a common data structure for products, systems, elements across various projects and countries.

Cobuilder Define in a nutshell

In light of EN ISO 23386, Cobuider Define serves as a data dictionary-like system. It is a tool to author and manage a dictionary of properties, groups of properties and data templates defining technical entities for digital use.
We say it is ‘like’ a data dictionary because it is created in accordance with the IFD standard for data dictionaries, but it goes above and beyond the scope of a data dictionary.

As per EN ISO 23386 it facilitates a standard process for ensuring the content quality where the contents of the dictionary and the relationships between them are assessed and approved by appointed domain experts.

Cobuilder Define allows users to create logical connections between properties and groups of properties. These data models are universal and suit any market or organization. What is more, Cobuilder Define allows you to digitize your data model according to the principles behind prEN ISO 23387 standard (we will explain in the next section).

In Define there is also an important feature which allows that every piece of knowledge, such as property or attribute, to be defined and referenced by a credible source – building regulations and relevant industry standard. We have always tried to base the properties we create on trustworthy sources so they can be recognised.

Needless to say, each concept created in Cobuilder Define also gets global unique identifier (GUID) assigned to it. Thus, it guarantees its ‘softwarisation’, i.e. the data become fully machine-readable.

What follows next?

In the next few months, there is another key event that will happen. The experts within CEN/TC442/WG4 task group will publish a new standard to set out the principles and structure for data templates for construction objects, namely prEN ISO 23387. This standard is closely related to EN ISO 23386 and within Cobuilder Define it is used in alignment with it.

Having both standards officially published, we will experience a ripple effect in the sector, where more and more software vendors will follow the standards and create better solutions for the sector.

Digitalising construction is not an easy endeavor and requires a lot of ‘steps’ to be taken and a lot of collaboration and partnerships to be put in place, before we benefit from what technology offers. There is still a long way to go but more importantly, we are on the right way. By applying the right standards and tools based on them we are gradually getting there – together as one.

Cobuilder will help you develop your digital data strategy and will guide you through all necessary steps.

No need to waste precious time

Even if your organization wants to benefit from the agreed industry best practices, it is not enough to simply ‘buy’ and ‘apply’ the standards. You can easily get lost while interpreting a new standard or while looking for the best method to implement it in your specific organization.

At Cobuilder, we know well that each organization is different, tackling specific challenges. Our team consists of architects, engineers, software gurus and designers, and have a deep understanding of industry standards for data management in BIM. We are ready to share our knowledge and expertise with you.
There is no need to start from scratch. Don’t waste precious time and avoid any costs associated with misinformation. Cobuilder will help you to see the big picture, fully understand the methodology behind EN ISO 23386, and finally – will guide you through the implementation of it in your specific organization.