The French Concrete Industry Federation (FIB) reaffirms their strong commitment to developing the sector on the digital front

The French Concrete Industry Federation (FIB) have initiated a project to streamline the process of digitising system and product data through the establishment of a common digital data platform.

The Concrete Industry Federation (FIB) signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Cobuilder whose award-winning data platform will provide the infrastructure for the sector’s smooth transition to being in the forefront of digitally-enabled construction.

The importance of BIM, or digitally-enabled construction, has been recognized by the Federation as а major driver for the economic growth in the sector. Through the systematic digitisation of concrete products, FIB intends to meet the growing need for structured product data over the lifecycle of any built asset.

An initial step of the digitisation project was aimed at creating data structures called Product Data Templates related to five product families was completed in the beginning of 2018. These data templates were developed by FIB workgroups led by industry representatives. Product data templates define the specific product characteristics (properties and requirements) and relevant documents that need to be provided by the federation’s members in order to supply all construction industry actors with the essential information about their products. FIB plan to expand this work and cover up to twenty product families by the end of 2018.

The scope of the second stage of the project is to enable all federation members to take advantage of the data templates developed by FIB within a digital platform provided by Cobuilder. This will allow the federation members to:

  • Create a systematic digital database of manufacturers’ data based on a common digital structure;

  • Disseminate product data as efficiently as possible across different modelling platforms and towards different users;

  • Facilitate the integration of data into vendor-specific and generic objects to be used by designers, specifiers etc.

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‘In their understanding of the digital product, Cobuilder favour semantic data as a whole rather than just 3D geometry. This approach to managing Information (the I in BIM) is in accordance with the French concrete industry’s vision of how to structure the properties of generic products’explains Remy Lannoy, FIB Project Manager, when asked about the rationale behind working with Cobuilder.

According to Lannoy, the impact of this initiative is twofold: ‘This project opens new perspectives for the enrichment of digital objects and therefore enables to utilization of information models with structured and reliable data in the design phase. The generic database we will be creating is initially meant for the users of digital objects. Then giving access to product-specific information that can be integrated into project databases as early as possible in the design phases of construction will enable a new channel for promotion of the solutions that manufacturers provide. Moreover, working with product-specific data will enable the efficient specification of prefabricated solutions’.

The result of the collaboration between FIB and Cobuilder will be a centralised online repository of the data, documents and objects that describe the products and systems manufactured by all the members of The French Concrete Industry Federation (FIB).

This will demonstrate the federation’s commitment to supporting concrete manufacturers in bringing BIM’s main benefits of collaboration, transparency, automation and measurability to the table. It will also affirm FIB’s position as digital leaders of and innovative and sustainable concrete industry.