Guide for modelling construction
objects for digital use

Modified on December 8, 2020

The management of standardised construction data is Cobuilder’s core business. This is why, our integrated platform employs all relevant construction industry standards and regulations, and supports the actors in implementing common best practices for the management of construction data. This brings value not only to the actors involved in the construction process but also to the end-users of the built asset by ensuring quality and traceability.

To help industry actors create value, we always try to stay tuned to the needs and developments within the sector, and we are pleased to share with you the latest industry news.

In the wake of the PO BIM project, the association buildingSMART France – Mediaconstruct, which supports construction industry stakeholders in their digital transformation, is developing a methodological guide for modelling construction objects for digital use. The guide is expected to be published at the end of the first half of 2020.

Genesis of the guide

The digital construction object is the essential element of the digital model. It represents the container of information (or data) that will be exchanged between the various stakeholders in a project during all stages – from design to disposal of the built asset.

Therefore, it is essential that it reflects the professional reality of the stakeholders in the best possible way by catering to the information needs of each actor in the project.

This is why, developing the so-called “standard” or “generic” construction objects that facilitate construction processes is a smart approach to ensure the quality of the information exchange and increase confidence in digital content.

Along this line, the idea of proposing a method for creating digital construction objects stored in a repository that is shared by all actors (professional organizations, companies, architects, engineers, etc.) was born within buildingSMART.

How is the guide developed?

The methodology proposed in the guide is based on the EN ISO 23386 (published in March 2020) and EN ISO 23387 (to be published later this year) standards, which are the foundation and methodological base for managing construction object data.

The guide aims to supplement them by making it possible to identify products and works useful in digital processes, to define their list of properties and to create the data models for the  corresponding construction objects.

For this purpose, the methodology of the guide combines two approaches.

The first one is inspired by the functional analysis of products and works (analysis by similarity or complementarity of functions).

building Smart Diagram of the two work axes for the functional analysis of products  

For example, the similarity of function results in the structuring of a database of generic object properties through a business classification by product “families” and “ranges”.

This is the approach adopted by the Concrete Industry Federation (FIB) to launch the digital transition of its industry. It has broken down the global offer of products and systems of the manufacturers in the sector by families (floors, walls, stairs, etc.) and then by ranges.  Find out more about FIB’s digitalisation initiative.

The second approach emanates from the use of the construction object in various digital processes, and its purpose is to ensure that each stakeholder in the project can use it. This is the property harmonisation phase, which notably leads to the creation of new properties that will complement the properties that describe initially the construction object.

Finally, in order to validate the reliability of the prototype data models for construction objects before their dissemination, the guide recommends testing them with project stakeholders.

For the entire industry

Thanks to the commitment and experience sharing of its members, buildingSMART France – Mediaconstruct remains tuned to the needs and expectations of the construction industry. Its latest ongoing project to create a guide for modelling of construction objects aims to provide the needed guidance for the entire sector. The project may develop further, taking into account the feedback from its implementation.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments of the project