IN (Construction) DATA WE TRUST

As construction manufacturing businesses fight hard for customer spend, the ones who transform data into smart data will win the day. Firstly, smart data refers to all-important construction product data that all construction projects now need more than ever. Secondly, smart data is customer data – the raw material that gives essential customer information to support all strategic manufacturer’s decisions. If you are still not ready to put your trust in data, here is an insight that may change your mind.


Because BIM was widely popularized and pioneered by CAD vendors manufacturers often see it as the implementation of branded objects in the building models. This, however, is a perception that does not allow for not exploiting the full potential of BIM. Mark Baldwin, buildingSMART Switzerland, Leiter BIM Management at Mensch und Maschine Schweiz AG, explains the notion further:

“I think manufacturers have a really significant role to play in terms of moving the industry forward and when we think of BIM as (merely) being object-based then we rely on the objects from manufacturers. One thing that is very important is that a lot of manufacturers are very preoccupied with the geometry of objects and so there is a tendency to generate their own great detail geometric objects when they really should be focusing on the information behind them. That’s really the key for manufacturers.”

An important change that BIM has brought about is that all construction industry actors have recognized the need to work with BIMified manufacturers’ data in order to apply standards, use open workflows and create validated data. All of that is expected to provide real value to others both in the design and construction phases and beyond in operations. As the surge towards data continues – the manufacturer’s role becomes key for the whole BIM doctrine. That leads us to our next point:


When a designer starts designing they use BIM software such as Revit, ARCHICAD etc. It is very handy once they have the design, be it with branded or generic objects, that they can have access to the most credible and standard-based manufacturer’s data at a click of a button. This is how every beam, door or window can embody the designer’s specifications from the very early planning stages up to the demolition of the built asset. Designers want to have access to data that is digital, interoperable and future-proof and BIM describes the technology to provide that data.


Richard Petrie, CEO of buildingSMART International talks about the trends in software development for the construction industry:

“The motivation to work with data is making a big difference in understanding the need for some key tools and elements that have to be put together to actually make this (BIM) a reality, an efficient reality for people.”

BIM data software is a new field in which the market need is great and the paths to take are plenty. For the last couple of months Product Data Templates (what is a PDT?) have been established as the most affordable and easy way for manufacturers to BIMify their data. Cobuilder is among the first developers of Product Data Templates that allow construction product manufacturers to structure their data in multiple BIM formats and languages according to product standards so that they can control their data whilst making it available in openBIM to their customers. Cobuilder’s Product Data Templates allow unprecedentedly detailed product data digitisation with a strong emphasis on system interoperability and multi-format exports, as well as customisation according to a project or an actor’s specific data requirements. The bottom line is, you need not worry, there are solutions out there.

We welcome you to explore goBIM and find out if it is the right tool for your business.