PO BIM is an industry-initiated project aimed at enabling the development of trusted digital data that describes the manufacturer’s products used on construction projects. The project encompassed the creation of a library of generic construction objects and their properties in accordance with the NF XP P07-150 standard. The successfully achieved objective of the project was to share high-quality, agreed information by speaking the same technical language for the proper use of digital tools supporting BIM processes.
The original need
In 2012, a group of manufacturers, members of the AIMCC (French Association of Building Materials and Products Industries) expressed the need to have shared, trusted, and reliable data describing the materials and solutions in the construction sector in order to support the growing demand for digital data exchange.
This initiative gave rise to the creation of a PPBIM (Properties of BIM Products) standardization committee within AFNOR (the French Association for Standardization), which developed and published the experimental standard NF XP P07-150 in December 2014. This standard is widely known as the PPBIM standard “Properties of products and systems used in construction – Definition of properties, a methodology for creating and managing properties in a harmonized repository”.
Why PO BIM? What is PO BIM?
Within the framework of this experimental standard, an initial test was carried out by more than a hundred experts in order to identify and propose properties for a prioritized set of construction objects needed to communicate in BIM processes. This lead to the definition of 30 construction objects and 300 properties. These efforts were aligned with the French PTNB (Digital Building Transition Plan) and the project was named PO BIM (Properties and Objects for the BIM).
After this initial stage was successfully completed it was evident that large-scale implementation of the experimental standard NF XP P07-150 150 would be highly beneficial for the industry at the European level. The Technical Committee 442 within CEN picked the standard up, adapting it for wider use and the result was recently published as EN ISO 23386.
The PO BIM project also grew accordingly in France and its last iteration involved the whole construction industry as well as various trades (manufacturers, project owners, architects, etc.) whose mission was to list 150 additional construction objects and 1500 additional properties, following the process described in the experimental standard NF XP P07-150 150 now EN ISO 23386.
Market expectations related to the PO BIM project were very high and all contributors were fully aware of the responsibility that this implies, which generated fruitful and passionate discussions until a consensus was reached.
At the end of 2018, the expectations of the French government for this project were totally exceeded and a list of 301 generic object templates and 3139 properties were released.
Excerpt from the PO BIM summary table, showing the complete and detailed list of generic object templates and properties by workgroup as well as all project deliverables.
Click on the table to see it in full screen!
How is the PO BIM beneficial for the construction industry?
The results of the PO BIM initiative have produced a firm foundation for how structured data is going to be used to enable the implementation of BIM processes.
This new digitized industry agreed content serves as a reference for the industry. By using reliable and structured data, coupled with common language actors can take advantage of all the useful tools out there, without losing trust in their data.
A new working method is born. “In order to avoid any ambiguity, properties and groups of properties are now machine-readable, while also being understandable by humans”.
Furthermore, based on the use of referent construction objects, construction industry actors can take advantage of data templates that group properties together in a consistent structure. Using the contents provided by the PO BIM project and the structure of data templates, data about the construction products intended, installed, and maintained on all construction projects can be easily managed.
Integration of PO BIM in the Cobuilder Define platform
In order to be used by various systems, the properties must be grouped together in one place. For this reason, PO BIM content has been integrated into Cobuilder Define, the core of Cobuilder’s digital platform, where the data is stored.
Thus, all the properties from this French content were imported in the platform, put into the templates for the related construction object. Furthermore, only 63% of the generic construction objects and 42% of the properties of this content included a definition in English. As a result, Cobuilder’s teams also translated the missing English definitions into English in order to provide the PO BIM content (or “context” in the vocabulary of the digital world) that could be used in its entirety both in France and internationally.
This new content empowers Cobuilder users to describe their products and solutions in accordance with industry standards, to generate their own data templates based on the referent construction objects and their properties available within the PO BIM content and finally, to set up reliable information flows within their organization, as well as externally. In this way, they avoid errors and misinterpretations and gain efficiency and time.
The objective of the PO BIM project was to test the experimental standard NF XP P07-150 on a large scale, with the aim of enabling the development of a trusted digital data, useful for all “BIM” processes.
The challenge was successful! The industry now takes advantage of a library of 301 generic construction objects and a dictionary of 3139 properties recognized by all professionals in France and internationally.
In addition, the work initiated as part of this PO BIM project is expected to continue under the BIM 2022 plan.