Setting Data Requirements: Guidance for clients by the UK BIM Alliance

In order to be BIM Level 2 compliant, Information Managers working for the main contractor are required to deliver COBie as part of the Asset Information Model (AIM). As COBie is just a data schema, many Information Managers struggle with the preparation of the data part of their AIMs due to the lack of comprehensive guidance on Setting Data Requirements – what actually is supposed to be populated into the COBie file. The key to this industry-wide issue lies in the process of setting information requirements and that is why the UK BIM Alliance has produced a comprehensive guide named: Setting Data Requirements: Guidance for clients.

Every person or organization commissioning a built asset does that to fulfill different strategic (personal) business goals. It is important to say that these business goals relate to different stakeholder groups including the end users of the asset and society as a whole. These goals can be translated into various information requirements that have to do with anything from efficiency in asset management and compliance to different regulatory duties to portfolio value planning and many more.

Building with clear AIRs is paramount

According to a similar logic, the Asset Information Requirements (AIRs) that inform the Information Model of a built asset at the operation stage are expressed in accordance to foreseeable life cycle events such as planned or reactive maintenance, fire equipment inspection, component replacement, or change of facilities management provider.

However, specifying data requirements is not an easy task. Many (client) organisations produce unclear AIRs or go with ‘just populate the COBie’, which is of no help to the Information Managers. What is more, due to such bad practices the true benefits of BIM become obscured by inefficient data collection (collecting too much, collecting irrelevant information) and lengthy and error-prone manual labour.

Industry volunteers come to the rescue

 Guidance for clients by the UK BIM Alliance team

That is why, with the help of construction industry experts such as coBuilder, Gleeds, AEC3, BRE, Bond Bryan, Met Police etc., the UK BIM Alliance has produced the first of its kind guide for helping clients and contractors who are getting started with setting their data requirements for the construction and operation of buildings.

Explaining the benefits of data that is sourced via machine readable Product Data Sheets provided by manufactures and subcontractors, the UK BIM Alliance document and data matrix provide clients with smart tips on how they can achieve best results by collaborating with their supply chain.

While the document looks at some process suggestions for data acquisition, validation and distribution practices and how this all links to Employers’ Plain Language Questions, the matrix suggest the actual product types and systems and the product attributes required for producing a valuable AIM or a ‘digital O&M’.

NOT a Standard

Please note: The guidance and matrix are not meant to be the definitive set of requirements for all systems and products and their associated attributes. They have been developed by the UK BIM Alliance to provide a starting point for clients to establish meaningful and useful data requirements.

You can download the document here:

Download Guidance doc

You can download the matrix here:

Download matrix