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BIM Roundtable Discussion Series - Roundtable 4 - The Manufacturer

CDBB and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) teamed up again for the fourth event in a programme of high-level ‘roundtable’ discussions, which aim to further accelerate adoption of the Government’s digital strategy for the built environment especially the successful embedment of BIM across industry.

Involving significant industry figures from the UK, this fourth roundtable, chaired by CDBB’s BIM L2 Lead Terry Stocks, focused on the role of the ‘Manufacturer’ in the digital built environment. The manufacturer participants were also joined by members of the CDBB team (as facilitators), central government and institutional bodies.

The discussions were extremely engaging and highlighted the key role Manufacturers have in the delivery of the ‘Golden Thread’ of information, in order to enable an effective asset management and operational strategy.

Standardisation of product data [sheets] was seen as a key issue and it was noted that lots of money has been spent on creation of data rich [often proprietary] objects, but they are often not needed and in most cases the supply chain only requires structured and accurate non-graphical data. This triggered a discussion about manufacturer’s digital strategies and the need for more of a product database approach and participants discussed interconnected dictionaries to describe, author and maintain manufacturer properties.

Manufacturers considered themselves the foundation of the digital twin, in that they could provide the key data required to comply with any new compliance legislation or identified data deliverables. They made the point that it was they who had the best knowledge of installed products, as they provided them to the installer directly, a record of which is key to the delivery of the ‘Golden Thread’.

There was a discussion in relation to a move towards a platform / component construction with integrators rather than the current Tier 1 arrangement; this was seen as positive and a move that could elevate manufacturers in the supply chain, bringing early value.

Overall it was a positive message from the manufacturers around the BIM agenda; however, the message was clear that we need more a consistent approach to engagement, with a focus on product data and less on proprietary model objects if we are to unlock real value.

A full article from the roundtable will be published in the March issue of Construction Manager magazine and will be linked on the CDBB web site.

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Welcome to the Centre for Digital Built Britain.  

The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors could use a digital approach to better design, build, operate, and integrate the built environment.