SFS leads the way for manufacturers supplying data for Building Information Modelling

Structured product data

Building Information Modelling – A manufacturer’s viewpoint from Andy Stolworthy, Product and Market Development Director at SFS

SFS is fully behind the ethos of BIM but as a manufacturer we’ve had to carefully consider the value and benefits of creating BIM objects for all of our product ranges. We want to fully support our customers and specifiers throughout the entire specification, selection and replacement process but we believe structured product data is the answer for some of our products and this data will still enable clients to compare and select products based on value and lifecycle costing, rather than just price. This should allow for better quality products to be selected so that lifecycle costs reduce. This is obviously a far more sustainable approach to construction and something that fully matches our values at SFS.

Structured product data

A large part of SFS’s UK business is the manufacture and supply of fasteners for the building envelope. The fastener plays a fundamental role in the roof or façade system but with current working practices and BIM software technology, we believe at this time a 3D BIM object would be irrelevant.

At SFS, we believe structured data, product information in plain language with simple questions and answers allowing integration into a greater system element, be that data or 3D geometry, is the way forward and SFS is leading the way by developing data for our products that can be used now.

In addition to our CAD drawings, ETA and Technical Value sheets, we have defined our own structured product data templates. Last August, we introduced our self-drilling fasteners and offered five structured datasheets for fasteners SL2, SX3, SX5, SXC5 and SXC14. These datasheets provide information content that define our product, its properties and functional characteristics. The datasheets are available in PDF format for free download from our website at www.sfsintec.co.uk. You can also request Excel files by contacting us on 0113 2085 500 or emailing gb_technical@sfsintec.biz.


Following positive feedback from specifiers, we have continued to develop our data and specifiers can now download a further 30 product datasheets for SFS self-drilling fasteners for isofast®, isotak® and isoweld® flat roofing applications.

BIM objects

Where BIM objects do offer significant benefits to specifiers, SFS has created 3D BIM objects for its products. For example, QBM, SFS’s sister company, has created 18 3D BIM models for its Soter Fall Protection System, which is specified and installed on the roof as a complete system. Authored in Revit, all standard applications are covered for trapezoidal roof profiles, Standing Seam and Flat Roof – this model has user configuration on toggle lengths to suit the depth of roof insulation.

All Soter BIM models have a data structure with all relevant product information, including COBie and links to the website for details of installation and maintenance. These models are easy to download from www.sotersafetysystems.com/bim-models/ and are ideal for architects or designers who wish to take a proactive and responsible approach to health & safety by integrating a safety system to work with each building’s bespoke design. A more detailed, accurate and prescriptive specification or warranty that protects the building over its entire life can be requested by contacting QBM on 01924 472251 or by emailing sales@sotersafetysytems.com.

Nvelope, also a member of the SFS Group based in the UK, has likewise introduced BIM objects for its Nvelope rainscreen cladding support systems. BIM objects provide detailed technical information, accreditations and other background data to integrate into virtual model and simulated building designs. Compatible with both Revit and IFC software versions, Nvelope objects are hosted on the NBS National BIM Library and are available for download to integrate into any BIM software.

Nvelope’s online Project Builder tool, available at www.nvelope.com, goes that extra mile by helping specify a project-specific Nvelope exterior rainscreen cladding system solution taking into account factors such as local wind loads, height of the façade, substrate being fixed to, selected cladding material and the cladding zone.

The future of BIM

At SFS, we see BIM as a key enabler in achieving significant improvements in cost, value and sustainability during the construction and operation phases of buildings. We will continue to develop our structured product data and BIM objects, and embrace any feedback to help us improve our working partnership with specifiers.



Andy Stolworthy

Product and Market Development Director

SFS Group Fastening Technology Ltd

Tel: 0113 2085 500



Twitter: @SFSintec


Please note: this is a commercial profile.


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