BIM: Library objects for AEC industries


Stephanie Kosandiak Lead Programme Manager for Construction at BSI and Nick Nisbet Lead Technical Author discuss how the BS 8541-5 Library objects for architecture series will impact BIM

As BIM Level 2 becomes more widely adopted in the UK, BSI is delighted to be adding two new British Standards to the BS 8541 Library Object series providing a consistent set of 3D libraries and definitions for construction product manufacturers and suppliers.

The BS 8541 series has become the key point of reference for specifying and assessing the quality of manufacturers’, generic and template objects for use with BIM, and is heavily referenced in the NBS Object Library recommendations.

BS 8541-5:2015 Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction: Assemblies Assemblies are an increasingly important aspect of construction, as built-environment design, (pre-) fabrication, construction and operation are streamlined. BS 8541-5 addresses the problem of supplying some information on the overall assembly, and some on the constituent parts. The transmission of information about assemblies is especially challenging when both the overall assembly and the constituent parts have significance in the management of the design, construction and use. In particular, attention might switch between the overall assembly and the constituent parts, which might affect processes such as material take-off.

This has implications for specification, comparison and selection of products and solutions, for coordination, for take-off and for asset management.

Examples include during design, pre-designed aspects, complex system solutions, and repetitive space types. During construction, assemblies represent pre-fabricated and off-site manufactured items and recommended details. For handover and operations, assemblies may represent engineered to- order solutions, standard furniture schedules and standard asset groupings.

BS 8541-5:2015 Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction: Product and facility declarations

Most construction products are now supported by a plethora of declarations of properties supported by third party schemes. This part ensures that the attributes relating to any such scheme, such as Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), WRAP and DEC, can be transmitted clearly with details of their source, degree of authority and applicability. Whilst the inclusion of such information in a construction library object for BIM is optional, this Code of Practice will help ensure that the appropriate degree of comparability and verification can be used. Construction products regulations and CEN standards for buildings and products provide the primary examples. This part of BS 8541 supports the communication of the voluntary environmental product declarations (EPDs) required by BS EN 15804 and BS EN 15978, as well as the CE marking details, in a format which can be incorporated in BIM processes. It also covers the communication of other product declarations such as wastage rates developed with the UK Government WRAP programme and UK Government Display Energy Certificate (DEC) declaration scheme.


Repeatable rooms and prefabricated modules on the one hand, and the Construction Products Regulation and energy performance reporting on the other, are issues of growing importance in the construction sector. These codes of practice build on the earlier parts of the series to help the industry achieve higher quality and accuracy when exchanging product (and facility) information.

Stephanie Kosandiak

Lead Programme Manager for Construction

Nick Nisbet

Lead Technical Author

BSI (British Standards Institute)

Tel: +44 (0)20 8996 6330


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