Single source of truth – a pre-requisite for Level 3 BIM?


David Jellings, Managing Director, BIMobject UK warns the industry must master BIM Level 2 before moving onto Level 3 and the importance of providing a single source of truth

The plethora of ‘Level 3 BIM’ conferences undoubtedly confirms its ‘hot topic’ status. However, mindful of the need to make sure we are not attempting to run before we can walk, at least two things need to happen before Level 3 BIM can succeed.

1. Level 2 BIM must be mastered and correctly implemented.

2. We must be able to provide a ‘Single Source of Truth’.

The importance of Level 2

It seems reasonable to assume that this is obvious. However, having had discussions in the context of Level 3, with many industry players – from new entrants to advanced practitioners – the reality seems that the importance of Level 2 is not fully understood.

The deadline for mandatory Level 2 BIM has been and gone (with a brief extension to allow for implementing additional validation), with barely a murmur from a normally vociferous industry voice. It’s almost as if it never happened.

Could this be because the industry believes we have already achieved PAS 1192 and therefore all we need to do now is wait? Or could it be that by keeping heads below the parapet, it may go away?

Whatever the reason(s), we have to get Level 2 right before we can contemplate implementing Level 3. This is because the latter will necessitate the sharing of defined data outputs with many other bodies and the whole point of the former, is to create that data in a consistent and defined manner – to do anything else means we are not performing at Level 2.

A key requirement of this process is the ability to define, select and model the ‘components’ that are used to ‘assemble’ the finished construction, whether they be simple objects like furnishing and finishes, or more complex assemblies such as walls, ductwork or systems. In the BIM world they are all important. Level 2 provides the framework to ensure that they are correctly represented in the model.

The message is clear – as well as being an absolute requirement for government works, the Level 2 mandate has to be complied with, across all stakeholders, before we can even consider introducing Level 3.

BIMobject has worked to ensure that the components and assemblies we publish are fully compliant with all parts of PAS1192, including COBie and any associated data.

The importance of a ‘single source of truth’

“In information systems design and theory, single source of truth (SSOT), is the practice of structuring information models and associated data such that every data element is stored exactly once”

In practice this means that there is only one repository for any data element – the ‘primary source’. Wherever this data is accessed from, the link is always back to this ‘primary source’.

The obvious advantage of this practice is that it maintains the consistency of data and prevents the creation of inconsistent duplicates. This applies to pretty much any business process, and of course is highly advantageous to the construction process with its large number of stakeholders and diverse supply chain.

When the concept of SSOT is considered as part of wider data sharing (which will be a core deliverable of Level 3 BIM), its importance is obvious. In this process, data has to be available outside of the construction supply chain, to a large number of other bodies and industries – utilities, security, transportation and city planning, to name a few. The data supplied will be of no use unless it is consistent and complete – SSOT is ‘a must’.

Finally and most importantly, SSOT cannot be achieved using traditional file based systems, which are difficult to control and easy to manipulate. It has to be achieved in an easily accessible environment, which is exactly what the Cloud provides. From day one, BIMobject has designed its technologies to deliver SSOT – this is why BIMobject is the largest supplier of BIM ready manufactured globally.

About BIMobject®

BIMobject Corporation, acknowledged by investors with a Global Red Herring 100 award is a game changer for the construction industry worldwide with its cloud based digital content management system for BIM objects.

BIMobject as a disruptive technology corporation is at the forefront of the digitalisation of building products and materials, enabling the information to be turned into know-how earlier in the BIM processes. The BIMobject Cloud is a digital platform, where BIM professionals can reach and download BIM files from brands, from both Europe and US. This will enable industrialisation of the construction industry and also have a huge impact on design, product selection, constructability, waste, energy, cost, quality and logistics.

Our unique solutions for Building Product Manufacturers provide development, hosting, maintenance, syndication and publication of the digital replicas of the manufacturers’ products – BIM objects. The marketing and pre-sales services associated with the BIMobject Cloud are channelled and integrated, through Apps, into CAD/BIM applications to create a business-to-business communication across the globe.

Manufacturers use BIMobject to promote and deliver their products directly into BIM processes enabling their products to be selected and generate a real improvement in sales.

David Jellings

Managing Director

BIMobject UK

Please note: this is a commercial profile


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