Standardised product information confusion cleared up by industry bodies


BESA, CIBSE, and the CPA have come together to clear up mounting confusion surrounding the process of standardised product information

Confusion surrounding standardised product information has been tackled by three leading construction industry bodies.

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), and the Construction Products Association (CPA) have joined forces to clear up confusion over LEXiCON and BIMHawk. Many are unsure whether the two tools compete or complement each other.


BIMHawk, which was developed by CIBSE, is a project that collects standardised product data templates (PDT). These allow manufacturers to demonstrate features and describe the properties of a product using standard parameters.

LEXiCON was developed by the CPA with the support of the BIM Task Group and UK BIM Alliance. This defines and records parameter names in a standardised way. It is publishes information using a single source of terms.


Now, the organisations have revealed they will work together and have agreed on the roles of the two tools in developing standardised product data parameters and structures.

Aligning with the Lexicon methodology will ensure PDTs feed seamlessly into the delivery process. This methodology will then support the BuildingSmart Data Dictionary, which is being developed by BuildingSMART International in association with ISO.

CIBSE will further develop parameters for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing product data as a “senior relevant authority” for Leixcon.

David Frise, Head of Sustainability, BESA said: “This is just what the industry has been waiting for. It is more than six months since the passing of the government’s deadline for BIM to be mandatory on public sector projects and we need to urgently drive forward the process for gathering and transmitting project relevant data.

“This collaboration is, therefore, just what we need to move the whole process on to the next level.”


The agreement, the CIBSE said, would “further extend co-ordination and collaboration across the sector” while ensuring “what is being defined contributes to a useful, practical process, and that the PDTs deliver tangible benefits from digital information exchange”.

The agreement between the three bodies brings “undeniable advantages for manufacturers, contractors and designers as well as the sector’s clients” by providing consistent and trustworthy product data.

A joint statement said: “As the generation of parameters is done in an organised and structured way and the parameters are all peer reviewed, we can be sure that the information asked for is of value to one or more members of the supply chain and that extraneous data is removed.”


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