What you should consider when evaluating a common data environment

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Building Information Modelling (BIM) is becoming increasingly prevalent in the design and delivery of construction projects. The Common Data Environment (CDE) is crucial in fully realising the benefits of BIM – but how do you make sure you pick the right one?

In this ebook, construction software specialist Viewpoint offers a comprehensive guide to CDEs and the key factors in selecting the best option to facilitate collaboration, smooth workflows and improved productivity.

Put simply, CDEs provide a central repository that acts as a single source of information for the project team. It is used to collect, manage and distribute data relating to all aspects of the project, including the 3D model and associated documents, reports, contracts, bids and more.

The government’s Construction Strategy 2011-2015 required “fully collaborative 3D BIM” for all centrally procured projects, with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic, from April 2016. This was a minimum requirement of BIM Level 2.

The mandatory processes to achieve BIM Level 2, set out in BS EN ISO 19650-2:2018 and BS EN ISO 19650-3:2020, along with the growing adoption of BIM to deliver housing, commercial, civil engineering and infrastructure projects has fuelled demand for CDEs to facilitate collaboration and avoid duplication.

Viewpoint examines the two main options for CDEs

Supplier v client-provided: The different arguments for who should own and be responsible for its management.

There is also a detailed evaluation of the key elements of a good CDE, from being PAS 1192 certified and the use of standardised information management for project data to the critical matter of CDE security.

The ebook includes a case study of successful adoption of Viewpoint for Projects by Sons & Co, a company specialising in the development of high-end residential projects in central London, for its CDE and the benefits it brought.

There is also a rundown of key software features document managers should look for in a CDE, from BIM framework, integrated drawings viewers and markup and revisions through to repeatable, collaborative workflow, quick search and unlimited document storage.

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