UK Trade Groups Agree On Standardizing BIM Product Data​

Three leading construction industry bodies in the United Kingdom have acted to address increasing confusion over the process of standardizing product information for use in Building Information Modeling.

The Building Engineering Services Association; the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers; and the Construction Products Association have agreed on the respective roles of the ‘LEXiCON’ and ‘BIMHawk’ tools in developing standardized product data parameters and structures. This should resolve the apparent confusion over whether the two initiatives compete or complement each other.

CIBSE has been leading an industry consortium for the development of BIMHawk, a project to collect and structure product information in standardized Product Data Templates. With the support of the BIM Task Group and UK BIM Alliance, the CPA has been developing LEXiCON to create, define and record parameter names in a uniform and standardized way and to make those parameters available to all those creating structured data, initially focusing on product data.

A PDT allows manufacturers to demonstrate the features and describe the properties of a product using standard parameters in support of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of buildings. LEXiCON is a process for defining and publishing that information using a single source of terms so the organizations have agreed to work together.

By aligning with the LEXiCON methodology, CIBSE will ensure that PDTs can feed directly and seamlessly into the delivery process. The LEXiCON methodology provides the governance to ensure the properties defined are the correct ones, and these will then be aligned with the buildingSmart Data Dictionary, which is being developed by buildingSMART International in association with the International Standards Organisation.

In addition, CIBSE will become a “Senior Relevant Authority” for LEXiCON to further enhance development of parameters for mechanical, electrical and plumbing product data. BESA, CIBSE and the Electrical Contractors’ Association are already working together with many parties in the building services sector, and this agreement will further extend the level of coordination and collaboration across the sector.

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