BSI and Norwegian software provider Cobuilder have signed an agreement to allow access to machine-interpretable standards information for the British and international built environment sector. The end goal is to help the sector strengthen collaboration and get closer to carbon neutrality.
The objective of the agreement is to digitise the content of BSI standards into a machine-interpretable form to create a common language for people and their software systems. This approach will close the gap between design, construction, operation and decommissioning. Most importantly, it will support built environment actors to prepare for complex environmental legislation and will help them face the challenges of transitioning to a circular economy.
According to the agreement, Cobuilder will gain access to the standards distributed by BSI and develop purpose-driven data sets, called data templates. Relevant authorities and organisations can get involved to provide trustworthy data for built environment stakeholders through Define Data Dictionary – a software solution that enables organisations to implement international standards for data management.
A joint effort for the sector
Cobuilder has similar agreements with other standardisation bodies across Europe, including Norway, the Czech Republic and Denmark. Creating such a collaborative network and a unified digital structure based on local and European standards brings numerous benefits to the sector.
“Standards are the framework of the built environment; supporting the building regulations as well as providing good practice relating to topics such as fire safety, use of energy, and sustainability. In doing so standards are helping to bring together and support stakeholders across the built environment, accelerating innovation and progress. For the sector to deliver on the challenges ahead, it is vital that the good practice within standards is used as the starting point. Making this information available in a machine-interpretable form will provide built environment stakeholders with a common language to face these challenges together,” says Dan Rossiter, Head of Built Environment – Interim at BSI.
Lars Christian Fredenlund, CEO at Cobuilder, comments: “To meet the UN’s Sustainability Goals, the sector needs to come together. The global built environment sector faces great challenges when implementing digital strategies and by providing a cloud-based solution that can deliver standardised data templates through exports and integrations, we see a great opportunity to support the sector in its efforts to build faster, greener and with less waste.”
Benefits for the whole construction value chain
Implementing a common digital language based on information within standards will offer several advantages to the global built environment sector. Once the data templates are available in Define Data Dictionary, any software and model authoring tool can take advantage by using them to exchange, map, or compare information about construction products, assets and systems according to British or any other international standard.
After Brexit, this is especially important for British manufacturers operating on the international market as they can check and verify whether their products and services are in accordance with national and European requirements.
Contractors and other built environment actors can use the standardised data templates in projects to improve business processes, such as cost calculations, design, purchasing, carbon footprint calculations and more.
For all other stakeholders in the built environment value chain, a common digital language based on standards would mean improved cross-border collaboration, better data management and streamlined processes for managing environmental requirements.