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BRE announces game changing BIM data product library – DataBook

Note: This press release is over six months old and the details may have been superseded. Please contact the Press Office for the latest information.

Using Building Information Modelling (BIM) Level 2[1] on centrally-procured public sector projects was mandated from April 2016. The introduction of BIM Level 2, which is a process lasting through the entire life-cycle of an asset, underpinned by the creation, collation and exchange of 3D models and the intelligent, structured data which is attached to them, should have a hugely positive impact on the construction industry supply chain. Ease of communication between different design and construction partners has been improved enormously since it first came to the industry.

However, current BIM software providers use different standards, without offering a complete range of building elements from which the user can draw, and are often not compliant with the British Standard BS8541[2]. Furthermore, the fragmentation in software has prevented seamless communication between different parties. Responding to industry demand, BRE has partnered with asset information management specialists, ActivePlan, to develop the free to list and free to use, industry-disruptive DataBook Product Library, which allows registered users to link their BIM objects and associate data to a fixed manufacturers’ data source. DataBook will provide plug-in functions for authoring tools with options to not only link, but also attach data based upon project stage and appropriate project roles. This will remove the liability and risk for designers and constructors from using editable BIM Library objects, whilst providing them with the appropriate manufacturer data that they need to respond to the project requirements throughout the project lifecycle.

BRE has created a new Templater tool that holds the standard for exchanging data, including product data. This will remove the confusion and lack of interoperability that has surrounded sharing standardised product information from BIM and associates technologies. BRE Templater (with code by activeplan) will provide core building element definitions (like doors, windows, plaster board, roof tiles etc.) and is built on international standard such as IFC. Leading on from that is DataBook, a solution currently in beta testing and set to launch in early 2018. Details on DataBook were announced at Digital Construction Week.

Paul Oakley, BIM Director at BRE, comments, “The new DataBook will provide a much-needed process to manage information flow during the design and build process, without the complex geometry that exists currently. This will help make BIM work for everyone, as currently too much manual object changing is required as projects are transferred between manufacturers, architects and contractors. Given the substantial savings in time and money, DataBook will quickly become the go-to development source in the building industry.”

DataBook will be the first free to use and list BIM Product Library which will serve as an immutable, definitive and universal data store for all BIM data. Helping to overcome the current costly and time consuming fragmentation issues, DataBook users will reduce development costs while benefitting from a compliant, trusted and standardised model that the entire supply chain can access and utilise.

DataBook will have a premium, paid for element. Services will include BRE independent assessment of the validity of the data available to each BIM object. BRE will check whether the information source is correct and co-ordinated, and content requirements, including manufacturer and contractor-specific contents, will also be verified. With this unique aspect, DataBook will become an immutable source of truth, critically reducing the risk often associated when sourcing build materials and suitable contractors. To register your interest in DataBook head to

[1] British Standard BS 8541 provides an extensive range of standards for library objects for architecture, engineering and construction.

[2] BIM Level 2 is set apart by collaborative working, and requires different parties to share design information on their own 3D CAD models through a common file format. These designs combine to make a single BIM model.