NEWS: UK BIM Alliance looks to bring order to construction product data

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New Working Group will support needs of product manufacturers and architects

The UK BIM Alliance has launched a working group to help ‘steer a way out of the difficult thicket’ that is construction product data. The group will support the industry in coming together to meet the challenges of product data use and management.

The working group will be led by Su Butcher, social strategist and Alliance Executive Team Member. The announcement comes after Butcher and Alliance Chair Anne Kemp facilitated a meeting of key stakeholders at the IET in London in January.

Speaking after the decision, Kemp explained, “This initiative is essential to bring the industry together on this difficult topic. It also demonstrates how the Alliance can provide independent leadership and identify and fill the gaps that are preventing implementation of BIM.”

The working group will be made up of volunteers. Once constituted it aims to spend three months consulting widely and will produce a short report identifying areas where solutions exist, where they need investigating and where further work needs to be done.

Butcher trained as an architect and now works with product manufacturers. “This is a topic very close to my heart, as I see the difficulty both product manufacturers and architects currently have working with data.” she said. “Many manufacturers are unwilling to invest any more time because they simply don’t feel there is an agreed framework and standards to work to. Many architects don’t feel they can access the right information in the right format, and clients and contractors have issues too. The aim of the Alliance is to move us along the journey to resolve those issues, and bring the whole industry with us.”

The Alliance has issued a report on their meeting with stakeholders which took place on 10 January.


The report explains that the new working group will run a ‘briefing project’ over three months. Volunteers are sought who are willing to meet stakeholders and do the preliminary research. The outcome will be a briefing document and roadmap, setting out the current landscape and areas of need, for which the UK BIM Alliance may commission future projects or invite other stakeholders to carry out projects on its behalf. The document advises that volunteers should be ‘ready to get their hands dirty’. Volunteers are requested to contact the Alliance at with details of experience and expertise in product data and team working, and confirming their ability to participate. Those who wish to make representations to the working group are also invited to email brief details.

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