Door hardware leading the way in BIM for construction product manufacturers: GAI

  • 24 Feb 2020

UK door hardware manufacturers are at the forefront of supporting the integration of building products in BIM into British and European markets, as the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) is working with the National Union of Hardware Industries (UNIQ), the French trade association for door hardware manufacturers, to create BIM templates for hardware products.

The new BIM templates are being translated from the GAI’s original templates, released in 2017, and have been adapted to make them suitable for use in France.

The GAI is already represented on a number of European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) product standard committees and this is the first foreign language project of its type that the GAI has embarked upon.

This work is part of a wider project being co-ordinated by ARGE, the European Federation of Associations of Locks and Builders Hardware Manufacturers, looking at the implementation of prEN ISO 23386.

This standard will cover digital processes used in construction using a common methodology to describe, author and maintain properties in interconnected data dictionaries. 

European generic BIM templates and data dictionaries for hardware industry are being created to conform with this new standard. 

Frédéric Ducloyer, general secretary of UNIQ, commented: “This is a major issue for our industry. We are seeking to standardise the definition of properties for our BIM objects and data templates, which will make it much easier for our members to set up their own private BIM objects for their products.

“Our goal is also to set up some generic BIM objects, with a selection of properties, that will be of use to architects at the early stage of their projects. It did not make sense for us to do this on a national level, as when it comes to standardisation, it is always better to look at this at a European level.

“This is the main reason why it was important for us to lead that project with GAI and to bring this forward together as a next step within ARGE and CEN.”

UNIQ is in the process of creating its first three templates for door closers, locks and central locking for windows, with the next phase of work being the adaptation of the template, alongside ARGE, for use in wider Europe in line with prEN ISO 23386. 

The templates need to be easily adjustable in order to address the areas that may differ from country to country, for example specific legislation on equality, as well as local product standards and certification requirements.  

The GAI is also part of a consortium of construction organisations in the UK led by the Construction Products Association (CPA) to develop PAS 14191:2020 Built Environment – management and operation of interconnected construction data dictionaries – specification. This PAS will assist with UK implementation of prEN ISO 23386 and form the basis of LEXiCON and other UK construction dictionaries.  

It will cover the governance and management of digital construction product data information sets and aims to provide the construction industry with a plain language ‘dictionary’ to standardise product data for use in BIM.

Douglas Masterson, technical manager of the GAI, commented: “It is a huge step forward for this sector to be involved in the creation of such standards that impact wider construction, not just ironmongery. The Guild is embracing this opportunity to be part of an initiative to improve product data, traceability and ultimately building safety.”

This project is the next stage of a project initiated by The Product Data Definition, published by the UK government’s BIM Task Group in 2016. It aimed to create a method to enable information to be requested and exchanged by mapping to core properties.

As part of this, LEXiCON was developed to utilise tools, templates and Global Unique IDs (GUIDs) that could be used across different formats and software platforms. 

Visit the GAI website

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