Not another BIM certification scheme!

  • Logo: Not another BIM certification scheme!

Rob Charlton, CEO of Space Group on the bimstore and BBA partnership

I can hear it now –

“Another BIM certification scheme!"

"This one is for objects, how can you certify BIM objects?”

“What standards do we use and what about PDTs?"

I can only imagine the thoughts when the British Board of Agrément launched their BIM object assurance scheme, however, it’s important to be clear – this is NOT a BIM certification scheme.

bimstore and the BBA have been working together in partnership over the past twelve months to find a method of ensuring that BBA certification is available within building products in a digital world.

Hundreds of years ago when I worked as an architect, I used to depend on the BBA certification scheme myself. These certificates were usually found at the back of the manufacturer's binder in the office library. They gave me comfort as a specifier that the materials had been tested independently.

For those who are not familiar with the BBA, they are based in Watford and are independent testers and certifiers of construction products. In theory, a manufacturer could make any claim about their product regarding the thermal or fire performance for example. BBA have test rigs to independently test and certify the product performance.

These days however specifiers do not use libraries or binders anymore meaning there is nowhere to place these certificates. They may well be on the manufacturer's website or buried deep on the BBA website, however with the use of BIM components how can that connection be made?

BBA and bimstore have designed a workflow which verifies the performance data included in the model parameters. Manufacturers pass their components to BBA who will verify that the data in the component is aligned to the certification. The object is then hosted on the BBA site as well as on bimstore. BBA approved components are highlighted on the bimstore site and can be searched for independently. BBA will then carry out regular checks to ensure that the performance data is maintained accurately.

So importantly, this is not data certification but performance verification.

With the recent tragedy at Grenfell Tower, the correct specification of materials will be under increased scrutiny in the future. What has become apparent is that to date we have found it difficult to manage and identify material and building performance. With accredited data, we will be able to monitor and manage product specification in a far more efficient way.

You can read more about the BBA BIM object assurance scheme and the partnership with bimstore by clicking here.

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