Plan for plain language guide to product data in the UK

A new ‘Plain Language Guide to Product Data for Manufacturers’ is to be published in the UK and Europe in late 2020, announced after a process of feedback from construction product manufacturers.

Joining forces to produce the guide are UK BIM Alliance, Construction Products Europe and The Institution of Engineering and Technology. It plans to outline the importance of digital data and the benefits of pursuing low-cost steps for manufacturers.

Construction product data has been put firmly into the spotlight following the Hackitt review. Patricia Massey, the standards and regulations manager of Electrium said “the Grenfell tragedy has showed our industry that knowing where your products are is essential to public safety, but it also protects manufacturers”.

The Building Safety Bill has ensured that building owners must certify that their buildings are safe, meaning manufacturers will have to conform to traceable product information as a matter of protecting business interests. Paul Surin, an associate partner at IBM, said that “structuring data and taking advantage of the new standards” will allow businesses to treat their information as an “asset” which can be monitised and will save “considerable” costs as well as reducing risks.

It is the goal of Blane Judd, chair of IET’s Built Environment Panel, to support digitilisation within the built environment industry, even if it does have a “long way to go”. Being able to understand and manage product data better will aid the journey massively, designing buildings to perform better as well as being safer is a totally achievable reality.

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