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First published 8th December 2015, last updated 21st July 2016.

Ian chapman

Ian Chapman

Director of NBS National BIM Library

Since April 2015, over 5700 Product Data Templates have been available from the NBS BIM Toolkit. With the introduction of a much demanded product data sheet hosting service by NBS you can now create product data sheets and publish them. With the Level 2 mandate now in effect, manufacturers can strengthen their offering by organising their product information in a form that will support Level 2 BIM. In this article Ian Chapman explains how easy it is for manufacturers to prepare the data they need, safe in the knowledge that this data is at the heart of the Government’s Level 2 BIM requirements.

What are product data templates?

A product data template is simply a form that contains standardised headings against which manufacturers product information is placed. There is a different template for each type of product.

Why are product data templates so important?

Product data templates are important as they provide a framework for manufacturers to supply product information for use with Level 2 BIM projects. Presenting product information in a standardised way offers many benefits to the supply chain. Imagine how difficult it would be to search online for a car without being able to compare its fuel efficiency and other characteristics. For construction products this is what we currently expect designers and specifiers to do. With standardised product data templates designers will be able to select, compare and analyse product data in a more accurate and efficient way than ever before. Contractors can use this information to aid procurement and creation of the as-built model, and clients and building owners can use this information to operate and maintain their buildings more effectively. The availability of product data in a structured form means that it can be checked and validated by clients, designers and contractors. With everyone more informed by this process better decisions will be made.

Where to find product data templates?

Product data template development work has been ongoing for a number of years. There are over 5700 consistently structured templates freely available for use now on the NBS BIM Toolkit. They have been developed based on years of consultation with industry representatives. They are delivered to industry via the government funded NBS BIM Toolkit which is an essential part of the UK’s BIM Level 2 implementation sitting alongside the BIM Level 2 documentation. The BIM Toolkit has a broad range of templates covering buildings and infrastructure that define the minimum product data requirements for Level 2 BIM.

Finding the product data templates in NBS BIM Toolkit is easy.

  • Step 1 List the product types that you sell.
  • Step 2 Register with the NBS BIM Toolkit, this is free and takes just a few seconds.
  • Step 3 Search for your product and select it.
    Search for your product and select it
  • Step 4 Click on the Level of Information tab and download the Manufacturer Product Data Template.
    Download the Manufacturer Product Data Template

Search for product data templates for your products

Loading Product Data Templates...

How to use a product data template?

Once you’ve downloaded your product data template it should be completed with your product information to create a product data sheet. A product data sheet is simply the name given to the template once it has been completed with your specific product information. To complete the template, list your products one by one and add your product information to the spreadsheet. The templates provided in the NBS BIM Toolkit are the ideal starting point for a manufacturer wishing to provide consistently structured product information that satisfies the minimum Level 2 BIM information requirements. By using the NBS product data templates your information will be attractive to clients as it matches the format used to define Employers Information Requirements. Manufacturers can add further properties if required when completing the product data sheet, for example, product lifecycle and operational performance properties as found in the extended CIBSE templates.

To guarantee your product data sheets can be easily discovered you can upload completed product data sheets to the widely used ribaproductselector.com product library for easy locating and use by specifiers. By placing product data sheets onto ribaproductselector.com your product data sheets will be placed in front of thousands of BIM Toolkit visitors when searching for product definitions to suit the needs of their projects. Download the product data templates for your product range now and take advantage of the ability to get them in front of designers by uploading them to ribaproductselector.com. If you get stuck, just get in touch via info@thenbs.com, we’re here to help.

What's the future for product data templates?

The product data templates available on the NBS BIM Toolkit represent the minimum product information that is needed for Level 2 BIM projects. These templates will be maintained and developed to include feedback from industry. The templates will evolve to support the needs of our digital construction industry and to ensure they continue to align with the requirements of relevant European and international standards as well as mapping to open data exchange standards, such as COBie and IFC.

Beyond product data templates

Product data templates enable the preparation of data that represents the minimum information required for level 2 BIM projects, but information in this form is not as useful to designers and specifiers as BIM objects, or structured product specifications such as NBS Plus. For more information on how we can help manufacturers get the most out of BIM view www.riba-insight.com or contact us at info@riba-insight.com.

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