It does not impose proprietary properties, but offers and / or suggest the use of standard data from international or local standards that will promote the standardisation of properties in projects and the interoperability with different software on the market.
Main characteristics of this system :
Depending on the BIM software used, or more generally, according to the identified BIM process, the platform allows the connection between the software or process requirements and available properties, thus making all objects on the platform interoperable.
What happens if a property is not available on the platform?
When a property is not available, the user can create his or her own property. Furthermore, if this property has a know repository or use, the user can propose its adoption by the BIM&CO community, and its official integration to the platform. After validation, this property becomes available to all users, thus fostering standardisation.
Defining properties for private use
With BIM&CO, it is also possible to define a set of properties for private use. Within a work group, an administrator can define a set of properties that will only be seen and used by the members of this group.
BIM is in constant evolution, requirements change, and the BIM&CO platform allows you to add properties to objects according to the evolution of clients' requests. If the properties to be added do not exist on the platform, the user can add them to a private or public list in a few minutes.
BIM&CO integrates and shall add international standards on the standardisation of properties required for a given field.
For example, the standard ISO 16757 defines the properties required for heating, ventilation and air conditioning object (HVAC).
Excerpt from the introduction of this standard: ISO 16757-1 2015
… There are many manufacturers, who provide products to certain sectors of building services (such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, sanitary). Others provide only certain product groups (radiators, heaters, air condition equipment, air pipes, valves, devices).
Classical catalogues provide product data in tables and show the design algorithms in diagrams and design rules. In addition to the technical properties required for functional design and calculation (e.g. in the form of curve diagrams), such catalogues also contain the geometry data needed for dimensional design and construction (e.g. in the form of dimensional drawings with port details) and the descriptive objects serving for visualization (such as photos, video sequences, or acoustical sequences).
Additionally, nearly all big manufacturers provide their own software (mostly for free) as electronic catalogues to select, to design, and to calculate their products.
Unfortunately, none of these software solutions meets all the requirements of the planner. Needless to say, that each program contains only the product range of its manufacturer. So it is not possible to perform a continuous planning of the plant with products of different manufacturers.
Thus, it is desirable to provide engineering applications which are independent from the manufacturers. The next problem is that data files from different manufacturers — if available at all — are organized in different data formats, structures, and terminologies.
Independent CAD-systems and calculation software need to get data and algorithms in a uniform way. Only if product data and algorithms are automatically available, the calculation and simulation of a complete HVAC plant is possible.
Software providers cannot afford to provide all data from all product manufacturers in the format required by their system. Also, product manufacturers cannot provide current information about their products in the formats of all potential software systems. Thus, we have a typical situation where standardization is required to improve the exchange of information between business partners.
Within single product groups (e.g. radiators), national initiatives to standardize exchange formats have already been conducted. But there is a lack of unification of existing formats across all product groups.
Required is a uniform, internationally standardised definition for product catalogue data interchange.
Such a definition eliminates the need to manage different data formats and to use different software systems to deal with products of different manufacturers, and this leads to a significant reduction of costs for manufacturers and users. Integrating this data into BIM-systems (Building Information Modelling) allows data interchange between IT systems. In addition, to the benefit for planning, there will be an amount of advantages for other software solutions, e.g. facility management and life cycle management.
This International Standard offers for the first time an interface which allows the uniform handling of data about technical, commercial, maintenance, service, as well as geometry, images, video, and text information.