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An employer defines what they want to receive as structured data; the delivery team develop a proposal and submit a BIM in industry open standards such as IFC or COBie.

The NBS BIM Toolkit provides the tools to review the team’s submission identify where the client’s information requirements have, or have not, been met.

It may be a consultation process, a space demand, a facility such as an operating theatre or a prison cell, or an operational matter such as maintenance frequency.

The NBS BIM Toolkit provides a mechanism to easily capture these and formalise them in the COBie information structure, it also provides tools that check that the suppliers’ data submission contains the employer’s required information.

As the construction industry continues its transition from a craft-based industry to one which exploits advanced manufacturing techniques with digital design and engineering methodologies, the issue of data validation and verification becomes more and more important.

Over the last 500 years or so the industry has always adapted to using the latest information management techniques to convey design intent.

We have now reached a point where if we are to move forward with BIM and the efficiencies it can bring, we need to have mechanisms to formalise the data exchanges between parties - before they happen and to check that they are acceptable - when they happen.

On the validation and verification spectrum there are many levels, ranging from the most simplistic that can be automatically checked by a computer, to the most complex that can only be performed with human expertise and judgment.

It begins with the employer identifying the processes, assets, and systems they are concerned about when they begin a procurement project.To allow the NBS BIM Toolkit review process to be carried out in all types of organisation, both a ‘cloud’ version and a standalone ‘in-house’ version are available.Once a submission is ready it is passed on to the validation tool which produces a simple spreadsheet report indicating the contents of the file and its compliance. A novel feature of the NBS BIM Toolkit is the ‘BIMogram’.Ironically, the industry has started to engage at the high end of this spectrum with validation activities such as clash detection, rather than address much simpler activities such as robust data sharing re-use.For successful clash detection several parties must each submit their BIM content in a form that can be federated consistently so that clashes can be identified.

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All the software to perform validation and verification is free to use and built on the x BIM open source technology.

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