Bury Bad Content 6 Feet Deep

From a manufacturers point of view, specialising in PEX piping, drains, millions of connectors and tools all set up to solve practical issues related to the quality of living and safety, BIM is certainly a thing that has climbed over the chasm and is becoming the new normal. For a manufacturer, the basic answer for BIM requirements has been to create more and more detailed 3D-models of the said products and dump them either on your own website or outsource the whole thing. Done?

It seems that we, manufacturers, are not the best to listen to the customers and really work with them on the question “What content means for you and how could we serve you better?” From personal experience these are interesting discussions as first it seems that the opinions are not converging. One says that they just want 3D with minimal information. The next says that they only allow their designers to download products from BIM-gizmos.com and the next one vents loudly how they don’t use manufacturer content ever, as they have invested heavily into their own generic libraries. The key is that the needs vary heavily from one project phase to another, from market to market and from one product group to another. Maybe it’s time to bury un-intelligent content and make sure it doesn’t end up in the pet cemetery?

I believe we are still seeing a pattern here. All users ultimately want to build designs that allow them to sleep well at night knowing that the hotel tap water system will deliver enough warm water to the executive suite on the top floor or an office space that is pleasant enough for the tenants so they won’t complain constantly of being cooked alive. This sets requirements for manufacturer content – we need to make it relevant for the user and we need to make sure it is current. Just creating a blob of Revit objects with some data won’t cut it anymore, we have to be smarter and better at the task in the future.

My personal preference is to build tools that allow users to know if their content is current and update it when needed. There are two main ways to go about it, either doing your own tools on top of design tools or using some clever 3rd partly library to do it. There is an opportunity here for content library providers that are willing to open their API’s and allow both manufacturers and content users to link in with the data.

At BCS Europe (Building Content Summit) in Aarhus, Denmark – 3 – 4th October, we will offer a venue where we can together open this and many related topics in order to improve the industry and make it possible for us to work smarter in the future.

Bring a colleague and a bag of insight and we’ll make it a good one!

Ville Kyytsonen – Head of BIM @ Uponor 

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