How We Will Do It

BIW Foundations

We will form an NGO,  BIW Foundations, which will identify and structure the various data needed by the various stakeholders.

The BIW will license from Activeplan its Product Library for the housing of manufacturer’s Product Data Sheets. The Community will, therefore, become the industry's most comprehensive, centralised repository for manufacturer’s information. Community members will be given free API access.

Likewise the BIW will supply the Community with the Templater, which creates the categorisation of the products, so they can be connected to the other data libraries.

The Platform

The Building Information Warehouse will license from Activeplan its platform, which adds structure to things that others are already authoring, making it simple to retrieve and update. A data Ecosystem, which is already in process, will be commissioned that allows information to be created and maintained in different databases, by different people, using different applications.

This Ecosystem will include objects that are “things” – buildings, spaces, systems, asset types, assets, products and tasks – and “things” about “things” – fire rating, carbon, warranties, certificates, data sheets, installation records and photos. From a technical perspective, the Ecosystem is application agnostic, focusing on the data, not the application that is creating/using it.

Using a common database

The Building Information Warehouse will provide the detailed asset information from a common database that is seamlessly connected to the many different applications that different stakeholders use. This means that the key data is never translated, is always standardised and therefore machine-readable, enabling automation, significant productivity improvements and reduced risks. more


A standard specification of requirements will be agreed with insurers, the Bim4housing community and surveyors. The data will be refined in an application to ensure quality and auditability. It will be coordinated structured data.

We call this SmartData.


  • Is standardised
  • Has structure
  •  Is machine-readable
  • Is inter-operable
  • Is application-agnostic
  • Knows what questions it answers
  • Understands context
  • Enables Grouping to satisfy functions
  • Enables Simulation to test if risks are mitigated

This SmartData can then be used to create SmartLibraries.    more

It should be stressed, projects such as Lexicon and CIH have already delivered much of the research on what and how things should be done, but have failed to deliver the solution. Much of the ecosystem has already been established by Activeplan, though this needs further development as well as implementation.

Service Aggregation

It is likely that much of the service offering of the Building Information Warehouse would be accomplished by third-party, discrete specialist businesses and individuals. The BIW would be acting as a service aggregator, rather than a direct supplier. Likewise, the BIW would hold a portfolio of specialists and so act as a conduit for the delivery of expertise. There is the possibility that these specialist, individuals and companies, could be verified or certified as having reached a certain level of competency/expertise in their respective fields.

NB. The danger of over specialisation must not be overlooked. The inspector of fire doors will have little expertise in fire dampers, for example. The inspector of compartmentation will not have knowledge of fire doors, as an individual component of a compartmentation unit. The cross-over between responsibilities is not always matched by the cross-over of required competence. This would likely fall under training.