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BIM news by PRODBIM and Eurovent (GEN – 985.00)

15 January 2019

6 min read
Information bulletin

BIM news by PRODBIM and Eurovent (GEN – 985.00)

15 January 2019

6 min read

GEN – 985.00. The teams of Eurovent and PRODBIM have prepared an article for members on recent developments in Building Information Modelling (BIM) CEN TC442 standardisation activities and construction product information digitalisation. PRODBIM, a subsidiary of Eurovent Services Company, is participating to CEN TC442 & BuildingSMART working groups, and is compiling a summary of the CEN TC 442 works on BIM standardisation. Interconnecting dictionaries is the first step.


Building Information Modelling (BIM – see glossary) is a digital collaborative process, where different actors in Architecture/Engineering/Construction and Building can simultaneously share a 3D model of a building project, and information on the objects within. 

To exchange information between construction actors and the software, ISO standards were developed to set a common framework, as shown in the standards triangle diagram: 

  1. A common terminology with dictionaries (ISO 12006-3)
  2. A digital format: Industry foundation class (ISO16739-1:2018 for the latest IFC version 4, after IFC2*3 with more geometric description and additional classes with properties)
  3. An exchange process with a request requirement and answer (ISO 29481)

BuildingSMART, as the international association of openBIM, is acting for the BIM standardisation convergence.

The corresponding ISO and CEN working groups and technical committees and projects are part of the following Technical Committees: 

List of BIM TCs (source: AFNOR)

The ecosystem of standards working groups in digital buildings can be represented as below:

The building digitalisation and the BIM (source: AFNOR PPBIM/PTNB)


Relevant recent works in progress impacting HVACR products have been selected and are projected in the table below. They concern the CEN perimeter with BIM, objects, product data, information exchange, and libraries. BIM can be defined as “use of a shared digital representation of an asset to facilitate design, construction and operation processes to form a reliable basis for decisions”.

WGs (source: AFNOR)

Standard & status

ISO/TC 59/SC 13 Organisation of information about construction works

WG 6 Framework for object-oriented information exchange

Link with CEN TC442 WG4 dictionaries

ISO 12006-3 Building construction – Organisation of information about construction works – Part 3: Framework for object-oriented information 

ISO 16354:2013 Guidelines for knowledge libraries and object libraries

WG 8 Building information models – Information delivery manual (MVDs link)

Link with CEN TC442 WG3

ISO/NP 21597-1 & 2 Information container for Data Drop – Exchange specification – Part 1: Container Part 2: Dynamic semantics

JWG 12 Development of building data related standards (includes the IFC4 new version)


ISO 16739-1 :2018 Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for data sharing in the construction and facility management industries – Part 1: Data schema using EXPRESS schema definitions 

WG 11 Product data for building services systems model


prEN ISO 16757-1 & 2 Data structures for electronic Product catalogues for building services Part 1: Concepts, architecture and model & Geometry

WG 13 Implementation of collaborative working over the asset lifecycle


NWIP TR Guidance on how to implement EN ISO 19650-1 and -2 in Europe

NP EN ISO 19650-3 Organisation of information about construction works – Information management using building information modelling – Part 3: Operational phase of asset

CEN/TC 442 Building Information Modelling (BIM)

WG 1 Strategy and Planning


WG 2 Exchange of information

PWI Exchange format for product data template. Link to MVD

WG 3 Information Delivery Specification


WG 4 Support Data Dictionaries

3 TGs: properties definition & product data template

prEN ISO 23386 Building information modelling and other digital processes used in construction – Methodology to describe, author and maintain properties in interconnected dictionaries

Pr EN ISO 23387 Product data templates, for products and systems used in construction works, stored in a data dictionary framework – Part 1: General concepts, relations, and general structure of product data templates, and how to link the product data templates to Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) 

PWI 442008 Product data templates, for products and systems used in construction works, stored in a data dictionary framework – Part 2: Specification of Product data templates based on harmonised technical specifications under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), and how to link the product data templates to Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)

prEN “Modelling and linking between semantic ontologies”: new TG (Links with libraries and MVDs)

WG 5/TG 2 Strategy and Planning

Harmonisation between ISO / CEN / BuildingSMART International


Relevant subjects

Important subjects to consider for the digital product harmonisation are:

  • Creation and governance of data dictionary (prEN-ISO 23 386): Definition of properties awaiting CEN public enquiry, which is the result of the initial works of AFNOR PPBIM. The process is as follows:
    1. Activation of Work Item
    2. Draft elaboration (8-12 months)
    3. CEN enquiry (12 weeks)
    4. Analysis of comments (max 8 months)
    5. Formal vote (8 weeks – possibility of skipping)
    6. Final work (8 weeks)
    7. Publication
  • Structure of generic object in a dictionary (prEN-ISO 23 387): product data templates
  • Normalisation of Product Data Template (PDT) structure within a standardised dictionary (prEN-ISO 23 386) and relation to IFC structure (ISO16739-1 version 2018 being published)
  • Structure of product catalogue (link with ISO 16757): Electronic catalogue products to see how the catalogue of subjects and dynamic values could be treated in IFC

For the 1st standard project on data dictionary, a structure is defined on how a property of an object/product is structured with attributes, which reference document and which dictionaries it is related to. For example:

Example of object properties structures extracted from prEN-ISO23386

This standard project also defines the role of experts to validate the properties. The European HVACR dictionary can now be defined with this process using the same semantics. This is the base to harmonise a common HVACR BIM classification and common IFC fields, to define the objects and their information exchange in BIM catalogues of electronic products (e.g. PDTs).

BuildingSMART International provides its Data Dictionary BsDD as a work-in-progress to assist users with finding the property dictionaries according to each country.

The following subject concerns constraints (e.g. Regulation requirements in an object) and complex properties in IFC to treat the relation with conditions, as well as the performance and certification. PRODBIM works with BuildingSMART and PPBIM on the way to deal with the qualification of product property values, e.g. the author of a value, date, status declared or certified, etc., to track and qualify the values.

Other impacting new regulation & standards projects to follow:

  • Smart CE marking: Common Working Agreement CWA 17316 Smart CE marking for Construction productsis implemented with a proposal of XML format
  • Asset life: the ISO 19 650 on asset will impact the digital process along the project and how the data will be monitored by the different stakeholders
  • Link with ISO TC 184 with STEP 242: ISO 10303-242:2014 Industrial automation systems and integration (Product data representation and exchange) Part 242: Application protocol – Managed model-based 3D engineering

Recommended actions

The next step is to jointly harmonise a European interconnected dictionary of properties for our products to be able to exchange the information. After that, we are going to elaborate on how to cover the qualification of data, e.g. Certification in BIM & IFC formatting, and how to treat the complex properties of HVACR products. Members are recommended to read the newsletter and follow further updates.


  • BIM: Building Information Modelling
  • IFC: Industry Foundation Classes
  • PDT: Product Data Template
  • IFD: International Framework for Dictionaries
  • Object: Anything perceivable or conceivable that has a distinct existence, albeit not material
  • STEP: Standard for the Exchange of Product data
  • IFD: International Framework for Dictionaries
  • XML: Extensible Markup Language
  • Property: Unit of information that is dynamically defined as a particular entity instance
  • Attributes: Unit of information within an entity, defined by a particular type or reference to a particular entity
  • MVD: Model View Definition
  • Classification: Categorisation, the act of distributing things into classes or categories of the same type


In the context of the construction sector’s ongoing digital transformation, the HVACR industry finds itself increasingly impacted by BIM (Building Information Modelling). Manufacturers are being challenged to comply with new BIM standards and working methods. The objective of PRODBIM is to support manufacturers in making effective use of the constantly evolving BIM market. 

PRODBIM is an initiative driven by Eurovent Service Company, which will deliver a dedicated database online service to assist the set-up of manufacturers’ product data into a coherent PIM, fully usable for BIM market and multi-country codes. The company also provides EPREL services to manufacturers.

PRODBIM is involved in the work of CEN TC442, specifically in WG2 and WG4 on products, and a member of BuildingSMART to follow the developments.

Partner of

PRODBIM invites any interested HVACR manufacturers to participate in the ‘BIM HVAC Product Database for Manufacturers’ Committees to harmonise the product properties. 

Thanks to participating in these committees, divided in product families, manufacturers will have the opportunity to define and influence the BIM content of their products. They will acquire knowledge on the updates on the product dictionaries and BIM formats evolutions, by country priorities and projects in Europe.

For detailed information, please contact:

Mr Thibaud de Loynes
Project Director, PRODBIM
+33 6 30 14 45 50


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