Two Irish organisations, Integrated Facilities Solutions Ltd (IFS) and GS1 Ireland, are to collaborate to make the digital exchange of building information a reality for building owners, designers, contractors and operators, they have announced.

Building information management

The two partners are to work together to address the problems associated with the lack of visibility, traceability and certainty in building information management in Ireland; from planning and design, through to handover and close-out, to operations and maintenance. Many of the current challenges in the industry surrounding construction costs, timescales and quality, together with future operating costs can be readily addressed by adopting existing standards and technologies that provide visibility, certainty and assurance around design, construction and facilities management. The partnership will focus on bringing together interested industry stakeholders from across the supply chain, to learn about, and adopt, best-in-class standardised data sharing practices. The resulting added value from the use of standardised digital data will be delivered through resource efficiency and productivity gains throughout the lifespan of a building. The construction and facilities management sectors in Ireland lag significantly behind the standards and technology adoption levels seen in other European countries, particularly Scandinavia, where item identification is already a mandatory component of national procurement and building management practices.

Develop and implement global standards

During the course of the partnership the two organisations will identify, develop and implement global standards for the identification, recording, management and maintenance of all components and assets that a building contains. Digitising and sharing that information in line with open, data standards is a key part of the collaboration, to ensure that all players in the construction and building management life cycle can access, share and utilise that information. The demand and the necessity for change by introducing visibility, traceability and certainty in building and asset information is now urgently required for the construction and facilities management industries. George Harold, CEO of IFS, said: “IFS are very excited about our partnership with GS1, putting a strategic focus on the processes and standards to improve and assist owners and operators with their building and asset information for the entire asset life cycle. “Working with GS1 will allow us to develop and provide great opportunities for the implementation of GS1 global standards for asset information to the construction and facilities management industries.” Mike Byrne, CEO, GS1 Ireland, said: “GS1 Ireland is delighted to welcome Integrated Facilities Solutions Ltd. (IFS) as a platinum partner. GS1 standards can provide the needed visibility of all products, parts and components used in building. “The GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) standard is now recognised as an essential element for meeting the emerging demands for unique identification and traceability of building components throughout the ‘cradle-to-cradle’ life cycle of construction projects.”