buildingSMART Data Dictionary

Defining everything in the built world

The buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) is a library of objects and their attributes. It’s used to identify objects in the built environment and their specific properties regardless of language, so that “door” means the same thing in Iceland as it does in India.

The Data Dictionary is open and international, allowing architects, engineers, consultants, owners and operators on one side and product manufacturers and suppliers on the other from all around the world to share and exchange product information. When everyone shares the same language, the building process becomes more efficient.

The bSDD is not for specific instances of objects, but for general terms. Software developers can build on top of these definitions to create specific objects.

Video explanations of the bSDD

Part 1: The Opportunity

Part 2: The Common Object Platform

Part 3: A worked example

Part 4: Solutions & Conclusions


Screen show explanation of the bSDD Strategic overview

Visit the buildingSMART Data Dictionary.

Connecting objects by their relationships

The key feature of the data dictionary is that it isn’t just a set of definitions. The data dictionary maps relationships between objects as well as their property definitions. This relationship mapping capability provides a range of benefits.

The buildingSMART Data Dictionary creates data transparency for everyone. It’s easy, open, and international, allowing a vast range of features to be developed. You can track dangerous substances in raw materials all the way through to their use in products onsite.

Features & Benefits

  • Shared reusable object libraries reduce costs and improve quality
  • Objects and property definitions are available to all software, worldwide
  • Automatic Rule Checking prevents miscommunication and data duplication
  • Connect objects to BIM-specific products
  • Property sets can be extended for specific requirements
  • Add or overlay classification requirements
  • Map between different users and applications
  • Enables checking and validation of data

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