NTI enables standardized data management as part of their digital solutions
Through a common, standards-based digital language, NTI aims to improve the quality and interoperability of the data and enable free information flow.
NTI is a fast-growing Danish provider of software solutions for the construction industry, which is currently represented across 7 European markets. NTI is a platinum Autodesk partner and distributor of all Autodesk products as well as other BIM authoring tools. In addition, the organization develops its own software solutions which complement Autodesk tools and are designed to optimize workflows by improving data management practices within design and specification. One of the solutions offered by NTI is called NTI CONNECT. It consists of two products: NTI CONNECT – SPECS, helping actors to develop streamlined specifications, and the other, NTI CONNECT – PARTS, allowing them to create their own repository of building elements. This way the clients can structure and store construction object data outside of the model, which enables better reuse and sharing of information.
As part of their effort to streamline and improve information management within the construction industry, NTI recognizes the need to implement standards-based definitions for describing building elements to facilitate free information flow to third party solutions.
Currently, through their solution NTI CONNECT, NTI provides their customers with the opportunity to develop a repository of standardized building elements and specification documents. Although NTI clients can standardize their own data, any information sharing with external stakeholders can still be cumbersome. The reason is that the data is defined according to the specific data management needs and practices of the customer and not according to international standards for managing construction data.
To ensure the interoperability of the data stored in NTI CONNECT and enable free information flow, the company aims to implement national contexts, which are data dictionaries developed to meet the information needs of the different markets where NTI is represented. The national contexts allow all actors to describe construction objects in a common way based on industry standards. They are created in Define – a tool that enables organizations to implement all relevant international standards for managing construction object data, thus ensuring the quality and interoperability of the data. The national contexts can be made available in NTI CONNECT through an API integration with Define.
The pilot projects
As a first step, NTI is looking into implementing the Danish context that is being developed by the Danish construction information center Molio. The Danish context comprises parameters, also called properties, that allow users to describe construction objects according to relevant European product standards. Furthermore, Molio is continuously creating additional properties to address the specific needs of the Danish construction sector. These properties cover different use cases, such as operation and maintenance, identification and classification of construction objects, implementation of the Danish LOD framework, known as DiKon’s Construction Element Specification, for data exchange during the design stage, etc.
The Danish context can be integrated in NTI CONNECT through the API service.
As part of integrating the Danish context, NTI would like to enable the use of the newly developed properties that will allow their customers to create specifications according to the Danish LOD framework in a structured, machine-readable format. Through the API service, NTI customers will gain access to all the relevant properties for each specific purpose according to the Danish Construction Element Specification.
The second use case that NTI would like to cover, is to enable users to implement the new standardized properties from the Danish context within their repositories of building elements that they manage in NTI CONNECT – PARTS. By using the Danish context, companies can ensure that the information can be interpreted correctly by other industry actors and their software as the Danish context is about to be rolled out across the industry.
Through the API integration with Define, NTI can ensure that all newly developed concepts and versions of concept in the Danish context will automatically become available to their customers within NTI CONNECT. This way the data will always be accurate and up to date.
Thanks to the high quality of the data delivered through the API service, NTI expects to improve the information exchange with third-party solutions. As the context is rolled out and gradually adopted by the Danish construction industry, it will result in improved data flow across the entire construction supply chain.
From a business perspective, the implementation of the national context will enable NTI to expand their product / service offer. NTI is considering adding new features to their solution that will enable other industry actors, such as suppliers and contractors, to collaborate with the design team directly within NTI CONNECT by using a common digital language based on standards.