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Creating a Data Template

Option 1

To create a new Data Template, go to Templates from the menu to the left and click on the Create template button.

In the Descriptions tab, start with entering a Full name and a Technical definition for your Data Template.

Very often the Data Template’s Full name is the same as the Full name of its Construction Object, but this might not always be the case. The Full name is used to uniquely identify the template’s scope and purpose and serve for identification by external observers/users. The Full name should be clear and meaningful and should conform with local naming conventions and nomenclatures.

EXAMPLE: Window Data Template

The Technical definition, on the other hand, is a more extensive description of the Data Template’s scope and purpose. There are a few rules which should be preferably followed when writing Technical definitions:

  • Avoid ambiguity
  • Avoid circular definitions, e.g. concrete wall – wall made of concrete


EXAMPLE: concrete wall – vertical or nearly vertical structural element, constructed of poured or precast concrete, that has partition function and transmits to its base the forces that are applied to it

You can also add short names, user definitions and examples by expanding the respective menus:

A Short name is normally an abbreviature which is shortening the Full name and is something widely used and recognized in the industry.

EXAMPLE: expanded polystyrene (EPS)

A User definition is an additional definition that is meant to simplify the Technical definition. As Technical definitions are normally based on standards, they tend to end up too comprehensive, so a more simplified one is possible in this field.

Filling in all the above in English is mandatory. All other translations are optional.

Proceed further with the Attributes tab.

Add the Domain – based on that the proper authority will review your template upon submitting it.

The Domain can be based on country, department, technical field etc. The domain is an attribute that shows which Authorities will have to approve a newly created concept.

Add the Countries where the template can be applied.

Add the Construction object, i.e. the object of interest you wish to describe with the Data Template.

NB! The Construction object cannot be changed after the template is approved.

Click on Add Construction object.

Select the relevant Construction Object and click on Add.

You can search for the appropriate Construction object by name. If you click on the name, the Construction object details will be opened in a new browser tab, so you can review them before selecting it. If you have selected a Construction object that has templates created, you will see a warning sign.

Clicking on it shall display the list of Data Templates that you can review in case there is already a similar Data Template to the one you are about to create.

If no relevant Construction object is found – a new one can be created by clicking the Create Construction object button (please refer to creating a Construction object instruction). Once the new Construction object is created and sent for approval, it can be added to the Data Template.

You can proceed with the next tab – Groups of properties.

Click on the Add groups of properties button.

Search for relevant Groups of properties, e.g. by keyword. You can filter the Groups according to the context they originate from.

You can click on the name of a Group of property to see which properties are included in it before selecting it.

Select the desired groups and click Add.

After adding the Groups of properties, you can view and expand them to check if everything is correct.

You cannot change the properties in the Group of properties, neither their values and/or dependencies. If none of the existing groups is appropriate, you can create a new one (please refer to creating a Group of properties), send it for approval and add it to the Data Template.

The next tab – Properties shows you an overview of all added properties. You can see what the unit of the property is or which Group of properties it is part of:

Here you may also connect properties to their corresponding Purposes and Milestones. By connecting properties to a Purpose, you enable a purposed-based filtering wither through the API or the UI. And by connecting properties to a Milestone, you do the same but for a specific moment of time. Examples of Purposes are cost estimate, space management, handover and commissioning, structural analysis etc. Examples of Milestones are concept design stage, construction stage, etc.

First, you should select the properties you would like to connect to Purposes and/or Milestones. Then you should click on Purpose and/or Milestone and select the corresponding purpose and/or milestone and click Apply.

You can apply as many Purposes and/or Milestones as you wish. Once you have applied them to the respective properties, you can see the number of Purposes and/or Milestones you have applied in the Properties tab.

If you click on Purposes and/or Milestones’ number for a specific property, you would be able to see the exact Purposes and/or Milestones you have applied to this property.

If no relevant Purpose and/or Milestone is found – a new one can be created by clicking the Purposes and/or Milestones buttons on the left (please refer to creating a Purpose and Milestone instructions).

NB! Adding/removing Purposes and/or Milestones triggers a new version of the Data Template, i.e. this operation undergoes an approval process.

The Classifications tab allows you to connect the Data Template to classification systems, such as IFC, CCI, Uniclass 2015, NS 3451, TFM etc.

A Classification is a systematic collection of classes organized according to a known set of rules, and into which objects may be grouped. You can do so by selecting the desired classification and the appropriate classification codes that refer to the Data Template.

By connecting the Data Template to a classification, you enable other users who are more familiar with the respective classification to browse and find the Data Templates easier.

In the References tab you can select the references you used to define the Data Тemplate and its properties. Cobuilder Define shows only representations of these references (e.g. standards) and is not allowed to distribute the reference itself. Click on Add reference.

Search for the reference by using a keyword or a reference number and select the references you wish to add to the template. Click Add.

If none of the References is appropriate, you can create a new one and add it to the Data Template after sending it for approval (please refer to the Create Reference instructions).

Your template is now created. Click Send for approval to submit it to the Authority.

You can write a short comment or send it for approval directly by clicking on Send.

Once you send the Data Template for approval, you will get a green success message in the upper right corner. The status of your Data Template will be Pending until the number of required approvals is reached.

If you however decide that you need to make some changes after the submission for approval, you can always withdraw it before it is evaluated by the experts from the Authority.

Option 2

If there is a similar Data Template to the one you wish to create, you can open and copy it. This way all the data will be prepopulated, and you can make only the required changes much faster.