Steering committee established for implementing common digital language

Published on June 21, 2022

Data dictionary Define helps organisations meet international standards for data management in the construction industry.

A steering committee of major international construction industry stakeholders has been set up to facilitate the implementation and development of a common machine-readable language. The initiative is coordinated by the Norwegian software provider Cobuilder, with the language implemented via the digital data dictionary Define.

This common digital language will help organisations to automate processes, improve operational efficiency and work more efficiently towards their sustainability goals. It will also serve as an enabler for further adoption of modern digital technologies.

Define enables organisations within the construction industry to structure their data in line with all relevant international standards for data management. Data can then flow freely between different systems and BIM-authoring tools, allowing for a universal machine-readable language. Interoperability is ensured through connections to other data dictionaries, such as buildingSMART Data Dictionary.

Members of the steering committee include Lignum, a Swiss based company representing the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries, CEI-Bois, and Molio, a Danish Information centre.

Hansueli Schmid
Hansueli SchmidProject manager at Lignum, representing CEI-Bois

Hansueli Schmid, Project Manager at Lignum, said: “I am very happy to be part of the Define steering committee. Members of CEI-Bois started an initiative called TIMBIM and are using Define to develop a common foundation for digital product templates within the European woodworking industries.

“With common digital property definitions, manufacturers in different countries will be able to provide their product information in a digital and decentralised way, which is machine-readable and interoperable. We firmly believe that data standardisation is essential for the digital transformation of the construction industry.“

The industry must engage

Bjarke Fjeldsted, CPO at Molio, which in the past year has been working to develop and implement a common digital language in the Danish construction sector, said: “The main take-away from our ongoing digitalisation work is that major changes that affect the entire construction sector can only take place if the industry is ready to engage and participate actively in the process.

Bjarke Fjeldsted
Bjarke FjeldstedChief Product Officer (CPO), Molio

“At Molio, we are committed to continuing our efforts together with our national construction sector but at the same time in close cooperation on the international level. We see our work together with our international peers as an important step to develop the necessary tools that will aid the global construction industry in its digital journey.”

All are welcome

Lars Christian Fredenlund
Lars Christian FredenlundCEO, Cobuilder

“We are very pleased that so many international actors have joined the initiative and are committed to leading the development of the Define data dictionary”, says Lars Chr. Fredenlund, CEO of Cobuilder. “Define has the potential to resolve many long-standing issues within the industry, most importantly, to bridge the gap between manufacturing, design and construction through a common, trusted, machine-readable language.”

Fredenlund believes that eliminating information silos in the construction industry is essential for improving the currently low productivity growth within the sector. Furthermore, free flow of high-quality digital data is also an important prerequisite for tackling sustainability objectives, such as zero carbon emissions and transitioning to circular economy.

About the data dictionary Define

Define is a digital solution that enables the implementation of a common digital language based on international standards. Through its steering committee and workgroups, Define is managed by a community of leading international players within the construction industry. The technical maintenance and administration of the tool are performed by the Norwegian software provider Cobuilder. For more information, visit