Definition of a Common Data Environment (CDE)

The BIM process requires the establishment of data sharing procedures. Due to the frequency of exchanges and the amount of shared data, the use of email is insufficient, either in terms of capacity or in terms of traceability. For this reason it is necessary to set up specific information management solutions for the "platform" type. We then speak of a Common Data Environment (CDE). in CDE centralizes the common data of the project and enables each of the actors to access it. Setting up a CDE is a mandatory step in implementing BIM in a project. There are two aspects to consider:

  • On the one hand, an information management environment for managing data and documents. It can be a Drive or Dropbox file deposit server, an Electronic Document Management (EDM) solution, data integration solutions or a combination of these solutions. This is necessary to allow consistency of information and files, and to facilitate sharing and collaboration.
  • On the other hand, a project management environment for the management of calendars, schedules, assignment of tasks, dashboards, etc. This aspect is necessary to allow the smooth running of the BIM process, in coherence with the project process.

Some solutions like Bimsync make it possible to manage the two aspects of data centralization and project management. Solutions that cover both needs have the advantage that they enable integration and continuity between the work and project data and simplify the project solution environment. The choice of CDE must be made in accordance with the solution environment of the actors in the project and the desired functionalities. It is important to take into account the fact that each actor may already have implemented a platform solution to carry out their projects.


The Common Data Environment: an essential element of the BIM Execution Plan.

In a cooperative exchange of models between different participants, it is necessary to define a common data environment that is used for the needs of the project in accordance with the practices of the actors. The Common Data Environment: An essential element of the BIM execution plan . The main elements are defined in the BIM implementation plan:

  • Identify the environment of information management solutions within the project;
  • Define the information management environment chosen for the project;
  • Define the chosen project management environment (if it is different from the information management environment).

All the rules must then be described in the BIM implementation plan or in specific documents attached to it. The BIM implementation plan must therefore define at least the following: the environmental managers and administrative rules; the profiles of the actors and the access rights associated with the required LODs (directory, model, document, file, object, property); the procedures for access, cooperation and exchange (frequency, compulsory or not, etc.) and in particular the validation and dissemination cycles; Control, validation and dissemination protocols for data, models, files and documents.

Related Post