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bSDD Platform

bSDD Platform and OpenBIM objects

Explore how the bSDD platform improves the design and construction process. Learn how this unique resource enables the creation of custom element classes and specific features.

The bSDD platform is an advanced web service focusing on creating data structures used to represent the meaning and semantics of data for machines to understand and interpret information more intelligently (ontologies). This entire process is based on the ISO 12006-3 standard.

In this article, we will examine the OpenBIM object library of bSDD, their attributes, and their role in the International Framework for Dictionaries (IFD).

You can also watch two videos demonstrating how to create and associate elements directly on the bSDD platform, buildingSMART Data Dictionary, in a few simple steps. At the same link, you’ll find two recommended software: one for creating dictionaries and object libraries, editing classifications and properties, publishing them on the buildingSMART Data Dictionary, and another for editing classifications and properties of elements in an IFC model using bSDD and generating a new IFC file with the changes.

General aspects of the bSDD Platform

The bSDD platform, short for “buildingSMART Data Dictionary,” is a fundamental pillar in the realm of model-based construction and structural data. Now, let’s have an overview of the key principles and benefits that bSDD brings to the construction and design industry.

ISO 12006-3 Standard as the Foundation

bSDD finds its base in the ISO 12006-3 standard, an international regulation defining the concepts of information classification in buildings and infrastructure. This standard provides a standardized framework for classifying data related to buildings and infrastructure. bSDD leverages ISO 12006-3 as the foundation to create and standardize structural data in the construction domain.

Creation and standardization of ontologies

One of the main functions of bSDD is the creation and standardization of ontologies. Ontologies are, in simple terms, formal representations of concepts and their relationships. In this context, ontologies define categories, properties, and relationships between objects used in virtual building models. This standardization is crucial to ensure professionals from different sectors and parts of the world can work with a common understanding of structural data.

Support for multiple languages and globalization

A key element of the bSDD platform is support for multiple languages. In an increasingly globalized world where construction projects involve international teams, the ability to communicate and share data in different languages is crucial. bSDD’s multilingual support enables a common understanding of data, overcoming language barriers and facilitating collaboration among professionals of different nationalities.

Benefits of using bSDD

The use of bSDD brings numerous advantages to the construction and design industry. These benefits include:

  • Standardization – bSDD imposes a standardized structure for the classification and representation of data, reducing ambiguity and errors in projects;
  • Interoperability – the platform allows greater interoperability between different BIM software, enabling smooth communication between various phases of a building’s lifecycle;
  • Globalization – the ability to support different languages facilitates collaboration in international contexts;
  • Precision and Consistency – data and ontology standardization ensures greater accuracy and consistency in BIM models, reducing the risk of errors.

OpenBIM Object Library

The OpenBIM object library within bSDD is a fundamental pillar of the platform, offering a wide range of structural objects and their attributes. These objects represent the structural components of a building or infrastructure, ranging from elements like walls, floors, and windows to more specific details like technical systems or construction materials.

Unique label and linguistic standardization

A distinctive aspect of this library is assigning a unique label to each object. This means that regardless of the language being used, the object will be consistently identified. This, as mentioned earlier, is crucial in an international context where professionals from different parts of the world collaborate on common projects.

Classification system

Each object in the library is placed in a classification system that helps organize and catalog objects into logical categories. This classification system enables more efficient searches and facilitates the retrieval of specific objects when developing BIM models. Additionally, it contributes to ensuring order and consistency in construction projects.

Unique identification via “bSDD GUID”

To unequivocally associate bSDD library objects with components of a BIM model, a unique identifier known as “bSDD GUID” (Global Unique Identifier) is used. This unique code links objects to their respective information, enabling precise and consistent data management. “bSDD GUIDs” serve as a bridge between the object library and the virtual model, ensuring a reliable connection between data structure and their representation in BIM models.

Object attributes

Objects in the bSDD library come with a series of attributes specifying their features and properties. These attributes may include technical parameters, specific features, allowed values, measurement units, and translations in different languages. For example, for a window type, attributes could indicate dimensions, material, fire resistance, and production information. These attributes provide a detailed and contextual description of objects, allowing for precise and uniform use and interpretation in BIM models.

Association of a dictionary entry with a project element

Association of a dictionary entry with a project element

Customization of elements and features

Now, let’s focus on the remarkable flexibility that the bSDD platform offers in customizing elements and features in BIM models. This flexibility is essential to adapt BIM data to the specific needs of projects and stakeholders.

Creation of custom element classes

The bSDD platform allows users to create custom element classes, i.e., categories of objects that can be specific to a particular project, sector, or organization. This customization can be extremely useful in situations where standard objects do not exactly cover the project’s requirements. The ability to define custom element classes provides a high degree of flexibility and adaptability.

Specific property sets

Psets are sets of specific properties that can be applied to objects in BIM models. These Psets allow adding detailed information about objects, such as attributes, performance, allowed values, and more. The bSDD platform allows the creation of custom Psets to meet the specific needs of the project. This is particularly useful when defining specific attributes and parameters relevant only to that particular project or domain.

Individual features and custom values

In addition to element classes and Psets, the bSDD platform also allows the definition of individual features and custom values. This means that users can add unique and specific details to objects and attributes not included in the standard library. This customization is crucial for capturing specific information essential to the project but may not be commonly used in other contexts.

Impact on Design and Construction

Let’s delve into the crucial role played by the bSDD platform in the realm of design and construction, highlighting how it affects the efficiency and effectiveness of the construction industry.

Improvement of efficiency

bSDD is a valuable ally in seeking efficiency in the design and construction process. By providing a vast library of OpenBIM objects, users can save valuable time in creating BIM models. Instead of building each object from scratch, they can draw from the standard library or previously created customizations. This results in faster and more efficient design.

Increased precision and consistency

A key element in building design and construction is precision. Errors can lead to high costs and project delays. By using bSDD with its standardized structure, unique labels, and precisely defined attributes, professionals can create BIM models that accurately reflect design specifications. This reduces the risk of errors and inconsistencies in the process.

Cost and construction time reduction

By improving efficiency, precision, and collaboration, bSDD significantly contributes to reducing design and construction costs and shortening project completion times. Costly errors are minimized, processes are accelerated, and project management becomes smoother.

Therefore, the bSDD platform represents a fundamental resource for the OpenBIM community. Offering an OpenBIM object library and multilingual attributes, this platform facilitates the creation of more accurate and understandable BIM models. Customization of elements and features allows professionals to adapt BIM data to their specific needs, thereby increasing the efficiency and quality of the design and construction process.


In this video, you can see how to create new entries in the usBIM.bSDD library.