Creating a Better Built Environment

Proposed New Standard for BIM Containers for Infrastructure

This is an important initiative that offers a standardised way of packaging up a miscellaneous set of documents and information files into a self-describing BIM container for transmittal as part of a business process in the construction process. It is based on the existing Dutch standard known as COINS, and is now being proposed as a New Work Item for ISO TC 59 / SC 13 / WG 8, aimed at developing in a new ISO standard.

The BIM container can accommodate information in several different forms, including BIM (IFC), GIS (GML), CAD formats, spreadsheets, text documents and image files. It uses an object tree structure, with links to an object library, making use of a standard OWL ontology to define the semantics of the data. The base semantic structure is relatively simple, but can be extended to support specific use cases (referred to as reference frameworks).

The importance of this standard is the integration of open data based on differing standards (as well as proprietary formats, where needed), but packaged up in a way that makes explicit links between multiple representations of the same object. For example, a construction component such as a road abutment may be defined in a BIM library (as a type), linked to text specification or meta data, and include a 3D representation in a BIM and/or GIS model.

The document that describes the proposed ISO work item can be found here


The technical specification for COINS can be found at:

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